Hays County Commissioners Court recently approved the implementation of a COVID-19 Emergency Rental Assistance Program (ERA). This program may help with rental, utility and late fee assistance for applicants who have had difficulty paying rent or utility bills due to the COVID-19 pandemic and who meet the program criteria. The funds will come from a federal grant.
“We know people in our community are still dealing with the financial impact of the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Wesley Matthews, the ERA Program Administrator. “This new Emergency Rental Assistance program may help keep people from being evicted or having critical services turned off if they are facing challenges with respect to paying their rent or utilities.”
Beginning July 12, 2021, landlords and tenants can register and receive a receipt of their registration, which can be used to show a Hays County court proof of application if eviction proceedings are already in progress. Landlords should contact the County’s ERA Program for tenant flyers and encourage tenants with arrears rent (past due) to apply. If approved, payments from the program grant are made directly to the landlord.
Eligible households may receive up to 12 months of rent and or utility assistance (accrued after March 13, 2020). After an initial one to three months of provided support, households may reapply for additional assistance (in three-month increments, not to exceed a total of 12 months).
Applicants having income at or below 50 percent of the area median ($98,900) OR households with one or more individuals that have been unemployed for at least a 90-day period preceding the date of application will be prioritized for the first twenty-one (21) days of the program per policy. The Hays County ERA program start date is July 12, 2021.
For information about the ERA program, email email@example.com.
FY 2021 Income Limits Documentation System (per HUD)
|First 21-Days those at or below 50% mark: See link below to find your level|
|Persons in Family||1||2||3||4||5||6||7|
|50% of median||$34,650||$39,600||$44,550||$49,450||$53,450||57,400||$61,350|
|FY 2021 Income Limits Documentation System — Summary for Hays County, Texas (huduser.gov)|
The documentation needed for the application submission includes, but is not limited to:
- the amount due in rent,
- utility if not included in rent,
- reasonable accrued late fees,
- W9 (provided by landlord),
- PDF bank deposit statements for months’ rent not paid,
- previous W2, and
- other applicant expenses.
Proof of approval, non-approval, or non-participation is available to landlords and officials.
Renter household must be in Hays County, have an income of no more than 80 percent of area medium income, AND one or more members of the household have either:
- Qualified for unemployment benefits, OR due to or during the pandemic:
- Experienced a reduction in income,
- Incurred significant costs, or
- Experienced other financial hardship.
- AND one or more individuals within the household must demonstrate they:
- Are at risk of experiencing homelessness or housing instability, which may include a past due utility or rent notice or eviction notice, OR
- Live in unsafe or unhealthy housing conditions.
Applicants that meet the eligibility criteria above will be prioritized as follows:
Priority 1– applicants that have an income at or below 50 percent of the area median OR households with one or more individuals that have been unemployed for at least a 90-day period preceding the date of application will be prioritized for assistance for the first twenty-one (21) days of the program.
Priority 2– after phase I is completed, applicants facing immediate eviction that meet the income eligibility requirement will be prioritized.
Priority 3– after Phase I is completed, all applicants that meet the income eligibility requirements and are not facing immediate eviction will be reviewed on a first come, first serve basis.
- Past due rent; Current and future rent
- Reasonable accrued late fees
- Eligible utility fees
Eviction prevention is a county-wide community support effort. If your business or agency is able to support those in need with free faxing, scanning, computer support, etc., or breaking language barriers, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
To learn more, visit our website.
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