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Emergency Rental Assistance Program

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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 due to the COVID-19 pandemic and who meet the program criteria. The funds will come from a federal grant.

Step 1: Answer Pre-qualification questions. You will receive notice of whether you are eligible to apply.

Click this link to complete the pre-qualification questionnaire.

If you receive the pre-qualification notice that you are eligible, then move to Step 2, submitting your application.Click this link to open a ticket and begin the application process.
(Do this only if you receive notification that you are pre-qualified.)

Eligible Expenses

Funds may be used to pay the following:

  • Past due rent
  • Current and future rent
  • Reasonable accrued late fees

       Applicant Eligibility

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.

 

Priority Guidelines

Per the federal grant guidelines, Hays County will prioritize assistance as follows:

Priority 1 – applicants (requiring assistance with past due rent or utilities) who have an income at or below 50 percent of the area median OR households with one or more individuals who 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, which began July 12, 2021.

Priority 2 – after Priority 1 is completed, applicants facing immediate eviction who also meet the income eligibility requirements will be prioritized.

Priority 3 – after Priority 2 is completed, all applicants meeting the income eligibility requirements and are not facing immediate eviction will be reviewed on a first-come, first-served basis.

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.

 

Hays County ERA Program

Tenant Application Checklist (download PDF of checklist here)

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

Identification (ONE of the following)
o Government-issued ID (driver’s license, passport, voter registration card, military ID)
 IDs needed for every individual over 18 years old in the household

o Demonstrating Income Below Program Limit: (FOUR)
 All income information required for every individual over 18 years old in the household

o Proof of Income PRIOR to COVID-19 (ONE)
 Jan/Feb 2020 bank statements or screenshots, pay statements

o Proof of Income Loss Due to COVID-19 (ONE)
 March/April statements, termination letter from employer stating loss of hours/employment, any other proof of decline or loss of income due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

o 2020 Total Income (ONE)
 2020 Tax Return or W-2

o Proof of Income 2 Months Prior to Application Date (ONE)
 Bank statements (even if no deposits posted)
 Pay stubs from the two most recent months
 *TWC income is separate from personal income*

o Proof of Residence and Rent Amount (ONE of the following)

o Copy of signed lease

o Risk of Homelessness or Housing Instability (ONE of the following)

o Notice of past-due rent, past-due utilities, or notice to evict

o Financial Hardship (ONE of the following)

o Certification you have qualified for unemployment benefits, OR

o Certification that due to or during the pandemic, you experienced a reduction in income, incurred significant costs, or experienced other financial hardship.

Assistance Requested – up to twelve (12) months of assistance in 3 month increments
o Past due rent or utilities (utility application only) for all months you owed back to March 13, 2020, AND
o Current month and up to 2 more future months of rent or utility assistance.
*Please be sure to upload nine documents minimum to make sure you complete all required categories*

 

Landlord Application Checklist (download as PDF)

The Hays County Emergency Rental Assistance provides up to twelve (12) months of assistance for the following expenses:

  • Rent, Past due rent and reasonable late fees (stemming from non-payment of rent),
  • Utilities and home energy costs, and
  • Past due utility and home energy costs

For faster processing, landlords should coordinate application submission with the tenants for whom assistance is being requested. For the tenant document checklist, please contact erap@co.hays.tx.us

  • Valid ID
    • Government- issued ID (ONLY if individual/sole proprietor)
  • Taxpayer Information
  • Proof of Tenant Residence/ Occupancy and Rent Amount (Once of the following)
    • Copy of signed lease or,
    • Rental term and amount of rent
  • Eviction Information
    • Court Docket #
    • Justice of the Peace Precinct #
    • County of the Court
  • Payment Information
    • Will be obtained from W-9
    • Please provide address if address is not the same as W-9

Please be sure that you certify all information provided in the application is true and that you have not already received assistance for the same expenses covered by other rent or utility assistance programs.

About the Emergency Rental Assistance Program in Hays County

Beginning July 12, 2021, 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.

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 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 program began July 12.

Hays County Emergency Rental Assistance (ERA) Program

Hays County Historic Courthouse
111 E. San Antonio St.,
Rm. 303
San Marcos, TX 78666
Email: erap@co.hays.tx.us
Phone: 512.878.6685

Hays County Home Page

Learn more about Hays County by visiting our website.
Hays County