Travis County opens application for rent, mortgage assistance program as eviction protections expire

Apartments
Travis County has dedicated an additional $9.2 million for rent and mortgage assistance programs. (Community Impact Newspaper staff)

Travis County has dedicated an additional $9.2 million for rent and mortgage assistance programs. (Community Impact Newspaper staff)

Travis County residents are able to apply for assistance for up to three months of rent or mortgage payments under a new program launched by the county March 1.

The $9.2 million program is funded through Travis County’s general fund and the Local Fiscal Recovery Fund, a provision of the federal American Rescue Plan Act, according to a release from the county.

Applications will be accepted from March 1-Sept. 30 or until all available funds are dispersed, according to the release.

The application window for the rent and mortgage assistance program opens the same day as eviction protections prompted by the COVID-19 pandemic expire. Under an order issued Dec. 29 by Judge Nick Chu, Travis County justice of the peace for Precinct 5, eviction trials were required to be paused for 30 days to allow the renter time to seek out assistance, contact an attorney and negotiate a settlement.

“Travis County recognizes there is still a great need for rental assistance,” said Pilar Sanchez, county executive for health and human services, in the release. “This program will help families remain in their homes and ease some financial burden as they continue to deal with the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic and housing affordability issues.”


To be eligible for the rent and mortgage assistance program, applicants must live in Travis County and have a household income less than 250% of the federal poverty income guidelines, according to the county.

If approved, payments will be made directly to the landlord or mortgage company and will not exceed the average rent rates in Austin, which range from $1,334 for an efficiency to $2,795 for four or more bedrooms, the county said in the release.

Travis County previously halted applications to its Emergency Rental Assistance Program on Dec. 5. Under that program, the county provided more than $18 million in rental assistance to 4,382 households, according to the release.

Residents can apply online at www.traviscountytx.gov/apply or pick up a paper application at a Travis County Community Center.
By Claire Shoop

Reporter, Northwest Austin

Claire joined Community Impact Newspaper in September 2019 as the reporter for the Sugar Land/Missouri City edition and in December 2021 moved to Austin to become the reporter for the Northwest Austin edition. She graduated from The University of Texas at Austin in May 2019 where she studied journalism, government and Arabic. While in school, Claire was a fellow for The Texas Tribune, worked for the student newspaper, The Daily Texan, and spent a semester in Washington, D.C. She enjoys playing cards with her family and listening to the Boss, Bruce Springsteen.