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Emergency Rental Assistance Program

en espanol

The Hays County COVID Emergency Rental Assistance program was created after receiving ERA1 funds from the U.S. Department of the Treasury to provide rent, utilities and housing stability to qualifying households affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. Individuals who are residents of Hays County can receive assistance by applying online or in person. If application assistance is needed, individuals may submit questions/concerns to or call 512-878-6685. If approved, funds are issued to the landlord of the property or the utility provider. However, if the landlord or utility provider does not accept the funds after three attempts, the funds will then be provided directly to the applicant. 

Due to the high demand and limited grant funds, the Hays County Emergency Rental Assistance (ERA) Program is closed to new applications as of May 19, 2022.

Applications are no longer being accepted.

Hays County ERA is reviewing and processing the applications already on file, prioritizing those in eviction proceedings, until all remaining funds are allocated.

All applications pending before May 19, 2022, will continue to be processed for Hays County households with an emergency need for assistance with rental arrears related to the COVID-19 pandemic.

All awards are subject to the availability of funds. A request for assistance does not guarantee payment of the amount requested and the right to amend or adjust the request for assistance based upon available funding is expressly reserved.

En Español

A partir del 19 de mayo de 2022, El Programa de Asistencia emergencia para Alquileres del Condado de Hays no está aceptando nuevas solicitudes debido a la alta demanda y fondos limitados. No aceptaran solicitudes en este momento. Por favor vuelva a visitar para nueva información del programa.

El Programa de Asistencia emergencia para Alquileres del Condado de Hays está revisando y procesando las solicitudes que ya están archivadas, dando prioridad a las que están en proceso de desalojo hasta que se asignen todos los fondos restantes.

Las solicitudes pendientes antes del 19 de mayo de 2022 seguirán procesándose para los hogares del condado de Hays que necesiten asistencia de emergencia con los alquileres atrasados relacionados con la pandemia de COVID-19.

Ayuda disponible están sujetos a la disponibilidad de fondos. Una solicitud de asistencia no garantiza el pago de la cantidad solicitada y se reserva expresamente el derecho de modificar o ajustar la solicitud de asistencia en función de los fondos disponibles.


To determine eligibility using the Average Median Income Table, use the following instructions:

  • Determine Household Members
  • Assess if Household Income is Less than the amount for 80% of Average Median Income

Qualification A

To determine if you are eligible for assistance based off of Qualification A, you must answer yes to the follow question:

  • Did you or a member of your household qualify for unemployment benefits?

If you answered “No”, you may be eligible under Qualification B.

Qualification B

To determine if you are eligible for assistance based off of Qualification B, you must answer yes to the follow question:

  • Due to or during the pandemic did you or a member of yourhousehold experience one of the following:

             A reduction in income?
            An increase of significant costs?
            A financial hardship?

If you answered “Yes”, you may be eligible pending your response to the following question.

  • Can one or more individuals within your household demonstrate they are:

           At risk of experiencing homelessness or housing instability? 
           Living in unsafe or unhealthy housing conditions

If you answered “Yes”, you are eligible under Qualification B.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • What is the status of my (AAR) application?
    • Hays County is prioritizing helping as many residents as possible. As a result, the County will focus on new applications (ERA) submitted. Applicants who have already received funding will have their additional applications (AAR) reviewed after the processing of the new applications.
  • Will my application be funded?
    • All awards are subject to the availability of funds. A request for assistance does not guarantee payment.
  • When will my payment be issued?
    • We anticipate that all funding will be allocated by mid-June and that all payments will be issued by end of June.
  • When will there be a decision on my application?
    • Applications stopped being accepted on May 19, 2022. We hope to have all remaining funds allocated by mid-June 2022.
  • How will I know if my application will be funded?
    • We anticipate that all funding will be allocated by mid-June. Applications that are not going to be funded will be notified via the email used to apply for funds.
  • What do I tell my landlord in the meantime?
    • The application is under review and a review should be completed by mid-June.
  • What if I have not received any previous payments but submitted only forward rent?

If the forward rent becomes past due in June, then it will be added to Tier II and be processed in order as long as funds are available. We do not anticipate paying bills that become past due in July.

En Español

  • ¿Cual es el estado de mi aplicación?
    • El condado de Hays está priorizando ayudar a tantos residentes como sea posible. En resultado, el Condado se concentrará en las nuevas solicitudes (ERA) sometidas. Los solicitantes que ya hayan recibido fondos tendrán sus solicitudes adicionales (AAR) revisadas después del procesamiento de los nuevos solicitantes.
  • ¿Aprobaran fondos para mi solicitud?
    • Aprobaciones están sujetas a la disponibilidad de fondos. Una solicitud de asistencia no garantiza el pago.
  • ¿Cuándo se emitirá mi pago?
    • Anticipamos que los fondos se asignarán a mediados de junio y que los pagos se emitirán a fines de junio.
  • ¿Cuándo habrá una decisión sobre mi solicitud?
    • Paramos de aceptar nuevos solicitudes el 19 de mayo de 2022. Esperamos tener todos los fondos restantes asignados para mediados de junio de 2022.
  • • ¿Cómo sabré si mi solicitud será financiada?
    • Anticipamos que todos los fondos se asignarán a mediados de junio. Las solicitudes que no vayan a ser financiadas serán notificadas a través del correo electrónico que usaron para su solicitud.
  • • ¿Qué le digo a mi propietario mientras tanto?
    • La solicitud está bajo revisión y anticipa decisión a mediados de junio.
  • • ¿Qué sucede si no he recibido ningún pago anterior pero solo presenté el alquiler adelantado?
    • Si la renta a plazo vence en junio, se agregará al Nivel II y se procesará siempre y cuando haya fondos disponibles. No anticipamos pagar facturas vencidas en julio.
Si el alquiler futuro vence en junio, se agregará al Nivel II y se procesará en orden siempre que haya fondos disponibles. No anticipamos el pago de facturas vencidas en julio.

ERA Office Hours

The ERA office is located at the Hays CountyHistoric Courthouse – 111 E. San Antonio St.,Rm. 303, San Marcos, TX 78666.
Our office is open from 8 a.m. – Noon and 1-5 p.m.

Contact the ERA Office:
Phone: 512.878.6685

ERA Program Update – May 19, 2022

Hays County’s Emergency Rental Assistance Program has processed more than 1,300 applications since the program rolled out in July 2021. Additionally, as of May 13, 2022, Hays County has committed more than 95% of available funding from the U.S. Department of the Treasury. Due to the limited funds remaining, unfortunately we will not be able to assist all those who have applied. 

ERA Program Update – Feb. 11, 2022

Hays County is providing an update on the status of the COVID-19 Emergency Rental Assistance (ERA) Program, which provides rent and utility assistance to Hays County residents impacted by the COVID pandemic.

Funded by the $6.9 million ERA1 grant from the U.S. Treasury Department, the ERA program has paid out about $1.2 million to landlords, utility companies and hotels since it began in July 2021.

Under the federal guidelines for this grant, Hays County is periodically reviewed by the Treasury Department to assess how much funding has been distributed. In September, the Treasury recaptured approximately $772,791 of the ERA funds as Hays County had not met a milestone for distribution.

On February 10, the Treasury Department recaptured $1.7 million for the same reason. Prior to that date, county officials sent a request that the Treasury either not recapture the funds or, if they must be recaptured, to re-allocate them back to the county based on our current and projected level of efficiency. In that letter, Hays County outlined how during the first six months of the program, under a program manager who resigned in early January, the county distributed about $757,000 and helped 384 applicants (commonly referred to with the ERA office as tickets).

In the one-month period since the departure of the program manager, the ERA program has processed 155 ERA tickets for assistance and paid out more than $430,000. Another $113,000 is committed to hotels for housing stability.

“We are on track to distribute the ERA1 funding in a more efficient manner,” said Hays County Commissioner Walt Smith, Pct. 3. “With a more streamlined process in place, we believe more Hays County residents can be helped in a shorter amount of time.”

The county auditor’s office confirmed that the U.S. Treasury Office received the county’s letter about the ERA Program and created an open ticket. It is not known when the federal office will issue a decision.

“Hays County is hopeful that the U.S. Treasury will take our request under serious consideration,” said Hays County Commissioner Mark Jones, Pct. 2.

Commissioner Debbie Ingalsbe, Pct. 1, agreed.

“If they see the efficiencies and see how we are working to complete more tickets, we believe Treasury will agree that losing the funding would mean we would lose the ability to help that many more residents in jeopardy of being evicted or having necessary utility services shut off,” she said.

Additional Resources

If you are experiencing any of the issues below, click the links for community resources that may be able to assist you. (This is not an exhaustive list of all agencies in Hays County.)

Domestic Abuse

Hays-Caldwell Women’s Center

Housing Instability

Southside Community Center (San Marcos)
Salvation Army
St. Vincent de Paul Society

Income/Financial Instabillity

United Way

Food Instablility

Hays County Food Bank

Hays County COVID ERA Program Tenant Application Checklist

Using the following checklist to learn which documents you need to apply for the Hays County COVID ERA program. When possible, tenants should coordinate their application with their landlord for faster assistance. For the landlord documents checklist, please contact

(ONE of the following)
 Government-issued ID (driver’s license, passport, voter registration card, military ID)
        NOTE: IDs are needed for every individual over 18 years old listed as a tenant.

    2020 or 2021 total Income (ONE of the following)
       2020 Tax Return OR W-2

 Proof of Income* Two (2) Months Prior to Application Date (ONE of the following)
Income Below Program Limit:
            Pay stubs from the two most recent months
              • Bank statements (even if no deposits posted)
              • TWC income (separate from personal income)
*All income information is required for every individual over 18 years old in the household

Proof of Residence
     Copy of full signed lease

Risk of Homelessness or Housing Instability
(ONE of the following)
     Notice of past-due rent (up to date ledger) and  Notice to evict (if applicable)
 Past due utilities

COVID Connection Form

Landlord Dcouments (we can request these if landlord email is provided)

*Please be sure to upload seven (7) documents minimum.  All documents MUST BE COMPLETE or ticket will be closed within two (2) weeks of opening.


Eviction Info

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 administrator for tenant flyers and encourage tenants with arrears rent (past due) to apply. If approved, payments from the ERA program grant are made directly to the landlord or utility company.


Hays County Emergency Rental Assistance (ERA) Program

Hays County Historic Courthouse
111 E. San Antonio St.,
Rm. 303
San Marcos, TX 78666
Phone: 512.878.6685

Hays County Home Page

Learn more about Hays County by visiting our website.
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