Harris County Rental Assistance (Landlords and Tenants)

Harris County rental assistance

About the Harris County Rental Assistance Program

The Houston-Harris County Emergency Rental Assistance program can only accept applications for renters who have actively been notified to vacate the property (must be able to provide a copy of the notification), or who have an active eviction case (it must have a file# or case cause number from the court).

Please visit the ‘Resources‘ tab for additional information about additional resources available. To apply for Shelter Plus Care Program, you may either click ‘Find Assistance’ to upload documents already completed or start a new application.

The City of Houston, Harris County, and the State of Texas have provided more than $290 million in rental assistance to 73,000 households since the coronavirus began in February 2021. The money has been distributed by three agencies with established experience in helping people in need: Baker-Ripley, Catholic Charities of the Archdiocese of Galveston-Houston, and The Alliance.

How About Landlords?

Houston landlords who are interested need to register and enroll their property with the new registration process. Properties that are selected to be processed before December 31, 2021, will still be eligible for registration during this period. For more information and resources relating to COVID-19, including help with finding food, healthcare, and other support, please refer to our Resources page.

Tenant Info

Who Can Apply?

Renters who have an open eviction case (identified by a cause number) or who have received a notice to vacate owing to nonpayment of rent may apply for assistance through the Houston-Harris County Emergency Rental Assistance Program.

If you have been served with an eviction case or cause number, you can apply for this program and learn more about its conditions for participation and proof of eligibility here. An already submitted application cannot be updated.

Checking Application Status

Click HERE to check the status of your rental assistance application. Use your case number or contact information to search for your case.

When Can I Expect an Answer?

The program sorts applications and works on those received in previous months first. The prioritization process ensures that individuals who have the highest need based on household incomes or financial situations will be first. You can also call: 713-874-6609  Mon-Fri 9:00 AM -5:00 PM

How Much Money Will I Receive?

There’s nothing worse than being denied assistance because you have already received some form of housing help. That is why we want to make sure that those who are eligible for our program can get the full amount available, even if they’ve had previous grants or loans!

What if I’ve Already Been Evicted?

Rental assistance is only available to Houston tenants who are facing eviction. To apply for this program, you must currently live at the property and be threatened with removal from it by your landlord or agency.”

Can Rental Assistance be Applied to My New Location if I’ve Moved?

No, it cannot.

My Landlord Does Not Participate in the Program. Can I Still Get Assistance?

Your landlord must participate in the program and accept the rental assistance terms and conditions before any funds or services can be made available.

Will I Directly Recieve a Check?

Rental assistance funds will be paid straight to the landlord. The landlord is required to give you credit for those funds within 5 business days of receipt.

Can I Withdraw My Application if I No Longer Need Government Assistance?

If you no longer need rental assistance, please contact helpwithrent@bakerripley.org to cancel.

Additional FAQs

Is Texas rent relief still accepting applications?

No, the Texas Rent Relief Program (TRRP) is no longer accepting applications. The program ran out of funding on March 26, 2023.

Who qualifies for Texas rent relief?

To qualify for TRRP, you must meet the following criteria:

  • You must be a renter in Texas.
  • You must have a household income that is no more than 80% of the area median income.
  • You must be at risk of homelessness or housing instability.
  • You must have experienced financial hardship due to COVID-19.

How long does Texas rent relief usually take?

The processing time for TRRP applications varied depending on the time of year and the availability of funding. However, in general, it could take several weeks or even months to receive an approval decision.

Is Texas rent relief ending?

Yes, the Texas Rent Relief Program is ending. The program ran out of funding on March 26, 2023. However, there may be other rental assistance programs available in your area. You can contact your local housing authority or 2-1-1 for more information.

What happens after Texas rent relief is approved?

Once your TRRP application is approved, the program will work with you and your landlord to pay your rent. The program will typically make payments directly to your landlord, but in some cases, the payments may be made directly to you.

Can you be evicted if you pay partial rent in Texas?

Yes, you can still be evicted if you pay partial rent in Texas. The law does not require landlords to accept partial rent payments. However, if you are facing eviction, you may be able to negotiate a payment plan with your landlord or file for bankruptcy.

For Landlords

How Do Landlords Ensure Their Tenants Get the Funds?

Applicants must be Houston tenants with a current eviction case (cause) number. Even if a tenant has received rental assistance in the past, they are encouraged to reapply if they are facing eviction.

Tenants typically start the application process by selecting a landlord, therefore it’s important to verify the accuracy of your profile information and activity in the landlord directory.

Can Landlords Change their Contact Information?

It’s a good idea to double-check your information before you apply. Make sure that the landlord has approved all changes in their listing and remove any discrepancies by verifying them with local authorities or others who may know about this property.

How Long Does it Take for Tenants to Recieve Assistance?

The applicant will be prioritized based on household income or other financial situations. Check the status of an application.

What if the Property is Under New Management?

When the property changes ownership, it is necessary to re-enroll. You can find information about that here and click on: “For Landlords”. There’s an application for landlords on your browser that will take you directly into enrollment if you click through! Make sure all of your tenants select their correct landlord or name when applying so nothing gets lost in translation.”

What Happens if Tenants Have Received Assistance Directly?

If the tenant received direct assistance, but you weren’t paid, this is a violation of program terms and conditions. You can report the concern here.

Reallocation of Duplicate Rent Payment

With so many tenants applying for assistance, some landlords were paid twice for the same month. To combat this issue and give them an opportunity to confirm which months their payment covered, a new system has been implemented which notifies our staff and helps schedule a refund.

Can a Duplicate Payment be Reallocated?

The Houston-Harris County program is only responsible for recouping duplicate payments made by Houston-Harris County. For more information from Texas Rent Relief, call 1-833-989-7368 option 3.

Can Reallocation Be Processed Where the Tenant has Moved Out?

The tenant does not need to currently live at the property, but he or she must have lived there during the months you choose to have covered by duplicate payments.

When New Property Owners Receive a Reallocation Request, Are they Responsible?

Yes, since you were the original recipient of the duplicate payment. You will be asked to reallocate duplicate payments to months during which you were the property owner.

Additional Resources

Texas Tenant Advisor
Understanding the Texas Court Process
Illegal Evictions and How to Fight Back
Houston Immigrant Legal Help Resources
Utility Assistance Program

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Emergency Rental Assistance Programs