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COVID-19 & Texas Law

This guide is updated to reflect information pertaining to the COVID-19 pandemic. Information in this guide is subject to change at any time.

Rent & Legal Assistance

See our Eviction page for information on the CDC's eviction moratorium and other eviction topics.

Texas Rent Relief Program (TDHCA)

Due to COVID-19, the Texas Rent Relief program was created by the Texas Department of Housing and Community Affairs (TDHCA) in order to provide Texas tenants with financial assistance for rent and utility bills (including past due rent and utilities). TDHCA began accepting applications from landlords and tenants on February 15, 2021.

The Texas Rent Relief program helps renters with financial relief for the following:

  • Past due, current, and up to 3 months of expected rent costs
  • Past due, current, and up to 3 months of expected utility and home energy expenses
  • If funds are still available, tenants can apply for an additional 3 months of aid after the initial 3 months have passed

Renters can apply for assistance with these costs back to March 13th, 2020. Both landlords and tenants are eligible to apply for this program.

For Landlords

A landlord can create an account to apply for unpaid or future rent on behalf of their tenants. The tenant can then sign the application and the payments will be issued directly to the landlord. Any payments issued to the landlord through the TDHCA program must be used to pay the tenant's rental balance.

For Tenants

Tenants must meet all 5 qualifications in order to be eligible for relief:

  • The tenant must make 80% or less of AMI (average median income)
  • The rental property must be the tenant's primary residence
  • The tenant must be at risk of homelessness or unsafe/unsanitary living conditions if they were evicted
  • The tenant must be facing financial hardship. This can include receiving unemployment benefits or other financial hardship, like high medical bills, extra childcare costs, loss of work hours, inability to work, etc.
  • The tenant will not receive additional rental assistance for the months covered by the TDHCA program. Tenants are welcome to apply for additional rental aid, but if they are approved for aid elsewhere after receiving TDHCA funds for the specified time, they will need to return the TDHCA funds.

This program cannot be used for the following:

  • Rental units higher than 150% of Fair Market Rent
  • Section 8/voucher program housing. Tenants in Section 8 housing should get in touch with their local Housing Authority to recertify their income.
  • Public housing units. Tenants in public housing should review rental resources on the US. Dept. of Housing & Urban Development's website.
  • Recently vacated units (though tenants' eviction or otherwise)

If you are not sure whether you qualify for relief, TDHCA has a list of questions you can use to find out if you qualify.  You can also look up your area's median income to determine your eligibility. 

How Does It Work?

Payments are made directly to the landlord or utility provider. A tenant can ask their landlord to apply on their behalf, or the tenant can apply directly and the system will follow up with the landlord for information.  If your landlord does not agree to accept the payment, the payment will be made directly to the tenant after a period of 21 days of attempted outreach to the landlord or utility provider.

Other Rental Assistance

Legal Assistance

Utility Relief

More help?