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.