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Relief of Emergency Needs for Tenants (RENT) Assistance Program

The Relief of Emergency Needs for Tenants (RENT) Assistance Program provides up to six months of full rent payment for income-eligible Austin renters who have experienced a COVID-19-related income loss.  Applications are open.

Random selection of eligible applications for rent assistance will occur weekly on Fridays at 12pm through the end of December 2020, or until program funds are expended. All applications, regardless of when they are submitted, will be given equal chance in the selection process.

More eviction information, help with paying utilities and related housing services are available on the Housing Resources webpage.

The RENT Application Portal is available in the following languages:

Español  |  Tiếng Việt  |  中文 (简体)  |  中文 (繁體)  한국어Burmese  |  अरबी   |اُردُو

RENT Assistance Program Eligibility

You are eligible for the RENT Assistance Program if you:

  • Live within Austin’s full purpose jurisdiction and make 80% or less of the Median Family Income (MFI) - see chart:
  • Are currently on a lease or contractually bound rental relationship and are not already a recipient of federal rental assistance programs
  • Have documentation showing that you have experienced a COVID-19-related income loss (e.g. paystubs, unemployment notice, etc.).
RENT Assistance Program Benefits

The RENT Assistance Program provides eligible Austin renters:

  • Up to six months of full contracted rent payment for rent incurred between March 1, 2020 through December 31, 2020.  This includes rent that is due now, rent that is overdue and future rent during this time period.
  • Rent payments are made directly to the landlord/property manager/property owner who is owed the rent.
  • Households are deemed eligible at the time applications are submitted; a month to month certification is not needed to receive rent. 
RENT Assistance Program Application Process

Go to the RENT Application Portal for instructions, how-to-apply video, frequently asked questions, and application assistance available in multiple languages.  Applications can be submitted 24 hours a day, seven days a week, from any smartphone, mobile device, or computer with Internet access until program funds are spent.

Application Process - what you can expect:

  1. Renter has COVID-19 income reduction, difficulty paying rent
  2. Renter gathers all necessary documents for RENT application
  3. Renter applies for RENT application
  4. Renter selected through random selection (If an applicant is not selected, the applicant is automatically placed into the next cycle.)
  5. Renter’s eligibility determined
  6. Landlord’s eligibility determined
  7. City of Austin RENT Assistance Program sends funds to Landlord 
Get Help With Your Application

The organizations listed below will be awarded funding to assist with RENT program outreach:

 

Community Based Organization Phone Number Website
AGE of Central Texas 806-677-8380 ageofcentraltx.org
Austin Apartment Association: 512-323-0990 austinaptassoc.com
Austin Area Urban League 512-478-7176 aaul.org
Austin Voices for Education and Youth 512-653-4935 austinvoices.org
BookSpring 512-472-1791 bookspring.org
Dove Springs Proud 512-577-8280  
Economic Growth Business Incubator 512-928-2594 egbi.org
El Buen Samaritano 512-439-8900 elbuen.org
Family Eldercare 512-628-1690 familyeldercare.org
Foundation Communities 512-615-4758 foundcom.org
Goodwill of Central Texas 541-505-0435 goodwillcentraltexas.org
Society of St Vincent DePaul 512-251-6995 ssvdp.org
Youth and Family Alliance (LifeWorks) 512-735-2147 lifeworksaustin.org
YWCA 512-326-1222 ywcaaustin.org

These grants will expand outreach to vulnerable populations facing ongoing financial hardship due to COVID-19 by supporting community-based organizations that have a demonstrated record of success reaching out to the focus populations. Grants to qualifying organizations will not exceed $50,000 per organization. The recommended award are a result of a Request for Applications and evaluation process led in partnership with the City of Austin Equity Office.

The focus populations for the outreach are:

  • Low-income residents in zip codes with high rates of COVID-19
  • African American/Black and Latinx(a/o)
  • Large households or families with children
  • People with disabilities
  • Veterans
  • People with Limited English Proficiency

Promote the RENT Assistance Program 

For community organizations who would like to help promote the RENT program in their communities, the RENT Program Marketing Kit, Community Partner Webinar Recording and Presentation deck are available for download here. Community partners can submit a request for printed RENT Marketing Kit materials to promote the RENT Assistance Program to community members impacted by COVID-19.

The RENT Marketing Kit includes flyers, social media graphics and printable promotional materials available in the following languages:

Español  |  Tiếng Việt  |  中文 (简体)  |  中文 (繁體)  |  한국어 |  Burmese  |  अरबी   |اُردُو

View the recorded RENT Launch Press Conference (English and Spanish)

Eviction Info and Help

Information on Eviction Moratoriums

In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, Mayor Steve Adler issued Order No. 20200930-20 that prohibits landlords from issuing notices to vacate except in certain circumstances, locking out tenants, and removing property. This ordinance expires the 61st day after December 31, 2020.

In addition, the Texas Supreme Court has ruled that all eviction filings must include a U.S. Centers of Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) form where tenants swear that they earn less than $99,000 a year (for individuals), would be homeless if evicted, and have tried to pay rent.

The CDC issued an eviction halt that took effect Sept. 4, and tenants who sign the CDC form cannot be evicted through the end of 2020.

Contact the RENT Assistance Program

Go to the RENT Application Portal for instructions, how-to video, frequently asked questions and application assistance.

Email RENT at AustinRENT@cvrassociates.com or call (512) 488-1397, 8:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. (CST), Monday through Friday during the application period. Individuals needing hearing or speech accessibility using TDD or TTY technology may call Texas Relay Services by dialing 7-1-1 for assistance.

RENT Program Progress Dashboard

The RENT Program Progress Dashboard provides information about households assisted by the Relief of Emergency Needs for Tenants (RENT) Program. The dashboard provides aggregate data on the distribution of rent assistance to households served including the total amount and median amount of rent assistance, median family incomes, household size, number of children, geographic distribution of assisted households, and the race/ethnicity, sex, veteran status, occupations and disability status of the head of household.

The RENT Council District Dashboard summarizes the total number of households assisted and the amount of rent assistance provided for each Council District.

To receive email information with the City’s housing affordability programs, subscribe to the HousingMatters newsletter here.