Dallas residents at risk of housing instability or displacement can now receive rent subsidies and relocation assistance from the city.

The assistance comes through the city’s Rent Subsidies and Relocation Assistance Program, which Dallas City Council approved during its April 26 meeting. The program is part of the city’s Racial Equity Plan, which “seeks to reframe racial and economic inclusion as integral to Dallas’ growth,” according to the plan.

The program targets low-income Dallas residents to help them maintain their housing through financial assistance to support lease renewals. It will also help support residents needing to relocate to a new rental due to affordability, housing quality or other concerns, according to council documents.

Jessica Galleshaw, director of the Office of Community Care, said during the council meeting that the financial assistance is intended to be complementary to renters who are able to pay most of their rent. The assistance will “fill the gap” of what they can’t afford.

“It’s not necessarily going to help people that are the most unstable,” Galleshaw said at the meeting. “It’s going to help people who just can’t quite get there on their own and need a little bit of help for a longer period of time ... beyond just a few months of 100% assistance. It’s up to a year or a lease-worth of a smaller level of assistance to help them to stabilize.”

Financial assistance

The program will provide rent subsidy assistance for the length of a renter’s lease up to 12 months, plus a one-time relocation expense.

Renters who are renewing their lease, relocating to a new rental or transferring to a new unit within their current property may receive monthly assistance. That assistance may equal up to the difference between their previous monthly rent and their new rental amount, according to council documents.

For renters who are moving into a less expensive rental unit due to affordability concerns or reduced income, rental assistance may equal up to the difference between the monthly rental amount and 30% of the total household income.

How to qualify

Assistance will only be provided to renters who live in Dallas and/or those that are relocating within Dallas. During the course of the assistance, the recipient will be required to participate in financial coaching or other supportive service.

“The idea is to keep it affordable for folks,” Galleshaw said. “Then, we also would have them working with our financial empowerment coaches over the period of the term that they’re receiving assistance so that they can plan for sustainability in the long term.”

To be eligible for the financial assistance, residents must earn an income of 50% or less of the area’s median income. However, the program will prioritize clients who make 30% or less of the area’s median income, according to council documents. From 2017-21, the median income in Dallas was $58,231, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. Client eligibility will be recertified every 90 days, and their rental assistance may be altered if their income changes.

Households already receiving other federal, state or local rental assistance will not be eligible for this program. In addition, households using rental vouchers will also not be eligible to receive assistance through the program.

For more information, visit the Office of Community Care website.