View the Texas Rent Relief Program Dashboard (Dashboard in English)

For Information, Call Toll-Free:

1-833-9TX-RENT • 1-833-989-7368

Monday-Saturday • 8 a.m. - 6 p.m. CST • Help is available in multiple languages.

Frequent Questions

What is the purpose of the Texas Rent Relief Program?

The Texas Rent Relief Program provides rental and utility assistance to qualifying applicants to prevent housing instability, potential eviction, utility disconnections, and financial hardships for tenants and landlords as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.

FAQ ID: 7892
Published Date: August 1, 2021
Who is eligible to receive assistance from the Texas Rent Relief Program?

Renter households must have an income no more than 80 percent of area median income (AMI) AND one or more members of the household must attest in writing that they have either:

  • qualified for unemployment benefits, OR
  • due to or during the pandemic:
    • experienced a reduction in income,
    • incurred significant costs, or
    • experienced other financial hardship.
  • AND one or more individuals within the household must demonstrate:
    • That they are at risk of experiencing homelessness or housing instability, which may include a past due utility or rent notice or eviction notice, OR
    • That unless they receive rental assistance, they would have to move to an unsafe/unhealthy environment like a shared living situation or emergency shelter.
FAQ ID: 1877
Published Date: March 29, 2021
Is there a U.S. citizenship requirement? Can undocumented residents apply?

Evidence of legal status is not required. The funding for this program is part of the Coronavirus stimulus bill passed by Congress; because it is emergency assistance, documentation of household legal status is not required.

FAQ ID: 4828
Published Date: March 29, 2021
Will any applications be given priority?

For applications received during the first twenty-one (21) days the Program was open, before 11:59 pm Central Standard Time on March 8, 2021, the following applicants were given priority:

  • Households with income at or below 50% Area Median Income (AMI), or
  • Households where one or more household members were unemployed as of the date of application for assistance, AND one or more household members (this can be the same household member) were unemployed for 90 days prior to the date of application for assistance.

All applications meeting the criteria above that were received during the first twenty-one (21) days will be prioritized first during application review.

After the priority cases described above, applications from tenants who have been sued for eviction have the highest priority level for being reviewed, followed by applications from tenants who have received utility disconnection notices. These applications are being prioritized to decrease processing time and increase the likelihood of evictions and utility disconnections being diverted.

After all priority applications have been processed, the Texas Rent Relief Program will proceed with the review and processing of all other applications, including those submitted during the first twenty-one (21) days. All non-priority applications will be reviewed and processed on a first-come first-served basis until all funds are committed.

FAQ ID: 2837
Published Date: August 1, 2021
Who can apply starting February 15th?

All applicants were allowed to apply during the first twenty-one (21) days, whether they met the priority criteria or not.

After all priority applications have been processed, the Texas Rent Relief Program will proceed with the review and processing of all other applications, including those submitted during the first twenty-one (21) days. All non-priority applications will be reviewed and processed on a first-come first-serve basis until all funds are committed.

FAQ ID: 2555
Published Date: March 29, 2021
What financial assistance is provided?

Program funds may be used to provide up to fifteen (15) months of assistance for the following expenses:

  • rent, past due rent and reasonable late fees (stemming from non-payment of rent),
  • utilities and home energy costs, and
  • past due utility and home energy costs

While applicants may be assisted for up to 15 months, the Program will not commit funds for prospective (future) rent for more than a 3-month period at a time. Applicants must reapply every 3 months and will only be assisted if funds are still available. The program cannot pay for food for households.

Rent and utility expenses are eligible for assistance starting March 13, 2020 (the date of Governor Abbott’s emergency declaration for Texas). Prorated requests for the month of March 2020 are allowed.

FAQ ID: 8523
Published Date: March 29, 2021
Is there a limit on how much a unit’s rent can be to receive rental assistance?

Rent may not exceed $4,600 per month. Units that exceed the limit are not eligible for assistance from the Texas Rent Relief Program. Tenants in such cases should look at other rental assistance programs.

FAQ ID: 6997
Published Date: April 20, 2021
What is the maximum amount of rental assistance?

Rent will be provided assistance up to $4,600 per month. Program funds may be used to provide up to fifteen (15) months of assistance.

FAQ ID: 5282
Published Date: April 20, 2021
Does a tenant have to be in arrears or can they just be struggling and not able to pay next month?

No, a tenant does not necessarily have to be in arrears. However, to be eligible, households must have a past due utility or rent bill OR attest that if they do not receive assistance they would have to live in an unsafe or unhealthy environment during the pandemic, like a shared living situation or emergency shelter.

FAQ ID: 1371
Published Date: March 29, 2021
Can you please elaborate more regarding living in unsafe/unhealthy living conditions? What determines this situation?

The household must be willing to state that without this rental assistance they may be put in a living situation that would be considered unsafe or unhealthy. This may include an overcrowded shared living situation or emergency shelter where risk for COVID transmission may be heightened. A tenant’s current unit need not be unsafe/unhealthy and no inspection of current units will occur for this requirement.

FAQ ID: 1144
Published Date: March 29, 2021
Is there a step-by-step guide to applying for assistance for landlords and/or tenants?

We already have some tutorials available here https://texasrentrelief.com/forms-resources/ and will be adding additional ones as well in the same page.

FAQ ID: 8673
Published Date: March 29, 2021
Where can I find the landlord and tenant requirements on the website?

For information specific to landlords and tenants, review the Landlord FAQs section and Tenant FAQs section on this page. Additional program documents can be found online at: https://texasrentrelief.com/forms-resources/.

FAQ ID: 1337
Published Date: March 29, 2021
Will tenants and landlords be notified when a payment is made?

The landlord, tenant, and/or utility provider will be notified automatically of payment by email (if an email address is present in the system) after the tenant, landlord, and pay request have been determined eligible and payment calculation has been completed and verified by the payment team. An applicant can also check the status of their application at any time through the online application portal, and the status will reflect when a payment has been made.

FAQ ID: 3437
Published Date: March 29, 2021

General Program Questions

How long will the Texas Rent Relief Program portal be open?

The portal will remain open and will accept applications until all funds have been committed to applicants.

FAQ ID: 1419
Published Date: March 29, 2021
When will I know if my application is approved?

For applications received during the first twenty-one (21) days that do not meet the priority criteria, applicants should expect that it may be several weeks before they are informed of the status of their application.

FAQ ID: 9669
Published Date: March 29, 2021
Why was the priority status deadline extended to March 8?

The priority status deadline was extended because of power outages during Winter Storm Uri that prevented many from being able to apply.

FAQ ID: 2222
Published Date: March 29, 2021
Should the tenant or landlord complete the tenant’s application? Who should complete their application first?

The landlord is encouraged to start a tenant’s request in the system so that it is clearly and correctly associated with the property and landlord. The system will then send an email to the tenant asking them to provide any missing documentation, including income documentation, and electronically sign the application.

For tenants without an email address, landlords can print the application form, obtain a physical signature, and upload the application and related income documents on the tenant’s behalf. If needed, a program representative will contact tenants to assist with gathering necessary information and documents to complete the tenant profile. Alternatively, a landlord or property manager may work with a tenant to create an account and complete the online application on behalf of the tenant.

A tenant may also apply on their own, without the assistance of the landlord, in which case the landlord will be notified and asked to participate. A tenant electing to apply directly does not remove the program’s obligation to still seek to pay the landlord first.

FAQ ID: 4396
Published Date: March 29, 2021
What if my tenant does not have an email address?

For tenants without an email address, landlords can print the application form, obtain a physical signature, and upload the application and related income documents on the tenant’s behalf. If needed, a program representative will contact tenants to assist with gathering necessary information and documents to complete the tenant profile. Alternatively, a landlord or property manager may work with a tenant to create an account and complete the online application on behalf of the tenant.

FAQ ID: 8889
Published Date: March 29, 2021
How do I apply for rental assistance from the Texas Rent Relief Program?

Complete an online application at TexasRentRelief.com OR call a program representative at (833) 9TX-RENT (toll free) to apply over the phone. The toll free number offers assistance in multiple languages.

Landlord

  • When applying online, landlords can create a profile, list all properties under their management, and identify all tenants for whom they are requesting assistance.
  • The system will automatically email all identified tenants and prompt them to complete their tenant profiles.
  • For tenants without an email address, landlords can print the application form, obtain a physical signature, and upload the application and related income documents on the tenant’s behalf. If needed, a program representative will contact tenants to assist with gathering necessary information and documents to complete the tenant profile. Alternatively, a landlord or property manager may work with a tenant to create an account and complete the online application on behalf of the tenant.

Tenant

  • If your landlord is willing to participate, you can apply directly and your landlord will be contacted for additional information.
  • If your landlord chooses not to participate in the program, you may still apply for rental assistance by completing the online application or by calling the toll-free number listed above to apply over the phone.
FAQ ID: 7312
Published Date: May 6, 2021
What do I do if I need further help or to check on the status my application?

You can monitor the status of your application through the online dashboard or by calling (833) 9TX-RENT (toll free) to speak with a call center program representative. We will notify you if we need more information to complete your application. The call center is available Monday through Saturday, 8 a.m. – 6 p.m. CST. Help is available in multiple languages.

FAQ ID: 5486
Published Date: March 29, 2021
If my assistance request is missing documentation—because I was not able to upload it, did not think it was needed, or did not have it when I applied—will I lose my place in line?

If your payment request is visible on your dashboard, you will not lose your place as we gather necessary documentation from you.

FAQ ID: 5187
Published Date: March 29, 2021
What if my assistance request is ineligible?

Applicants can appeal eligibility decisions. Appeal instructions are available at TexasRentRelief.com. Also, we recommend that you call 211 for a list of other resources for assistance.

FAQ ID: 2263
Published Date: March 29, 2021
Are past due rent and utility bills from 2020 eligible for assistance?

Yes. Rent and utility expenses are eligible for assistance starting March 13, 2020 (the date of Governor Abbott’s emergency declaration for Texas). Prorated requests for the month of March 2020 are allowed.

FAQ ID: 3715
Published Date: March 29, 2021
How many months past and future are covered?

Program funds may be used to provide up to fifteen (15) months of assistance for the following expenses:

  • rent, past due rent and reasonable late fees (stemming from non-payment of rent),
  • utilities and home energy costs, and
  • past due utility and home energy costs

While applicants may be assisted for up to 15 months, the Program will not commit funds for prospective (future) rent for more than a 3-month period at a time. Applicants must reapply every 3 months and will only be assisted if funds are still available. The program cannot pay for food for households.

Rent and utility expenses are eligible for assistance starting March 13, 2020 (the date of Governor Abbott’s emergency declaration for Texas). Prorated requests for March 2020 are allowed.

FAQ ID: 3176
Published Date: March 29, 2021
Is the application for utilities the same application?

Yes. Whether applying online or over the phone, there is an opportunity to request utility assistance in addition to rent.

FAQ ID: 1313
Published Date: March 29, 2021
What counties are covered?

The Texas Rent Relief Program covers all 254 Texas counties. Applicants in every area of the state can apply.

FAQ ID: 9158
Published Date: March 29, 2021
What is the funding source for the Texas Rent Relief Program?

The Emergency Rental Assistance program makes available $25 billion from the U.S. Department of the Treasury to assist households that are unable to pay rent and utilities due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The funds are provided directly to States, U.S. Territories, local governments, and Indian tribes. Grantees use the funds to provide assistance to eligible households through existing or newly created rental assistance programs. More information is available here: https://home.treasury.gov/policy-issues/cares/emergency-rental-assistance-program.

As part of this program, the State of Texas received approximately $1.3 billion to assist landlords and tenants through the Texas Rent Relief Program. Local communities in Texas with populations greater than 200,000 had an opportunity to receive roughly $700 million in additional direct allocations of these funds.

FAQ ID: 8237
Published Date: March 29, 2021
How does this program differ from the Texas Emergency Rental Assistance Program (TERAP)?

The Texas Rent Relief Program (TRR) is available to renters and landlords across the entire state. The TRR program allows for up to 15 months of assistance, applicants apply directly to the state, and the program is funded by the U.S. Department of the Treasury.

The Texas Emergency Rental Assistance Program (TERAP) is only available in the 44 cities and counties participating in the program. The TERAP program allows for no more than 6 months of assistance and applicants apply directly to their local participating city/county. The TERAP program is funded by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) with Community Development Block Grant CARES (CDBG CARES) funds allocated to the state.

FAQ ID: 1618
Published Date: March 29, 2021
How does this program differ from other locally operated programs?

TDHCA does not have program-specific information for all of the local areas offering other rental assistance.

FAQ ID: 9792
Published Date: March 29, 2021
Are there any penalties if landlords or tenants submit fraudulent information?

Yes. Falsification of documents or any material falsehoods or omissions in an application to this program, including knowingly seeking duplicate benefits, is subject to state and federal criminal penalties. Landlords and tenants are particularly put on notice that 18 U.S.C. §1001 provides, among other things, that whoever knowingly and willingly makes or uses a document or writing containing any false, fictitious, or fraudulent statement or entry, in any matter within the jurisdiction of any department or agency of the United States will be fined not more than $10,000 or imprisoned for not more than five years, or both.

FAQ ID: 3856
Published Date: March 29, 2021
Can the program share the landlord certification with the tenant?

Yes. The program may share a copy of the tenant, landlord or utility provider certification with the tenant applicant, a user approved by the tenant, an associated landlord or utility provider.

FAQ ID: 3257
Published Date: June 25, 2021
How does a tenant, landlord or utility provider return a payment to the TRR Program?

Returned payments by landlords, tenants or utility providers must be made payable to Texas Rent Relief Program via check, money order, certified check, or ACH. Any payments mailed should be remitted to:

ATTN: TRR RECAPTURE
PO Box 671307
Houston, TX 77267

To return a payment by ACH, the entity providing repayment should fulfill the bill.com invoice provided alongside notice of recapture.

FAQ ID: 4567
Published Date: June 25, 2021
If my application is determined to be ineligible, can I appeal the determination? What if I disagree with the amount of assistance I am approved for?

If you feel your application has incorrectly been determined ineligible or you disagree with the amount of assistance you were approved for, you may appeal the decision within 30 days from the date that your application denial or approval letter is sent. To submit an appeal, you must complete the Appeal Request Form available on the Forms and Resources page of the TRR website and submit it along with any associated supporting documentation via email to appeals@texasrentrelief.com or via U. S. Mail. The TRRP will review any appeal request within 30 days from the date of receipt.

FAQ ID: 4837
Published Date: August 1, 2021

Landlord FAQs

What kind of marketing materials are available for landlords to share with their renters? Where can this information be found?

The A toolkit of flyers that can be printed and handed out to tenants or shared on social media is available under Forms and Resources.

FAQ ID: 1698
Published Date: March 29, 2021
What documentation does a landlord need to complete an application if submitting on behalf of tenants?

As part of the Program application, the landlord must submit the following documentation so we can confirm eligibility:

  • Government-issued or personal ID (Only if individual/sole proprietor)
  • Copy of lease agreement. If no written lease agreement: landlord attestation regarding term and amount of rent.
  • Completed IRS Form W-9
  • Know that as the landlord you will be asked to sign a certification available at TexasRentRelief.com
FAQ ID: 6199
Published Date: April 20, 2021
If a person owns their mobile home but rents a lot and are behind on lot rent and utilities due to COVID, do they qualify for the program?

Yes, the program can provide assistance for rent of a manufactured home and/or the rent of the land. The amount of rental assistance per month requested may not exceed $4,600.

FAQ ID: 4568
Published Date: April 20, 2021
If a tenant never signed a lease or has a lease that is expired, can they still apply for assistance?

Yes, they can still apply. If a tenant never signed a lease, the landlord must provide an attestation regarding the term and amount of rent, OR if a landlord is not willing to attest, then a tenant must provide a rent receipt for the three most recent complete months paid by or benefiting the tenant. If a tenant had a lease that is now expired and are living in the unit on a month-to-month basis, provision of the lease indicating that tenant’s default to month-to-month is required, and the landlord must provide an attestation regarding the term and amount of rent.

FAQ ID: 6617
Published Date: March 29, 2021
What if a tenant does not want to sign the application?

Unfortunately, if a tenant is unwilling to sign the application, assistance cannot be provided.

FAQ ID: 3338
Published Date: March 29, 2021
Can a property manager provide a W-9 for all managed properties and request funds for all represented property owners?

Yes.

FAQ ID: 9494
Published Date: March 29, 2021
Is a W-9 required for both tenants and landlords?

Only for landlords.

FAQ ID: 1818
Published Date: March 29, 2021
What documentation do you need from the landlord to prove ownership?

By signing the landlord certification, the landlord or property manager submitting the application attests to being either the property owner or an authorized property owner representative.

FAQ ID: 4337
Published Date: April 20, 2021
Does anything prevent multiple entities under the same holding company from applying for assistance?

Entities cannot submit duplicate payment requests for the same households or the same units for the same months. All entities submitting as landlords must provide all requested information related to banking information and ownership.

FAQ ID: 2477
Published Date: March 29, 2021
Does a landlord have to provide a copy of a government-issued or personal ID if representing a management company?

No, you do not need to provide your ID if representing a company. This requirement is for landlords who are sole proprietors.

FAQ ID: 6498
Published Date: March 29, 2021
Do tenants need a social security number?

No, but they must be able to provide a government issued or personal ID. Acceptable forms of ID include but are not limited to a driver’s license, state identification card, voter registration card, school registration form, library card, passport, student ID, social security card, military ID, naturalization certificate, lawful permanent residency card, or employment authorization document.

FAQ ID: 6113
Published Date: March 29, 2021
How can a landlord access the tenant application and required certifications for tenants not willing or able to complete an application online or who do not have email?

The full tenant application and household certification will be available from the “Program Documents” side bar within the application so that the landlord can print required documents and obtain a wet signature if needed. Alternatively, a landlord or property manager may work with a tenant to create an account and complete the online application on behalf of the tenant.

FAQ ID: 6873
Published Date: March 29, 2021
Do landlords have to enter email addresses for all residents into the application?

One email address per household is acceptable. Please be sure the email address you provide for a household is a correct, functioning email address that the tenant regularly checks. Entering incorrect email addresses will delay approval and payment of applications.

FAQ ID: 4507
Published Date: March 29, 2021
Does each adult on the lease need to fill out a separate tenant application?

No, only one tenant application per unit should be submitted. Applicants can add additional adult household members and their income within the tenant application.

FAQ ID: 4267
Published Date: March 29, 2021
Is there a landlord-only application? Is an application required from each household?

Each application requires household-specific information. Landlords may enter multiple tenants at one time for a property, but each household must submit all required documentation. If a tenant is unwilling to sign the application, assistance cannot be provided.

FAQ ID: 3564
Published Date: March 29, 2021
What if the monthly rent includes utilities, including internet/WiFi?

If the rent amount includes some utilities or internet access, the full amount of rent can still be requested and paid through the program.

FAQ ID: 2204
Published Date: June 4, 2021
Are monthly charges such as valet trash service or package receiving fees, which are not specifically coded as rent but are still required charges by management, eligible for assistance?

If the expense is in the rent amount in the lease, it can be requested. If the expense is a separate fee or penalty, it is not eligible.

FAQ ID: 3199
Published Date: March 29, 2021
Can late fees or eviction/court fees be included in the request for assistance?

All late fees stemming from non-payment of rent, not exceeding allowable amounts in the lease, and no older than March 13, 2020 are allowed. Late fees must be compliant with all applicable laws and regulations. Landlords must attest that late fees are lawful pursuant to Texas Property Code § 92.019.

Court fees cannot be included in the request for assistance.

FAQ ID: 5614
Published Date: April 20, 2021
What if the tenant agrees with the landlord that the landlord will file the application, but then the tenant files another application themselves? Which will receive priority?

Any separately submitted applications will be joined in the system and the earlier date and time stamp will be maintained. Any application submitted by a tenant will still have the landlord notified at least three (3) times in five (5) days if notified by email, phone or text (or after 7 days if notified by regular mail) prior to any payment to a tenant occurring.

FAQ ID: 1154
Published Date: June 4, 2021
If a tenant has not paid rent since March 1st, 2020, which months are eligible for assistance?

Prorated requests are allowed.

For example, if the rent for March 2020 was $800, divide $800 by the number of days in March (31) to determine the daily rate. In this case the daily rate is $25.81 per day. Multiply the daily rate by the number of days in March that are eligible under the program, in this case 19 days. In this example a total of $490.39 is eligible for assistance for March 2020.

FAQ ID: 7188
Published Date: March 29, 2021
What does a landlord do if a tenant will not cooperate, does not want to participate, or will not sign an application?

Unfortunately, if a tenant is unwilling to sign the application, assistance cannot be provided.

FAQ ID: 4625
Published Date: March 29, 2021
If a landlord accepts assistance from the program for arrears and the current month, and the tenant’s lease expires after the current month, is a lease extension required?

No, receiving program assistance does not require that leases must be extended beyond the month for which the current or future assistance is provided. If assistance is accepted for future months, the landlord must continue the lease for the months assisted or return the prospective amounts to the program.

FAQ ID: 4517
Published Date: March 29, 2021
Will payments made to a landlord specify the tenant, property, and unit so that funds paid can be tracked?

ACH descriptions will specify the tenant’s first initial and last name, as the ACH descriptor is limited to 10 characters.

FAQ ID: 1239
Published Date: March 29, 2021
How will landlords be notified that a payment has been deposited into their account?

The landlord, tenant, and/or utility provider will be notified automatically of payment by email (if an email address is present in the system) after the tenant, landlord, and pay request have been determined eligible and payment calculation has been completed and verified by the payment team. An applicant can also check the status of their application at any time through the online application portal, and the status will reflect when a payment has been made.

Landlords will be notified when a request has been approved and is pending payment.

FAQ ID: 3571
Published Date: March 29, 2021
How will the Texas Rent Relief Program ensure payments made directly to tenants will be used to pay landlords?

Payments will only be sent directly to the tenant if the landlord elects not to receive the payment and has either confirmed that with the program or has not responded after attempting to notify the landlord at least three (3) times in five (5) days by email, phone or text (or after 7 days if notified by regular mail).

The Texas Rent Relief Program requires that direct payments to tenants are used to pay landlords. However, this is challenging to enforce and we strongly encourage landlords to participate. If a tenant has accepted payment and has not paid their landlord, the TRR program will ask tenants to pay landlords/utility companies; if they do not do so, the TRR program will pursue recapture if not used for the intended purposes.

FAQ ID: 2413
Published Date: June 25, 2021
How will landlords be paid?

If the landlord is participating in the program, completes a landlord profile with all required documents found in the Landlord checklist and submits ACH payment information when requested, the payments will be made to the landlord using ACH deposit.

A TRR payment process guide is available here.

If the landlord does not participate in the program, does not provide the required documentation or does not provide the payment information, the payment will be made to the tenant who will in turn pay the landlord.

FAQ ID: 2896
Published Date: June 4, 2021
My property is in an LLC and I am the sole owner. Can I use my personal bank information if I have documentation showing I am the sole owner of the LLC?

Yes.

FAQ ID: 8690
Published Date: March 29, 2021
How long will it take for payment to be made?

Once all required documentation is submitted and the application is considered eligible and complete, payment should take approximately 14 days.

For applications received during the first twenty-one (21) days that do not meet the priority criteria, applicants should expect that it may be several weeks before they are informed of the status of their application.

FAQ ID: 3608
Published Date: July 8, 2021
Is this program available to conventional (not rent-restricted) properties?

Yes. The program is not limited to affordable properties. Rents may not exceed $4,600 per month. Units that exceed $4,600 per month are not eligible for assistance from the Texas Rent Relief Program. Landlords and tenants in such cases should look at other rental assistance programs.

FAQ ID: 5606
Published Date: April 20, 2021
What is duplication of benefits? How is TDHCA handling duplication of benefits with local entities also receiving funds from Treasury? What other programs are covered by duplication of benefits?

Duplication of benefits means being paid more than one time for the same expense.

TDHCA is not denying applicants the opportunity to apply in parts of the state where other programs are operating because there is such a significant need for assistance. Applicants can apply to the Texas Rent Relief Program, to local programs, or to both. Applicants will be asked if they have received other assistance as part of the application.

If approved by multiple programs, applicants cannot accept assistance from multiple programs for the same months for the full amount of rent. However, they can use both programs for different months of assistance or for partial assistance not exceeding the full rent amount.

Landlords should ensure they do not accept payment more than once per unit for covered months. Other entities whose funds are considered a duplication of benefits include city or county funds, other federal or state funds, and funds from nonprofits or churches. TDHCA is working with local entities to identify all instances of duplication of benefits.

Example 1: A household has monthly rent of $750, and received $250 of rent assistance from a local church. The Texas Rent Relief Program can pay for the remaining $500 of rent not covered by the other provider.

Example 2: A tenant or landlord receives a full rent payment from a local rental assistance program for December 2020 and January 2021, then also receives payment for those months from the Texas Rent Relief program. In this case a duplication of benefits has occurred. Whoever received the duplicate payment must repay the Texas Rent Relief program (or the other program).

FAQ ID: 6760
Published Date: March 29, 2021
Does duplication of benefits include FEMA Individual Assistance?

Yes, if the FEMA Individual Assistance is for the same period of time and the same expenses covered by the TRR Program it would qualify as a duplication of benefits.

FAQ ID: 7775
Published Date: March 29, 2021
How does a landlord certify that they will not receive duplicative assistance?

When setting up a landlord profile, landlords are asked to agree to this requirement. The certification requires that if such duplicate payments occur, landlords repay the program for the duplicated payment within 10 days.

FAQ ID: 6415
Published Date: March 29, 2021
If tenant applies for current-month assistance, is able to pay rent on time, and is then approved for assistance, can the landlord post this amount to the tenant’s account as a credit? Does the landlord need to send this payment back?

Absent any contrary requirement in state or local law or terms of the lease, if the tenant’s payment was made through their own financial resources, the landlord can post Texas Rent Relief assistance to the month it was requested for and apply the tenant’s payment to a future month (assuming that this future month does not also receive Texas Rent Relief Program assistance), or return the tenant’s payment to the tenant.

However, if the tenant’s payment came from another federal, state, or local program, then duplicate assistance for that month from the Texas Rent Relief Program cannot be accepted.

FAQ ID: 6232
Published Date: March 29, 2021
Can a landlord submit an assistance request for the tenant portion of a Section 8 or Public Housing recipient? Can a Section 8 tenant apply for the utility assistance through TRR?

Yes, Section 8 and Public Housing recipients may be eligible for assistance with the tenant-paid portion of their rent and utility costs effective April 21, 2021.

FAQ ID: 5162
Published Date: April 20, 2021
What should a landlord do if a tenant has received multiple assistance checks for the same month and now has a large credit for future rent?

If a tenant has a credit for future rent, do not apply to the Texas Rent Relief Program.

FAQ ID: 9465
Published Date: March 29, 2021
If my tenant received rental assistance from this program to cover past due rent, can they also apply for additional assistance?

Applicants can apply for past due rent plus up to three months of future rent and can reapply every 3 months if funds are still available. Assistance for rental arrears alone is not permitted at this time. Tenants can apply for three months of future rent payments as long as the cap of 15 months is not exceeded.

Program funds may be used to provide up to fifteen (15) months of assistance for the following expenses:

  • rent, past due rent and reasonable late fees (stemming from non-payment of rent),
  • utilities and home energy costs, and
  • past due utility and home energy costs

While applicants may be assisted for up to 15 months, the Program will not commit funds for prospective (future) rent for more than a 3-month period at a time. Applicants must reapply every 3 months and will only be assisted if funds are still available. The program cannot pay for food for households.

Rent and utility expenses are eligible for assistance starting March 13, 2020 (the date of Governor Abbott’s emergency declaration for Texas). Prorated requests for March 2020 are allowed.

FAQ ID: 4941
Published Date: March 29, 2021
Does the program apply to student housing?

The program is not for dormitories or room rentals, but may be used for housing that is primarily occupied by students, where the student is on the lease. The student must meet all program eligibility requirements.

FAQ ID: 7128
Published Date: March 29, 2021
Can a landlord apply for a tenant who no longer occupies a unit in the case of a voluntary move out?

No. The program requires that the tenant provide their permission, receive current/forward rent on the unit , and indicate that the unit is currently the Tenant’s primary residence.

FAQ ID: 5299
Published Date: March 29, 2021
What is the landlord certification form?

The landlord certification is an acknowledgement of what the landlord is agreeing to by accepting the funds. The Landlord Certification is available at TexasRentRelief.com.

All landlords participating in the TRR program are required to submit a signed Landlord Certification as part of their application. If a landlord does not submit a completed application (including a Landlord Certification), they will not be considered program participants and any rental assistance payments will be made directly to their tenant(s).

FAQ ID: 2480
Published Date: June 25, 2021
Can a landlord pursue eviction instead of applying to the Texas Rent Relief Program?

Yes. Landlords are not required to participate in the program. Note that tenants can still apply for assistance, and if approved for assistance the program would first contact the landlord to seek their participation in the program. If the landlord does not want to participate, the payment will then go to the tenant.

FAQ ID: 8989
Published Date: March 29, 2021
Do landlords need an authorized representative or similar form to complete applications on behalf of their tenants?

No. Landlords are encouraged to start a tenant’s request in the system so that it is clearly and correctly correlated with the property and landlord. The system will then send an email to the tenant asking them to provide any missing documentation, including income documentation, and electronically sign the application.

For tenants without an email address, landlords can print the application form, obtain a physical signature, and upload the application and related income documents on the tenant’s behalf. If needed, a program representative will contact tenants to assist with gathering necessary information and documents to complete the tenant profile. Alternatively, a landlord or property manager may work with a tenant to create an account and complete the online application on behalf of the tenant.

A tenant may also apply on their own, without the assistance of the landlord, in which case the landlord will be notified and asked to participate. A tenant electing to apply directly does not remove the program’s obligation to still seek to pay the landlord first.

If a tenant is unwilling to sign the application, assistance cannot be provided.

FAQ ID: 9514
Published Date: March 29, 2021
If a tenant has limited arrears but needs help with current and future rent, how do they indicate this in the application?

Assistance may be provided for current and future rent even if a household has no arrears. In cases where the applicant has not submitted a past-due rent notice, they would qualify by answering yes to the application question related to needing to move into unsafe/unhealthy conditions if not assisted and be otherwise eligible.

FAQ ID: 2341
Published Date: April 20, 2021
If a tenant is currently month-to-month, does a landlord need to provide resident documents?

Please refer to the Required Documents Checklist document posted at https://texasrentrelief.com/forms-resources/ for a list of documents landlords need to apply for the program.

FAQ ID: 5465
Published Date: March 29, 2021
If my tenant cannot submit an online application, can I submit an application on their behalf?

Yes. For tenants who want to participate in the TRRP but cannot complete the online application on their own, landlords or other trusted third parties may complete and submit a tenant application on their behalf. To do this, they should follow these steps:

  1. Print a “Tenant Application and Certification” and “Tenant Checklist” both found in this page:
    https://texasrentrelief.com/forms-resources/
  2. Gather checklist documents from the tenant.
  3. Register in Neighborly.
  4. Start a new application by selecting “Tenant: Rental & Utility Assistance”.
  5. Make yourself a “user” on the tenant’s account.
  6. Complete all sections.
  7. On the Submit page, select “No” for the question “Is this being submitted by the primary applicant?”
  8. Enter your relationship to the tenant applicant and upload the signed certification.
  9. Sign as “Authorized Signature,” date the application, and submit.
FAQ ID: 7490
Published Date: June 4, 2021
I received payment for a tenant. How do I know which months and amounts to apply it to?

The breakout of the tenant payment can now be found in the Landlord Account. Log in to your account Home Page (here: https://hornellp-tx.neighborlysoftware.com/texasrentrelief/Participant) and select “View” to the right of your Landlord account. Select the “Draws” tab. Under “Description,” you will find the breakout of months and amount per month, any late fees, and total months of assistance included in the received payment.

FAQ ID: 4927
Published Date: August 1, 2021

Tenant FAQs

Are payments from the Texas Rent Relief Program subject to income taxes, or counted as a resource for determining benefits eligibility?

Assistance provided to a household from the Texas Rent Relief Program shall not be regarded as income and shall not be regarded as a resource for purposes of determining the eligibility of the household or any member of the household for benefits or assistance, or the amount or extent of benefits or assistance, under any Federal program or under any State or local program financed in whole or in part with Federal funds.

FAQ ID: 1918
Published Date: March 29, 2021
Should I apply on my own, or wait for my landlord to apply for me as a tenant?

Applications are processed on a first come, first served basis.

A tenant may apply on their own, without the assistance of the landlord, in which case the landlord will be notified and asked to participate. A tenant electing to apply directly does not remove the program’s obligation to still seek to pay the landlord first.

The landlord is encouraged to start a tenant’s request in the system so that it is clearly and correctly correlated with the property and landlord. The system will then send an email to the tenant asking them to provide any missing documentation, including income documentation, and electronically sign the application.

For tenants without an email address, landlords can print the application form, obtain a physical signature, and upload the application and related income documents on the tenant’s behalf. If needed, a program representative will contact tenants to assist with gathering necessary information and documents to complete the tenant profile.

FAQ ID: 4279
Published Date: March 29, 2021
What if my landlord refuses to apply for assistance?

You can still apply directly. A tenant may apply on their own, without the assistance of the landlord, in which case the landlord will be notified and asked to participate. A tenant electing to apply directly does not remove the program’s obligation to still seek to pay the landlord first.

FAQ ID: 4271
Published Date: March 29, 2021
If my landlord will not apply, should I apply under both tenant and landlord applications?

Apply using the tenant application only. Do not try to apply as a landlord.

FAQ ID: 2288
Published Date: March 29, 2021
If the landlord does not agree to the terms and the tenant receives assistance directly and pays the rent, will late fees be waived, and will eviction notices be erased?

No. If the landlord does not participate in the program, the program cannot require that the landlord waive fees or stop eviction cases already in progress.

FAQ ID: 5221
Published Date: March 29, 2021
How will a tenant applying over the phone submit documents?

Program representatives are prepared to submit tenant account registrations over the phone. As part of this process, they will provide the following addresses to applicants to submit documentation by postal mail to P.O. Box 671307, Houston, TX 77267. Applicants who have the option to apply online are encouraged to do so since it is typically a faster process.

FAQ ID: 9927
Published Date: June 11, 2021
If I receive federal benefits from another program, will a benefit letter from that program cover my income documentation?

It may, depending on your which benefits you are receiving:

  • Households with 6 or fewer members may provide documentation dated on or after January 1, 2020 showing that the household receives benefits from one of the following programs:
    • Head Start, LIHEAP/CEAP utility assistance, or SNAP
    • SSI, TANF, or Tribal TANF for head of household
    • VA Disability Pension, Survivor Pension, Enhanced Survivor Benefits, or Section 306 disability pension (not standard VA pension)
  • Households with 3 or fewer members may provide documentation dated on or after January 1, 2020 showing that the household receives benefits from WIC
  • If a household is living in a rent-restricted property or receiving tenant-based rental assistance (such as a Housing Choice Voucher), the tenant or landlord can provide evidence of the household’s most recent tenant income certification (TIC) as long as it is no older than one year from when they apply for assistance.

In addition to providing one of the documents from the list above, the household must certify that their income does not exceed 80% of AMI at the time of application.

FAQ ID: 7207
Published Date: May 4, 2021
What is AMI? What is low to moderate income?

AMI is Area Median Income, which is used to establish the income limits for program eligibility. AMI is based upon the median income for the county in which you reside and your household size. You can look what falls within the program guidelines of 0-80% AMI here: Area Median Income (AMI).

FAQ ID: 7359
Published Date: March 29, 2021
Are unemployed applicants eligible if their income is above 80 percent AMI, but they have been unemployed for over 90 days?

All applicants, regardless of unemployment status, must be at or below 80 percent AMI. If a household’s annual income from their 2020 W-2 forms exceeds 80 percent AMI, the household may still meet the income test based on the past 30 days. If the last 30 days show an income below 80% AMI, the household meets the requirement for income eligibility. Income documentation for the past 30 days is required to meet this criteria.

FAQ ID: 1160
Published Date: March 29, 2021
How does the program calculate income?

Applicants can use either their total 2020 annual income or their most recent 30 days of income. Income provided for the 30 days is annualized, based upon the frequency of pay (hourly, weekly, bi-weekly, or monthly) for those 30 days. If using the most recent 30 days of income, any reapplication for funds must include a resubmission of income documentation. If using total 2020 income, no income documentation is required if reapplying for additional assistance.

FAQ ID: 4375
Published Date: March 29, 2021
Is a reduction in income due to medical complications associated with increased stress or other factors, not from pandemic-related lay-offs or reduced hours, a qualifying factor?

Yes. The requirement is that a household has been impacted by the pandemic directly or indirectly and has experienced a reduction in income, incurred significant costs, or experienced other financial hardship.

FAQ ID: 3988
Published Date: March 29, 2021
How is eligibility determined if someone on the lease no longer lives in the unit?

While income documentation is required for all individuals on a lease, if the household is eligible, the physical presence of all listed leaseholders in the unit is not required, although some household members must still reside there. The tenant can indicate in the application if someone listed on the lease is no longer a household member residing in the unit, in which case their income would not be included in the household calculation.

FAQ ID: 4479
Published Date: June 25, 2021
Are tenants living in rental homes or duplexes eligible?

All rental units are allowed.

FAQ ID: 5477
Published Date: March 29, 2021
If a tenant is leasing to own, can they apply?

Yes, if they have a lease AND the tenant is not listed as landlord or owner.

FAQ ID: 2289
Published Date: April 20, 2021
Is a Tenant Income Certification (TIC) for an affordable property acceptable as income documentation?

Households in an affordable property can use a TIC as their income documentation if:

  • The TIC is less than one year old at the time of application, AND
  • The household certifies that their income does not exceed 80% of AMI at the time of application.
FAQ ID: 8594
Published Date: March 29, 2021
What documentation will I need to complete my application?

You can review a checklist with all documents needed to apply on the Forms and Resources page on the Texas Rent Relief page.

FAQ ID: 9709
Published Date: April 20, 2021
Is a tenant eligible if they are recently employed but are behind on rent due to COVID-related unemployment?

All applicants, regardless of unemployment status, must be at or below 80 percent AMI. If a household’s annual income from their 2020 W-2 forms exceeds 80 percent AMI, the household may still meet the income test based on the past 30 days. If the last 30 days show an income below 80% AMI, the household meets the requirement for income eligibility. Income documentation for the past 30 days is required to meet this criteria.

FAQ ID: 9746
Published Date: March 29, 2021
If I am self-employed or have no income, what documentation is required?

An Income Certification for Self-Employment or Zero Income or Cash Income is required. The certification is available online and is integrated into the online application.

FAQ ID: 8557
Published Date: March 29, 2021
If I have been unemployed for the past 90 days but have not received unemployment benefits, what documentation is required?

Documentation is not required to prove a loss of job or unemployment insurance eligibility if applicants attest to the financial hardship criteria stated by the TRRP. If applicable, applicants will confirm they have qualified for benefits by answering a related application question and certifying such information is true and accurate in the certification section of application.

FAQ ID: 8790
Published Date: April 20, 2021
If I meet all eligibility requirements but my rent exceeds $4,600, can I still receive assistance?

If you are requesting rental assistance and your rent exceeds $4,600, you will not be eligible for rent assistance. However, if you are only requesting utility assistance and your rent exceeds the limit, you can seek utility assistance.

FAQ ID: 6930
Published Date: May 4, 2021
If I am paying child support can I qualify?

Yes. You must meet all eligibility requirements.

FAQ ID: 6567
Published Date: March 29, 2021
How many income verification documents do I need?

As many as needed to provide a full picture of the household’s income.

FAQ ID: 4890
Published Date: March 29, 2021
Does an employer letter verifying gross wages need to be notarized?

No. Falsification of documents is subject to criminal penalties.

FAQ ID: 8237
Published Date: March 29, 2021
What if I can't provide all the required documents when I submit my application?

Applicants will be contacted for any missing documents or information. If contact by phone is unsuccessful, the applicant will be notified by email. If the applicant does not contact the program within 10 days, the application will be permanently closed and a new application will need to be created if the applicant wishes to pursue assistance and funds are still available.

FAQ ID: 9615
Published Date: March 29, 2021
How is household income calculated?

Income for all household members 18 years of age or older will be considered when calculating annual household income.

A household is defined as all persons occupying the same housing unit, regardless of their relationship to each other. The occupants could consist of a single family, two or more families living together, or any other group of related or unrelated people who share living arrangements.

Household income will be calculated based on the adjusted gross income as defined for purposes of reporting under Internal Revenue Service (IRS) Form 1040 series for individual Federal annual income tax purposes. Income reported for 30 days will be annualized based upon the provided 30 day documentation. When determining the number of household members and annual household income, keep in mind:

  • Minor children are considered household members. Earned income of minor children is not considered as part of total annual household income.
  • Minor children who are subject to shared custody agreements may be counted as household members if the minor child lives in the residence at least 50% of the time.
  • Temporarily absent family members are considered household members and their income is considered in calculation of household income, regardless of how much the temporarily absent family member contributes to the household.
  • Paid, non-related, live-in aides, whether paid by the family or through a social service program, are not considered household members. Income of live-in aides is not considered in the calculation of household income. Related persons do not qualify as live-in aides.
  • Permanently absent family members, such as a spouse who resides permanently in a nursing home, may be considered a household member, at the discretion of the head of household/program applicant. If the head of household opts to include a permanently absent family member in the household, the income of the permanently absent household member will be counted in the calculation of annual household income. If the head of household chooses not to include the permanently absent family member as part of the household, the income of the permanently absent family member will not be considered in the calculation of annual household income.
FAQ ID: 4016
Published Date: March 29, 2021
I used my 2019 earned income on my 2020 tax return to help qualify for a bigger Earned Income Tax Credit, as directed by the IRS. Does this impact my eligibility?

The program will look at your 2020 tax return, regardless of how you calculated income.

All applicants, regardless of unemployment status, must be at or below 80 percent AMI. If a household’s annual income from their 2020 W-2 forms exceeds 80 percent AMI, the household may still meet the income test based on the past 30 days. If the last 30 days show an income below 80% AMI, the household meets the requirement for income eligibility. Income documentation for the past 30 days is required to meet this criteria.

FAQ ID: 1712
Published Date: March 29, 2021
If I apply now for back rent, when will I need to apply for future rent?

You may apply for back rent, current month and the prospective two future months in your initial application. Past that, applicants must reapply every 3 months and will only be assisted if funds are still available.

FAQ ID: 1310
Published Date: March 29, 2021
Am I eligible for assistance if I have moved to a different rental unit since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic?

The assistance you request must be for the unit you currently occupy. There is no requirement for the length of stay in a rental unit to be eligible to receive assistance.

FAQ ID: 2637
Published Date: March 29, 2021
Does assistance provided have to be repaid?

No. As long as no duplicate assistance is received, this is not a loan and requires no repayment.

FAQ ID: 9054
Published Date: March 29, 2021
If I’m current on my rent but my utilities are past due, can I apply for utility assistance?

Yes. Utility or home energy costs are eligible, even if you do not apply for rent assistance.

FAQ ID: 4688
Published Date: March 29, 2021
Which utilities are eligible for financial assistance?

Eligible utilities include electricity, gas, water and sewer, trash removal and energy costs, such as fuel oil. Telecommunication services, such as telephone, cable, and internet service costs are NOT eligible for assistance, except that if Internet is a fee noted in the lease, the program will allow a request for internet payment as an allowable fee.

FAQ ID: 8747
Published Date: March 29, 2021
Are homeowners with mortgages eligible for the assistance?

No. Only those who rent their homes are eligible.

The Federal Housing Finance Agency provides resources for homeowners who may need help with their mortgage payments or utility bills.

FAQ ID: 1917
Published Date: March 29, 2021
Do I have to prove I lost my job or my hours were cut?

No. Certification is required, and auditing will be performed to identify fraud.

FAQ ID: 6111
Published Date: March 29, 2021
What certificate and/or acknowledgement will I be required to sign as a tenant who applies to the Texas Rent Relief Program?

You can find a copy of the Tenant Certification (PDF) on the Forms & Resources page.

FAQ ID: 4163
Published Date: March 29, 2021
How will payments be made?

The program will pay your landlord on your behalf via an ACH deposit, unless the landlord does not agree to participate in the program. In that case, the program will make 3 attempts via email, text, phone to the landlord over 5 days, before making payments directly to a tenant. Payments may be made using ACH deposit to your bank account. If you do not have access to a bank account, the Program will issue a check and mail it to the tenant’s address.

Utility assistance payments are made directly to participating utility providers by ACH deposit. For utility assistance payments to providers who have declined to participate or who are unresponsive to outreach from the TRR program, payments will be issued by physical check or ACH to the tenant, who is then expected to pay the utility provider on their own behalf.

A TRRP payment process guide is available here.

FAQ ID: 5188
Published Date: July 7, 2021
How long does it take to review applications?

Application review time may vary significantly depending on application completeness and how quickly any missing documentation is received.

FAQ ID: 4152
Published Date: March 29, 2021
Do I have to provide documentation for rent arrears?

Tenant does not need documentation for rent arrears; the attestation that is built into the application will suffice.

FAQ ID: 6753
Published Date: April 20, 2021
If I am now facing eviction, may I update my application with a court docket number to be prioritized for review in the program?

Yes. If you already applied for assistance through the Texas Rent Relief program and your landlord has since filed for eviction, your application may be prioritized through the Texas Eviction Diversion Program. To be prioritized, contact our call center 1-833-989-7363 and provide the following important information: Court Docket Number, Justice of the Peace precinct and county of the court. Your application will be prioritized, and once we begin reviewing your application, our team may contact you if we have questions or need more information.

FAQ ID: 1112
Published Date: April 20, 2021
What income documentation do I need if I am facing eviction and I am applying for the program?

Applicants facing eviction can certify that their household income is below the program limit. No additional income documentation is required.

FAQ ID: 3476
Published Date: April 20, 2021
Am I eligible for Texas Rent Relief assistance if I am living in a hotel or motel?

You may be eligible for assistance if you are living in a hotel or motel and meet all other program eligibility requirements. You must provide a written lease or proof of your three most recent complete payments to the hotel, or your landlord (in this case, the hotel/motel) must attest to your expenses. Without a signed lease, tenants in hotels/motels are not eligible for assistance for future months. However, they may be eligible for the maximum amount of assistance for past-due months and the current month. They may also then apply for subsequent assistance.

FAQ ID: 1443
Published Date: June 4, 2021
I have already received rental and/or utility assistance from the Texas Rent Relief program. Can I apply for additional assistance?

Yes, you may apply for additional assistance as long as the total number of months of rental and utility assistance you have received has not reached the program limit of 15 months.

Sixty days after the date of your most recent assistance payment, you will receive an email notification with more details on how to request additional funding. You may submit your request any time after you receive the invitation, but payment will not be made until at least three months from the date of your most recent assistance payment.

FAQ ID: 5552
Published Date: June 4, 2021
What happens if the landlord receives funds and then evicts during the period of assistance?

This breaks the landlord certification terms. As such, the landlord must allow the tenant back into the unit and fully request dismissal of the eviction from the relevant court, or return the funds to the TRRP.

In general, when a participant suspects fraud, waste or abuse (including breaking the expectations of the TRR Landlord or Tenant Certification), TRR encourages them to report it the program at (833) 61-FRAUD or (833) 613-7283. If a landlord has accepted funds without following the certifications, the TRR program will investigate and in some cases seek to recoup funds.

FAQ ID: 6461
Published Date: June 25, 2021
Since receiving rental assistance from TRRP, I’ve moved to another rental unit. I need more rent or utility help. Do I need to create a new application?

No, whether you moved to a new complex, rental home, or another unit within your initial apartment complex you will continue to use the same Case ID number, login and password you used for your first application. Within the “Additional Funding Requests” (AFR) application, you will be prompted to provide your new address, a copy of your new lease, and your new landlord’s contact information.

FAQ ID: 1235
Published Date: August 1, 2021
If I am now facing utility disconnection, may I update my application with a utility disconnection notice to be prioritized for review in the program?

Yes. If you already applied for assistance through the Texas Rent Relief program and your utility company has now issued you a disconnection notice, your application may be prioritized for review. Contact the TRR call center (1-833-989-7363) and let staff know that you have received a disconnection notice you wish to add to your application. They can reopen the Utility Assistance Requested section of your application, allowing you to revisit that section, indicate you have received a disconnection notice, and upload the notice.

FAQ ID: 7953
Published Date: August 1, 2021

Utility Vendor FAQs

Is there an expectation that utility providers will not disconnect services while an application is pending?

No. Utility providers will not necessarily be aware of a pending application. Once payment is received for an applicant, utility providers cannot disconnect the tenant from utility services for any reason that predates the acceptance of the funds or for any reason related to utility charges or fees during the time period covered by the funds.

FAQ ID: 8543
Published Date: March 29, 2021
Are utility providers expected to waive any late fees or disconnect notice fees?

No. Tenants may request late fees and/or disconnect fees as part of their utility arrears.

FAQ ID: 7762
Published Date: March 29, 2021
Can landlords apply for utility assistance on behalf of tenants?

If a landlord is assisting a household with their application, the landlord can also make the request for utilities assistance, provided that all required documentation is provided and the tenant is aware that the request is being submitted.

FAQ ID: 9992
Published Date: March 29, 2021
How do utility providers register to receive payments?

Utility providers will be contacted by the program and asked to provide banking information, an EIN, an email address, and to submit a utility provider certification.

FAQ ID: 2468
Published Date: March 29, 2021
Where is the Utility Vendor Certification Form located?

You can find a copy of the Utility Vendor Certification Form on the Forms & Resources page.

FAQ ID: 3367
Published Date: March 29, 2021
What should utilities expect in terms of the frequency of payments?

Payments are expected to be made daily from the system. All payments will be issued via ACH to the utility provider.

FAQ ID: 8451
Published Date: March 29, 2021
Will payments made to utilities specify the tenant, property, and unit so that funds paid can be tracked?

ACH descriptions will specify the tenant’s first initial and last name, and utility account number.

FAQ ID: 4966
Published Date: April 20, 2021
Why would a utility provider need to return funds to TDHCA and how would a utility provider return funds, if necessary?

The utility company must return to the Texas Rent Relief program any duplicative payments. For any Tenant whose account is terminated during the assistance period, any remaining assistance payments in excess of a customer’s balance is to be returned.

FAQ ID: 3331
Published Date: March 29, 2021
Will utilities have access to a portal or Call Center to resolve payment exceptions that prevent posting to the customer account?

Yes. The Texas Rent Relief Program website is available 24 hours a day. The call center is open Monday-Saturdays from 8am-6pm CST, by calling 1-833-989-7368. Assistance is available in multiple languages as needed. A specialist dedicated specifically to utility issues is being trained and their individual contact information will be provided to utility providers.

FAQ ID: 5697
Published Date: March 29, 2021
How will TDHCA confirm if a customer has received other payment assistance for the utility bill they have submitted for bill payment assistance?

Utility Providers must sign a Provider Certification and attest to non-duplication of assistance in their system. The certification requires that if such duplicative payments occur, the Provider repay the program for the duplicated payment within 30 days. TDHCA realizes that a Utility Provider may not always know they have received duplicate payment before it happens.

FAQ ID: 2364
Published Date: April 20, 2021
Will TDHCA expect any type of reporting from utilities that receive these funds?

No. No reporting is required from the utility vendor.

FAQ ID: 1594
Published Date: March 29, 2021
How does a utility provider certify that they will not receive duplicative assistance?

Utility providers are asked to agree to a utility vendor certification. The certification requires that if such duplicate payments occur, utility providers repay the program for the duplicated payment within 30 days.

FAQ ID: 6982
Published Date: April 20, 2021

Eviction Diversion

What is the Eviction Diversion Program?

The Texas Eviction Diversion Program (TEDP) was created by the Supreme Court of Texas, Texas Office of Court Administration, and TDHCA to help eligible tenants stay in their homes and provide landlords with an alternative to eviction. A portion of the Texas Rent Relief Program funds are reserved for this activity.

The TEDP uses a special court process that allows courts to put eviction lawsuits on hold and divert them to the TEDP. Both the tenant and the landlord must agree to participate and meet the requirements. Lump sum payments are made to landlords in exchange for allowing tenants to remain in their homes, and diverted cases are dismissed and made confidential from public disclosure.

FAQ ID: 8705
Published Date: March 29, 2021
Does the court make the referral to the program, or do the landlord and tenant need apply to the program on their own through the website?

In most cases the court will make the referral. A tenant may apply directly if you have a docket number, and your eviction proceedings are still in process, you may enter the docket number and court precinct number and apply under through the Texas Rent Relief website.

Both the tenant and landlord must apply through the TexasRentRelief.com or 1-833-989-7368. More information about the court process is available on the Texas Judicial Branch website here: https://www.txcourts.gov/programs-services/eviction-diversion-program.

FAQ ID: 4556
Published Date: March 29, 2021
How are eviction applications handled for us to access the eviction diversion set-aside?

The application process can be started by either the landlord or the tenant. Apply at TexasRentRelief.com. There is a section in the tenant application where an applicant who is undergoing eviction proceedings can provide their case information, including court docket number, Justice of the Peace Precinct number and County. Entry of the court docket number places the applicant’s case in the TEDP set-aside.

Eviction diversion applications will be first prioritized for review.

FAQ ID: 3373
Published Date: May 6, 2021
Does a CDC declaration need to be completed to participate in the TEDP/TRR program?

No.

FAQ ID: 6840
Published Date: March 29, 2021
Is there a difference for landlords located in eviction diversion program pilot counties?

The eviction diversion program is now available statewide in all 254 counties. Any prior distinction is no longer applicable.

All individuals under eviction proceedings with a local court should apply through the statewide program at TexasRentRelief.com. All eviction citations will include a statement about TEDP and the program brochure. At the hearing, the Justice of the Peace will discuss the Texas Eviction Diversion Program with the landlord and tenant. Both the landlord and tenant must agree for the eviction to be diverted. Note, however, that the tenant can still apply for assistance.

FAQ ID: 4073
Published Date: March 29, 2021
We sent eviction notice to tenant but have not filed for eviction docket date with court. We asked our tenant to apply for Texas rent relief but they haven’t yet. Can we proceed with filing at court? What happens if tenant then does apply and get approved?

TDHCA cannot give guidance relating to the legal steps a landlord may elect to take with their tenants. If you proceed with filing the eviction with the court, and the tenant subsequently applies for the program and gets approved but you still choose to evict, you may not accept the funds. Tenants may request assistance for the current month and two future months. The tenant may not be evicted during months in which a landlord accepts assistance.

FAQ ID: 9374
Published Date: March 29, 2021
Can I file for eviction if the resident is on a month to month lease and they have issued a CDC declaration?

A landlord may not evict while also receiving assistance for the household from the Texas Rent Relief Program. TDHCA cannot give legal guidance on whether a landlord can or cannot evict a tenant with a CDC declaration, nor can TDHCA tell a landlord whether they can evict if the lease is up.

FAQ ID: 3366
Published Date: March 29, 2021
If I only receive partial assistance for arrears, am I prohibited from moving forward with an eviction process currently in court?

TDHCA cannot give guidance relating to the legal steps a landlord may elect to take with their tenants. Please note that Texas Rent Relief Program can pay for up to 12 months of back rent, so long as the request is not for rent that pre-dates March 13, 2020 and it meets all other eligibility criteria.

FAQ ID: 9944
Published Date: March 29, 2021
Can the program share signed certifications with attorneys?

The program may share a copy of the tenant, landlord or utility provider certification with the tenant applicant, a user approved by the tenant, an associated landlord or utility provider. To share any application information with anyone outside of these parties, including attorneys, TRRP must first have a release of information signed by the party within the application period.

FAQ ID: 2284
Published Date: June 25, 2021
My application is still pending, but I’ve now been sued for eviction by my landlord. What do I do?

For any applicant with a pending TRR application who is now facing eviction and has a court docket number, we recommend you call the TRR contact center at 833-989-7368 to update your pending application and be fast-tracked for application review.

FAQ ID: 6851
Published Date: June 25, 2021
My application is still pending, but now my eviction hearing is soon. Should I go to my eviction hearing?

YES. If you/your landlord have not received any assistance payment by your eviction court date, we highly encourage you to attend your eviction hearing. If you do not, you will lose the chance to tell your side of the case.

At the hearing, explain to the judge and your landlord that you are interested in participating in the Texas Eviction Diversion Program and having your case delayed while you pursue the rent assistance. Learn more about how that works here: https://texasrentrelief.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/04/TRR-Eviction-Diversion-Program.pdf.

FAQ ID: 9666
Published Date: June 25, 2021
I think I need legal assistance regarding housing/eviction. Where can I get help?

Attorneys can help you understand your rights when you are facing eviction. Visit https://stoptxeviction.org or https://texaslawhelp.org/ for help understanding your options and seeking free or low-cost legal assistance.

FAQ ID: 3349
Published Date: June 25, 2021
As a tenant, I received rental assistance from TRRP directly because my landlord did not participate. May I use TRRP rental assistance funds to pay into the court registry as I appeal my eviction case?

Yes. In general, a tenant who has received a TRRP rent payment directly must then directly pay their landlord, but if the tenant is appealing an eviction, they may pay that rent payment into a justice court or county court registry.

Legal fees or court fees, however, are not eligible uses of TRRP rent payments.

FAQ ID: 8876
Published Date: August 1, 2021

Outreach

What can local nonprofits and service providers do to assist renters with the program?

Print tenant flyers from the tool kit on the website. Tell clients about the program. If clients do not have access to a computer or phone, offer them computer access. If they are not sure of the documentation requirements, help them be sure they have the needed documents (for income, their lease, etc.).

FAQ ID: 7776
Published Date: March 29, 2021
Can a local nonprofit become a program provider?

The Texas Rent Relief Program is operated entirely by the state with no local subrecipients. Applicants apply directly to the statewide program at TexasRentRelief.com or by phone at 1-833-9TX-RENT.

FAQ ID: 1538
Published Date: March 29, 2021

Reporting

What data will TDHCA report about the program and recipients?

At this time, the bill authorizing these funds and subsequent guidance from the U.S. Department of the Treasury require the following information be gathered. TDHCA is expected to report quarterly.

Data to be collected about the program:

  • the number of applications received;
  • the number of eligible households that receive assistance from such payments;
  • the acceptance rate of applicants for assistance;
  • the type or types of assistance provided to each eligible household;
  • the average amount of funding provided per eligible household receiving assistance;
  • household income levels served broken down by income brackets; and
  • the average number of monthly rental or utility payments that were covered by the funding amount that a household received, as applicable

Data to be collected about each household:

  • Address of the rental unit,
  • Name, address, social security number, tax identification number or DUNS number, as applicable, for landlord and utility provider,
  • Amount and percentage of monthly rent covered by ERA assistance,
  • Amount and percentage of separately-stated utility and home energy costs covered by ERA assistance,
  • Total amount of each type of assistance (i.e., rent, rental arrears, utilities and home energy costs, utilities and home energy costs arrears) provided to each household,
  • Amount of outstanding rental arrears for each household,
  • Number of months of rental payments and number of months of utility or home energy cost payments for which ERA assistance is provided,
  • Household income and number of individuals in the household, and
  • Gender, race, and ethnicity for the primary applicant for assistance.
FAQ ID: 7150
Published Date: March 29, 2021
How can the media access data on the program's performance, particularly regarding the demographics of relief recipients?

Program performance data will be available on the Texas Rent Relief and TDHCA websites.

FAQ ID: 2447
Published Date: March 29, 2021

System Questions

Is there a recommended browser for using the application system?

Chrome and Firefox are the recommended browsers.

FAQ ID: 6593
Published Date: March 29, 2021
How do I get help with registering an account, logging in, or resetting my password?

If you are unable to access your account or are having trouble with the online application, please call us toll-free at 833-9TX-RENT (833-989-7368), Monday-Saturday, 8 a.m.-6 p.m.

FAQ ID: 5571
Published Date: March 29, 2021
How do tenants invite landlords to start an application and how are tenants and landlords matched?

We are upgrading the system to ensure tenants can invite landlords and for tenant/landlord pairing. All existing applicants will be transferred to the new system. It may not be until that time that a tenant and landlord can be paired together.

FAQ ID: 4463
Published Date: March 29, 2021
Can you remove an invitation after sending the invitation?

No. While a tenant or landlord can elect to no longer participate, there is no way to remove an invitation once sent.

FAQ ID: 5997
Published Date: March 29, 2021
Do tenants and landlords need their own unique profiles in the system?

Yes. Both tenants and landlords must create their own unique logins and passwords.

FAQ ID: 6599
Published Date: March 29, 2021
Do landlords and tenants have the same visibility of application status?

Both landlords and tenants will be able to track the status of an application.

FAQ ID: 3216
Published Date: March 29, 2021
Can I submit applications via email?

No, to ensure the security of applicants’ information, TRRP is not accepting applications via email. Tenants who are unable to access the online application may call the call center to submit tenant account registrations over the phone. As part of this process, documentation will be accepted by postal mail at the following address:

ATTN: Texas Rent Relief Program
P.O. Box 671307
Houston, TX 77267

FAQ ID: 1122
Published Date: June 11, 2021
What do the various application status terms mean?

You will see these various status statements during the process:

  • Application in Progress- not complete
  • Application Submitted- received for review
  • Application Under Review
  • Pending Applicant Information
  • Withdrawn
  • Approved: Pending Landlord- email/call/phone contact regarding landlord participation
  • Approved: Pending Payment
  • Denied
  • Paid
  • Recertification Submitted
FAQ ID: 7563
Published Date: March 29, 2021
Will the system ensure landlords and tenants are not able to view one another’s confidential information?

Yes. While corresponding tenant and landlord applications are linked in the system in order to be reviewed together, they are two separate applications and no tenant information beyond what is listed in the lease (e.g., the tenant’s name and address) will be shared with the landlord.

FAQ ID: 7433
Published Date: April 20, 2021
What is the process to edit, correct, or delete information submitted via the online portal?

If you need to make account, profile, or payment request changes, please call toll-free at 833-9TX-RENT (833-989-7368), Monday-Saturday, 8 a.m.-6 p.m. As we proceed with system upgrades, this capability will be available.

FAQ ID: 1934
Published Date: March 29, 2021
All of the applications I have submitted say Additional Information Needed under status, but I cannot add additional information. What does this mean?

You will be contacted for additional information.

FAQ ID: 1118
Published Date: March 29, 2021
When I try the “Import Tenant” option I am receiving an error message. Currently the system is only allowing me to submit requests for my first 5 tenants. When will the system allow for batches of tenants? Is there a plan to create one or upload this to the site?

Under B. Tenant(s) Information of the online application, you may now “Upload Tenant File” for batches of tenants. If you have already submitted your application and need to upload additional tenants, please contact the call center to “reopen” Section B.

FAQ ID: 4286
Published Date: April 20, 2021
I uploaded the required documents when I submitted my application, but when I review my submission it doesn’t show any of the uploaded documents. Do I need to resubmit?

If you see a payment request in your Dashboard you do not need to resubmit. You will be contacted and asked for any missing documentation.

FAQ ID: 7396
Published Date: March 29, 2021
Can late fees or eviction/court fees be included in the request for assistance?

Reasonable late fees stemming from non-payment of rent, not exceeding allowable amounts in the lease, and no older than March 13, 2020 are allowed. Landlords must attest that late fees are lawful pursuant to Texas Property Code § 92.019.

Late fees already entered in the system by existing applicants will be allowed. Existing applications that do not include late fees cannot be revised, but those applicants may submit a new request for eligible late fees after the March 8 effective date.

Court fees cannot be included in the request for assistance.

FAQ ID: 9487
Published Date: March 29, 2021
Will utilities have access to a portal or Call Center to resolve payment exceptions that prevent posting to the customer account?

Yes. The Texas Rent Relief Program website is available 24 hours a day. The call center is open Monday-Saturdays from 8am-6pm CST, by calling 1-833-989-7368. Assistance is available in multiple languages as needed. A specialist dedicated specifically to utility issues is being trained and their individual contact information will be provided to utility providers.

FAQ ID: 2684
Published Date: March 29, 2021
How is the information I am including in my application being kept safe and who has access to it?

TDHCA has established data privacy and security requirements for certain information regarding applicants that:

  • include appropriate measures to ensure that the privacy of the individuals and households is protected
  • provide that the information, including any personally identifiable information, is collected and used only for the purpose of submitting reports to Treasury
  • provide confidentiality protections for data collected about any individuals who are survivors of intimate partner violence, sexual assault, or stalking.

TDHCA contracts vendors who review all applications. All vendors are required to follow the same measures listed above to ensure data safety.

FAQ ID: 9467
Published Date: April 20, 2021

Anti-Fraud, Waste, and Abuse

Who can report fraud, waste and abuse and what are the definitions of fraud, waste and abuse (FWA)?

Anyone may file a complaint regardless of religion, race, immigration or documentation status, or national origin is safe to report fraud, waste and abuse. A person does not have to have been a participant in the program to share a concern of possible fraud, waste, or abuse.

Fraud is defined as the wrongful or criminal deception intended to result in financial or personal gain. Fraud includes false representation of fact, making false statements, or by concealment of information.

Waste is defined as the thoughtless or careless expenditure, mismanagement, or abuse of resources to the detriment (or potential detriment) of the U.S. government. Waste also includes incurring unnecessary costs resulting from inefficient or ineffective practices, systems, or controls.

Abuse is defined as excessive or improper use of a thing, or to use something in a manner contrary to the natural or legal rules for its use. Abuse can occur in financial or non-financial settings.

FAQ ID: 5529
Published Date: August 1, 2021
What should I report if I think there is fraud, waste or abuse related to a Texas Rent Relief Program (TRRP) application or payment?

TRRP encourages anyone suspecting fraud, waste, or abuse (e.g. mismanagement of TRR funds) related to a TRRP application or payment to report these. Examples of reportable scenarios include:

  • Any dishonest or fraudulent act, including providing false information to qualify for assistance or submitting fraudulent applications, or persons colluding to appear to be a landlord and tenant and in fact are not in a landlord/tenant relationship;
  • Misappropriation of funds by tenants or landlords using the funds intended for rental or utility assistance for other ineligible purposes;
  • Failure of the Landlord or Tenant to adhere to the terms of the program certifications;
  • Inappropriate use of TRR information or records; and
  • Any similar or related irregularities.

Hotline tips are incredibly valuable, and we appreciate any efforts to assist the TRR Program address fraud, waste and abuse.

Note: Unspecified, broad or unidentifiable information of potential wrongdoing cannot be investigated.

FAQ ID: 3682
Published Date: August 1, 2021
How do I report fraud, waste or abuse (FWA) to the Texas Rent Relief Program?

The TRR Program has several options for persons to report fraud, waste and abuse. Please report any concerns by:

  • Leaving a detailed voicemail with the TRR Fraud Hotline: 1-833-613-FRAUD or 1-833-613-7283
  • Mailing a written allegation to:
    Texas Department of Housing and Community Affairs
    Attn: Texas Rent Relief Program Fraud
    O. BOX 13941
    Austin, TX 78711-3941
  • Submitting complaints to the State Auditor’s Office website: (http://sao.fraud.state.tx.us)
  • Submitting complaints to the U.S. Dept. of Treasury Office of Inspector General’s website: (Report Fraud, Waste, and Abuse | Office of Inspector General)
FAQ ID: 3316
Published Date: August 1, 2021
What information do I need to file a fraud, waste or abuse complaint?

The more information that you provide and the more specific that information is, the more the TRR Fraud Team will be able to investigate the issue. Please have as much of the following information as possible when you contact the TRR Program:

  • Case ID #, name of alleged offender(s), witnesses or victims;
  • Provide clear details about the fraud, waste or abuse and how it is being done;
  • Submit any documentation that you have access to; and
  • Your name and your telephone number or email address (unless you are choosing to remain anonymous).
FAQ ID: 9718
Published Date: August 1, 2021
What happens once a fraud, waste or abuse complaint is submitted?

Reports of fraud, waste and abuse are recorded in our system of record, reviewed and investigated by a TRR Fraud Team member. A final disposition of the allegation will be determined by the TRR Fraud Team member.

FAQ ID: 2476
Published Date: August 1, 2021
What happens if an allegation of fraud, waste or abuse is substantiated?

If an investigation substantiates that fraud, waste or abuse has occurred by an applicant, landlord, tenant, or other party, recapture of funds will be pursued (if applicable), and the case will be referred to the Texas State Auditor’s Office or U.S. Department of Treasury, Office of the Inspector General. Restitution, civil and criminal penalties, including costs associated with the investigation may be pursued as well.

FAQ ID: 2384
Published Date: August 1, 2021
Can I add additional information to my fraud, waste or abuse complaint once it has been submitted?

Once the complaint is assigned to a TRR Fraud Team member, a staff member may contact you if they have additional questions about your complaint.

FAQ ID: 1186
Published Date: August 1, 2021
Will I receive information about the fraud, waste or abuse complaint and investigation?

No. In order to protect the identity of complainants and objectivity of the investigation, all information is confidential.

FAQ ID: 4162
Published Date: August 1, 2021