Four financial relief options for people who live, work and study in Richardson

Richardson residents, business owners and students may be eligible for assistance to help alleviate financial hardships caused by COVID-19. (Courtesy Adobe Stock)
Richardson residents, business owners and students may be eligible for assistance to help alleviate financial hardships caused by COVID-19. (Courtesy Adobe Stock)

Richardson residents, business owners and students may be eligible for assistance to help alleviate financial hardships caused by COVID-19. (Courtesy Adobe Stock)

Richardson residents, business owners and students may be eligible for assistance to help alleviate financial hardships caused by COVID-19.

Parts of the city fall within Dallas County and Collin County, both of which have developed programs to help residents and business owners weather the beleaguered economy. Information about those programs is listed below.

Richardson is also home to The University of Texas at Dallas, which has made a financial relief option available to its students.

Collin County recently received $50 million in Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act money from the state. Following the May 12 approval of an interlocal cooperation agreement by Collin County Commissioners Court, a $2.4 million grant was given to Richardson.

Dallas County Commissioners Court approved May 19 the disbursement of CARES Act funds to cities. For Richardson, the payment will be roughly $4.2 million.


Deputy City Manager Don Magner said the city has not yet determined how CARES Act funding will be used in Richardson. The money could be funneled toward residents or used to cover direct costs associated with the city’s response to the pandemic, Magner added.

“We really need to better understand what the Dallas [County] and Collin County programs entail and cover to determine what needs are not being addressed,” Magner said in an email.

For more information on resources available to Richardson residents, visit this link.

Collin County Emergency Housing and Living Assistance Program

Richardson residents who live in the Collin County portion of the city, which begins at Lookout Road and proceeds north, can apply for that county's program.

Individuals must earn no more than 200% of the 2020 average median income in Collin County to be eligible. For a four-person household, the income limit is $172,400, according to the county.

The maximum grant is $2,500 per month and can be distributed for up to four months.

Food assistance is also available through the program in the form of a voucher that can be used at a food pantry or Walmart. The amount can exceed no more than $50 per person per week, according to the county.

Only one applicant is allowed per household. An asset test to determine a person’s eligibility is currently under development, Magner said.

The program will be administered through housing authorities in Collin County. Richardson residents who wish to apply will go through the Plano Housing Authority for assistance.

Applications will be available June 1. For more information, visit this link.

Dallas County Emergency Housing Assistance Program

Richardson residents who live in the Dallas County portion of the city can apply for rent, mortgage and utility assistance through the Dallas County Emergency Housing Assistance Program.

The program is designed to quickly provide short-term housing assistance to individuals and households that are at risk of becoming homeless because of the pandemic, according to court documents.

Individuals must earn no more than 80% of the Dallas area median income to be eligible. For a four-person household, that income limit is $68,950, according to a county spokesperson. Applicants must prove that their income has been affected by the pandemic, such as through job loss, reduced hours, a reduction in pay, increased health care expenses, additional child care expenses and more, according to the county.

The maximum amount of assistance is $1,500 per month for up to three months. The money can be used to make rent or mortgage payments or to pay utilities incurred after March 1.

Funds will be issued in the form of a grant and will be paid directly to the landlord or mortgagee, according to county documents.

The program is scheduled to begin in June. Information has not yet been posted onlin but should be available soon, according to the county spokesperson.

Dallas County Emergency Business Assistance Program

Small businesses in Dallas County with 100 employees or fewer are eligible for this program, according to the city of Richardson.

The maximum amount of the loan is $15,000. It can be used in one of two ways: to cover three months of lease payments, utilities and rental equipment or to cover the business’s payroll between Jan. 1-Feb. 29, plus $3,000 in startup capital. The grant will equal whichever option is greater but less than $15,000, according to the city.

The loan is forgivable assuming the business remains open for at least four months. One quarter of the amount is forgiven each month the business continues.

The program is scheduled to begin in June. Information is not yet available online.

UT Dallas Emergency Aid

Students at The University of Texas at Dallas can apply for aid in two ways. Some money has been made available through the CARES Act; however, the university has also set up its own fund for students who are struggling.

Eligible students who wish to apply for CARES Act money must have been enrolled at UT Dallas during the spring 2020 semester in a degree or certificate program. They must also be U.S. citizens and meet standards of academic progress, according to UT Dallas.

The money can be used to cover costs linked to the disruption of campus operations. Eligible expenses include food, rent, utilities, technology, course supplies, moving and travel, health care and child care, according to the university. The maximum amount of the grant is determined on a case-by-case basis.

More information about CARES Act eligibility for students is available here.

The Student Emergency Financial Assistance Fund helps cover unanticipated expenses brought on by the pandemic.

Some of the eligibility requirements mirror what is required by the CARES Act. However, students who apply for the university’s fund must also prove they have suffered financial hardship and have no other financial resources available to them.

For more information on financial relief available to UT Dallas students, visit this link.
By Olivia Lueckemeyer
Olivia Lueckemeyer graduated in 2013 from Loyola University New Orleans with a degree in journalism. She joined Community Impact Newspaper in October 2016 as reporter for the Southwest Austin edition before her promotion to editor in March 2017. In July 2018 she returned home to the Dallas area and became editor of the Richardson edition.


MOST RECENT

Group fitness classes are among the services that will be offered at Monster Bodybuilding Sports & Fitness when it opens in January. (Courtesy Monster Bodybuilding Sports & Fitness)
Monster Bodybuilding Sports & Fitness set to open in Richardson in January

The business will offer group classes and personal training as well as mixed martial arts training for a range of ages.

The new Children's Advocacy Center of Collin County facility is expected to open in fall 2020. (Courtesy Children's Advocacy Center of Collin County)
Children's Advocacy Center of Collin County to open new facility in McKinney

The need for the 40,000-square-foot facility comes from the projection that the number of children in the county will triple over the next 25 years.

The Learning Experience is a national academy of early-childhood education. (Courtesy The Learning Experience)
Early-education school The Learning Experience is now open in Richardson

The 10,000-square-foot facility includes 10 classrooms with indoor and outdoor play areas for students ages 6 weeks to 6 years.

Students and staff who show symptoms while at school will be able to get tested for the coronavirus. (Courtesy Adobe Stock)
Richardson ISD launches rapid COVID-19 testing program

Symptomatic students and staff members can now get tested at school.

The Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board has launched a campaign to address declining college enrollment numbers across the state since the pandemic started. (Courtesy Pexels)
Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board launches campaign to boost college enrollment

The decline in college enrollment across the state of Texas has prompted several agencies to partner up and create online resources for students and counselors.

As of Nov. 30, patients confirmed to have COVID-19 filled 16.1% of hospital beds in Trauma Service Area E, which includes Collin, Denton, Tarrant and Dallas counties among others. (Courtesy Adobe Stock)
North Texas hovers above key COVID-19 hospitalization threshold as further restrictions loom

North Texas businesses could face additional restrictions—including the closure of some bars—if area hospitals do not see a reversal in the number of COVID-19 patients within a matter of days.

The restaurant opened Nov. 25. (Courtesy Chipotle Mexican Grill)
Chipotle Mexican Grill opens location with drive-thru in Richardson

A Dec. 2 fundraiser from 4-8 p.m. will support Berkner High School by raising money for student technology fees and school supplies.

Meals on Wheels Collin County expects to serve about 300,000 meals to homebound seniors and disabled adults throughout the county during 2020. (Courtesy Meals on Wheels Collin County)
Meals on Wheels expects to serve 300K meals in Collin County this year

Meals on Wheels Collin County is on pace to provide 300,000 meals this year to nearly 2,000 seniors.

Blueberry Cheesecake, Cookies n' Cream and Caramel Crack are among the most popular flavors at Tongue in Cheek Ice Cream. (Makenzie Plusnick/Community Impact Newspaper)
Local firefighter serves up one-of-a-kind flavors at Tongue in Cheek Ice Cream in Richardson

The business offers 24 flavors ranging from traditional, such as chocolate and vanilla, to unique, such as Banana Cream Pie and Caramel Crack.

Artio Birth Care opened in October at 614 S. Edmonds Lane, Ste. 205, Lewisville. The education center offers classes and groups for people preparing for childbirth. (Courtesy Artio Birth Care)
Artio Birth Care opens in Lewisville, plus 7 more DFW business updates

Here are eight recent business updates from across the Dallas-Fort Worth area.

D'Ambrosio's #1 Pizza Pub will offer customers a friendly environment to enjoy a more contemporary style of Chicago deep-dish pizza. (Courtesy Adobe Stock)
D'Ambrosio's pizzeria opens in Grapevine and more DFW news

Read the latest business and community news from the Dallas-Fort Worth area.

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott announced a COVID-19 vaccine distribution plan for the state Nov. 23 for a vaccine he said could be available as soon as December. (Courtesy Adobe Stock)
Texas Gov. Greg Abbott announces COVID-19 vaccine distribution plan

The vaccine could start being distributed "as early as next month," according to a Nov. 23 news release.