Harris County Emergency Rental Assistance (Landlords and Tenants)

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.

Harris county utility assistance

How About Landlords?

Houston and Harris County 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 -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 Harris County program and learn more about its conditions for participation and proof of eligibility here. An already submitted application cannot be updated.

emergency rental assistance program Harris county

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 Receive 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.

Financial assistance for low income families to pay rent in Harris County

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 -19.

Helpful Resources

Houston-Harris County Eviction Intervention Program

United Way of Greater Houston Community Resources

Rental assistance Houston | Help with rent Harris County

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?

After your TRRP application is approved, the program will collaborate with you and your landlord to cover your rent. Typically, the program will make payments directly to your landlord, although in certain situations, 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 rental 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 allow them to confirm which months their payment is 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

Utility Assistance Programs in Texas

Angela Silva

Angela Silva, a dedicated 42-year-old consultant specializing in government housing and rental assistance, hails from Sydney, Australia. She completed her education with a degree in Urban Planning from the University of New South Wales. Angela’s career has been marked by her relentless advocacy for affordable housing solutions, where she has worked extensively with both local governments and international agencies in Asia-Pacific regions. Her initiatives have led to the development of sustainable housing projects that cater to low-income families. Outside of her professional environment, Angela enjoys a peaceful life with her partner and their two adopted dogs, engaging in community gardening and urban sustainability projects.


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