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Rent and utility assistance still here to help renters and landlords

Posted at 7:52 AM, Jul 01, 2021
and last updated 2021-07-01 08:52:27-04

BRAZOS COUNTY, TX — Brazos County residents still struggling to come up with rent can turn to this local aid intended to help both renters and landlords.

Brazos County was awarded $2 million to provide community members still struggling with the impact of the pandemic assistance to cover their costs of rent.

The Brazos County rental assistance program is still taking applications for renters and landlords who qualify. This aid is helping to pay missed rent as far back as March 13, 2020.

The financial assistance will cover past due and at least 3 months of rent following the application date.

According to Justice of the Peace precinct three Judge Rick Hill, he has witnessed the benefits of this rental assistance firsthand.

“The Brazos county rent relief program has been very helpful. Landlords and tenants have been utilizing that. They’ll come to court if they're willing to enter into the program, or maybe they're being processed into the program then we reset the case,” said Judge Rick Hill, Justice of the Peace precinct three.

If you’re making 80% less than the area median according to your household size. For example, a family of four income limit is $55,050.

Also, if you have not received any other form of rental assistance and you have been financially impacted by COVID-19. Then these are just a few of the qualifications you would need in order to apply.

It’s also important to note that both the landlord and tenant can apply to receive this aid even if the landlord was in the process of taking legal action.

According to Texas Houser's Texans have accumulated $2.8 billion in late rent fees. Another huge initiative tackling this issue is known as the Texas Rent Relief program which is helping those still struggling.

This statewide rent relief program is combating this issue with $1.3 billion available for rent or utility assistance.

Brazos County was one of the first locations to pilot this initiative. They were given about $700,000 that went directly to supporting those in need.

Now, this financial support is provided statewide.

“The individuals can actually apply for both the Texas rent relief program and the Brazos county rent relief program and we encourage to do both,” said Hill. “The pandemic sort of brought this to light that we will have a rent relief program for individuals who may be down on their luck for a few months for various reasons,”

Tenants who’ve received unemployment benefits since March 13, 2020, or landlords who have not received payment since this date are individuals who can apply.

Although a lot of hardship came from COVID-19, you can say there were a few positives. According to Justice of the Peace precinct three Judge Rick Hill, he foresees a more permanent rent relief initiative will be pursued by the Texas Supreme Court.

Once an application is approved payment is provided directly to the landlord.