City Council Approves $20 million Rent Relief Program to Help Houstonians Who Cannot Pay Rent Because of the COVID-19 Pandemic

HOUSTON -  Mayor Sylvester Turner and Houston City Council today approved a $20 million rent relief package to help Houstonians who cannot pay rent due to economic challenges caused by COVID-19.

Flyer for the rent relief program. Text says: NEED HELP PAYING RENT? YOU MAY BE ABLE TO RECEIVE UP TO $2,112 FOR DELINQUENT RENT FOR AUGUST OR PRIOR MONTHS. LANDLORD (Enrollment: August 17-26, 2020) To qualify, you must agree to these terms: 5 Unit must be inside City of Houston 5 Waive all late fees and interest for that month 5 Allow for interest/penalty-free payment plan for any rent due in excess of $2,112 and any balance in rent through August 5 Refrain from initiating eviction process or rescind any prior eviction process through August 5 Agree to refrain from evictions through September 2020 5 Agree to enter into a payment agreement with all tenants of property under the following conditions and with the following terms: ∙ Tenant represents they have a COVID-related hardship, and if qualified, they applied for assistance ∙ Tenant isn’t in default of a payment agreement they previously negotiated with the landlord ∙ Payment agreement includes any back rent owed before the beginning of the program ∙ Tenant pays the first payment no later than October 1 and the last payment no later than November 30 Next steps: 5 Sign up immediately to be a Participating Landlord 5 Inform qualifying tenants with delinquent rent that they may apply for assistance starting August 17 5 Be sure your tenants have computer and internet access when the tenant system goes live *The Landlord Enrollment process is not a guarantee of rental assistance. TENANT (Enrollment: August 24-30, 2020) To qualify: 5 Tenant’s landlord must be on the Participating Landlord Directory 5 Have unpaid rent from April - August 5 Have a landlord who agrees to the landlord terms 5 Prior to April 2020, household income is less than 80% of Area Median Income or tenant is currently participating in any of the programs listed (see table below) 5 Cannot pay rent due to economic harm or healthcare impact of the COVID-19 Pandemic Next steps: 5 If possible, secure computer or smart phone access to submit your application between August 24 and August 30 5 Check to see if your landlord is on the Participating Landlord List 5 If not, ask your landlord to sign up as a Participating Landlord 5 Prepare to submit your application online or via the telephone number below 5 Ask your landlord for a payment plan. 2020 Houston/The Woodlands/Sugar Land Region. HUD Maximum Annual Household Income Limits* Household Size 80% Area Median Income 1-person $44,150 2-person $50,450 3-person $56,750 4-person $63,050 5-person $68,100 6-person $73,150 7-person $78,200 8-person $83,250. QUALIFYING PROGRAMS • Medicaid • Public Housing Assistance • SNAP • TANF • SSI • National School Lunch Program/Head Start • Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program • WIC • Federal Pell Grant • VA Pension • Tribal Assistance • Harris Health Gold Card. LANDLORD ENROLLMENT August 17 - 26 Residential Property Landlords enroll to be a Participating Landlord. TENANT APPLICATION August 24 - 30 Residential Tenants apply for rental assistance. APPLICATION SELECTION After August 31 Tenant Applications are selected for processing. PAYMENTS TO LANDLORDS After September 8 Payments are processed to Landlords. FOR MORE INFORMATION VISIT or call 832.390.2018¿NECESITA AYUDA PARA PAGAR LA RENTA? PUEDE RECIBIR HASTA $2,112 DE AYUDA PARA LA RENTA NO PAGADA EN AGOSTO O MESES ANTERIORES. PROPIETARIO (Inscripción: Agosto 17-26, 2020) Para calificar, debe aceptar estos términos para inquilinos asistidos: 5 La unidad debe estar dentro de la ciudad de Houston 5 Quitar todos los recargos e intereses por ese mes 5 Autorice un plan de pago sin intereses / multas para cualquier adeudo en el pago de la renta que supere los $2,112 y cualquier saldo en el pago de la renta hasta Agosto 5 Abstenerse de llevar a cabo desalojos hasta Septiembre de 2020 y rescindir de cualquier proceso de desalojo previo Abstenerse de llevar a cabo desalojos hasta Septiembre de 2020 para todos los inquilinos que acepten un plan de pago con los siguientes términos: 5 El inquilino declara que tiene una dificultad relacionada con COVID y, si califica, que ya haya solicitado asistencia 5 El inquilino no está incumpliendo algún acuerdo de pago que negoció previamente con el propietario 5 El acuerdo de pago incluye cualquier pago de renta atrasado antes del comienzo del programa 5 El inquilino realiza el primer pago a más tardar el 1 de Octubre y el último pago a más tardar el 30 de Noviembre Siguientes pasos: 5 Regístrese inmediatamente para ser un Propietario Participante 5 Informe a los inquilinos calificados que tengan adeudos en el pago de la renta que pueden solicitar asistencia a partir del 24 de Agosto 5 Asegúrese de que sus inquilinos tengan computadora y acceso a Internet cuando el sistema de inquilinos este disponible *El proceso de inscripción de Propietarios no garantiza recibir asistencia para el pago de la renta. INQUILINO (Inscripción: Agosto 24-30, 2020) Para calificar: 5 El propietario de la unidad que habita debe estar registrado en la Lista de Propietarios Participantes 5 Estar atrasado en el pago de la renta de Abril a Agosto 5 Que el propietario de la unidad que habita acepte los términos del programa para Propietarios 5 El ingreso familiar previo a Abril de 2020 sea inferior al 80% del ingreso medio del área o que el inquilino participe actualmente en cualquiera de los programas enumerados (consulte la tabla a continuación) 5 No puede pagar la renta debido a los efectos económicos y de salud ocasionados por la Pandemia del COVID-19 Siguientes pasos: 5 Si es posible, asegurese de tener acceso a una computadora o teléfono con Internet para enviar su solicitud entre Agosto 24 y Agosto 30 5 Verifique si el propietario de la unidad que habita está en la Lista de Propietarios Participantes 5 De lo contrario, solicítele que se registre como Propietario Participante 5 Prepárese para enviar su solicitud en línea o a través del número de teléfono que aparece a continuación 5 Pídale al propietario de la unidad que habita un plan de pago *El proceso de inscripción de Inquilinos no garantiza recibir asistencia para el pago de la renta. Límites máximos anuales para el 2020 de ingresos familiares de HUD en la región de Houston / The Woodlands/Sugar Land. Número de integrantes por familia 80% del ingreso medio del área 1-persona $44,150 2-personas $50,450 3-personas $56,750 4-personas $63,050 5-personas $68,100 6-personas $73,150 7-personas $78,200 8-personas $83,250. PROGRAMAS QUE CALIFICAN • Medicaid • Asistencia de Vivienda Pública • SNAP • TANF • SSI • Programa de Almuerzo Escolar Nacional/Head Start • Programa de Asistencia Energética para Hogares de Bajos Ingresos • WIC • Beca Federal Pell • Pensión de Veteranos • Asistencia para las Tribus de Nativos • Tarjeta Dorada del Condado Harris. INSCRIPCIÓN DE PROPIETARIOS Agosto 17 - 26 Propietarios de unidades residenciales pueden inscribirse para ser un Propietario Participante. SOLICITUD DE INQUILINOS Agosto 24 - 30 Los inquilinos solicitan asistencia para el pago de la renta. SELECCIÓN DE SOLICITUDES Después de Agosto 31 Las solicitudes de inquilino son seleccionadas para su procesamiento. PAGOS A PROPIETARIOS Después de Septiembre 8 Los pagos son procesados para que los reciban los propietarios. PARA MÁS INFORMACIÓN VISITE La asistencia telefónica estará disponible el 24 de Agosto llamando al 832.390.2018.

Funding for the City's second rental relief package includes $15 million from the the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act, also known as the CARES Act, and $5 million from private donors:

  • $2 million from the Houston Endowment
  • $1 million from the Greater Houston COVID-19 Recovery Fund
  • $1 million from the Kinder Foundation
  • $1 million from Texans owner and co-founder Janice McNair

The City plans to set aside money for Lone Star Legal Aid and for those who need assistance, but do not qualify for CARES Act dollars.

"I want to stress that there is no perfect formula, and we know there are Houstonians with a lot of needs as a result of the pandemic. This program will provide relief to thousands of families," said Mayor Turner. "If you are at the lowest level, and you are not able to pay rent, pretty much the only place left is on the street. So we want to make sure people don't find themselves forced out of their homes and on the street."

Criteria to qualify for rental relief program:

  • must live in the City of Houston and be behind on rent payments for August or prior months and cannot pay the rent due to economic challenges caused by COVID-19
  • must live in the City of Houston and behind on rent payments for August or prior months and cannot pay the rent due to economic challenges caused by COVID-19
  • Even if only one tenant in an apartment complex qualifies for rental assistance, the no eviction rule applies to all tenants on the property
  • For more information visit

Mayor Turner is also asking the landlords to waive late fees and interest on late payments, agree to a payment plan and refrain from evictions through Sept. 2020.

The mayor thanked the Houston Apartment Association and BakerRipley for their work to make the rental relief program successful.

"I am urging congress to put more money for rent relief in the second CARES Act package and I am calling on our state leadership to address the needs of Texans," said Mayor Sylvester Turner. "Cities cannot do it alone. We are trying our best, but we should not be the only resource looking out for families and business that are suffering because of COVID-19. A lot of people helped get us over the finish line today and I want to thank city council.