Updates to the Texas Rent Relief Program Go Into Effect Today
April 21, 2021
The Texas Department of Housing and Community Affairs (TDHCA) has made some changes to the Texas Rent Relief Program in order to make the application and payout process easier. These changes go into effect on April 21st, 2021. Read on for a look at these new changes, and visit our Rent and Legal Assistance page on the COVID-19 & Texas Law guide for more information.
Some documentation requirements for tenants have changed:
- Tenants can now provide benefit letters from a larger pool of assistance programs than before in order to prove eligibility. See this page for a list of programs.
- Income documentation requirements for tenants facing evictions have been waived.
- Unemployment insurance benefits documentation is no longer required for eligibility, but applicants must state that they have qualified for unemployment benefits.
Additionally, some eligibility requirements for tenants have changed:
- Applications from tenants who indicate that they have been sued for eviction will take priority over all other types of applications.
- Tenants in public housing or receiving project-based voucher assistance are now eligible to apply for assistance with the tenant-based portion of rent and utilities.
- Households across the state with monthly rent costs of over $4,600 are not eligible to apply for assistance. Previously, this requirement was set at less than 150% of Fair Market Rent (FMR) or 150% of Small Area Fair Market Rent (SAFMR).
Some requirements for landlords & utility providers have also changed:
- The landlord does not need to provide proof of ownership or proof of a relationship between the landlord and the management company. However, landlords will need to attest to both of these in the application process.
- Documentation of late rent is no longer required. The landlord and tenant certification included in the application process will be considered proof of late rent.
- The period of time in which the utility provider certification must repay a duplicated benefit has been expanded to 30 days, up from 10.
For a look at the previous requirements that TDCA has updated, see this guide to their program changes [PDF].