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Bell County requests another $2 million in American Rescue Plan funds

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Posted at 7:26 PM, Jan 19, 2022
and last updated 2022-01-20 08:52:23-05

BELTON, Texas — The American Rescue Plan continues to rescue Americans from financial stress during the COVID-19 pandemic.

"It goes back to April of last year when the federal government through the arp money made almost $11 million available to Bell County for emergency rental assistance," Bell County Commissioner Bill Schumann told 25 News.

Bell County handed out that money in less than a year and now has applied for another $2 million to help more people.

"People out there are still struggling," Schumann said. "When you look at just the absences that are occurring here the omicron variant shutting down school districts, shutting down businesses. We feel the need will continue to be there for some time."

According to Apartments.com, the average rent in Bell County is about $1,309 for a two-bedroom. That's lower than the national average of $1,343 but with cutbacks, layoffs, and now the new variant causing spikes in cases, some people still struggle to make ends meet.

"When we started back in April of last year, we were dispersing money pretty rapidly," Schumann said. "Based on the reports we're getting on the amount spent per month or per quarter, that number is going down but it's still a significant number."

Funds will be available to anyone who lives in Bell County and is behind on rent or utilities. People who apply for assistance have to prove their situation is due to the pandemic.