Travis County officials announced Sept. 7 they are confident the county will meet its deadline to distribute federal housing assistance. The county is in danger of losing any unused money at the end of the month due mandatory distribution targets.

The county needs to spend 65% of $10.7 million from the Emergency Rental Assistance Program of the Coronavirus Response and Relief Supplemental Appropriations Act of 2021 by the end of the month or return the unused portion to the federal government.

As of Sept. 7th, the county has spent just 29% of the $5.7 million it needs to distribute to meet its goal.

On Aug. 31, Travis County officials asked the city of Austin to help in distributing the money. Since then, it has distributed $388,000 more in funding.

There is also $862,000 pending in an auditing phase, according to the county. Once that money is released, the county will be at 45% of its goal.

County Executive Sherri Fleming said she is confident the county will meet its end of month deadline.

The county is working on a bulk applications process, Fleming said. Through this, the county will work with landlords and consultants to identify situations where multiple tenants can be helped. This will use an estimated $1.8 million from the fund.

Fleming said the county is also working on eviction preventative measures and outreach to landlords to identify additional individuals eligible for assistance.

Precinct 2 Commissioner Brigid Shea said she is glad the county is working on outreach and targeting individuals who might not know they are eligible for assistance as renters deal with the “double whammy” of the federal eviction moratorium lapsing and extended unemployment benefits ending in Texas.