Residents of 1 Texas County Could Get a Piece of $9.1 Million in Stimulus Aid

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  • Travis County, Texas is making $9.1 million in housing assistance funds available to residents.
  • Applications for aid are now open through September.

There may be more money coming to those in need.

During the COVID-19 pandemic, many Americans wound up suffering income loss. That led a lot of people to fall behind on rent or mortgage payments.

These days, the U.S. economy is in far better shape than it was back in 2020, when the health crisis first erupted. In spite of that, many tenants have yet to recover from the blow their finances were dealt, and to this day owe their landlords money for previously unpaid rental bills. Similarly, many homeowners are still having trouble covering their mortgage payments.

At this point, there's no longer a federal eviction ban in place to prevent landlords from removing tenants from their homes on the basis of non-payment. Tenants who are unable to catch up on those payments risk becoming homeless.

What’s more, earlier on in the pandemic, homeowners were given the option to enter forbearance and hit pause on their mortgage payments for up to 18 months. But those who went that route in 2020 may have seen that option run out months ago.

Meanwhile, rental assistance programs have been helping tenants stay in their homes since last year. And now, residents of one Texas county may be in line for additional relief -- and it's not just renters who stand to benefit.

$9.1 million in aid is up for the taking

Residents of Travis County, Texas can now apply for their share of a $9.1 million pool of rental assistance funds. To qualify, applicants must reside within the county and have a household income that doesn't exceed 250% of income levels outlined by the Federal Poverty Income Guidelines.

What's interesting about this batch of funding, though, is that aid isn't limited to renters. Rather, renters and homeowners alike can apply for assistance provided they meet the right criteria.

To be clear, mortgage loan servicers have been encouraged to do what they can to help struggling homeowners stay in their homes in the wake of the pandemic. But the fact that Travis County is making relief funds available to homeowners as well as renters is a very good thing.

Get moving on that application

Residents of Travis County in need of assistance can apply for relief through Sept. 30. But since the program only has limited funds, it pays to begin the application process sooner rather than later.

If you qualify, you may be eligible for aid that will cover up to three months of rent or mortgage payments. However, the assistance you receive will not exceed the amount you owe your landlord or loan servicer within the next 30 days. If you're behind on rent or mortgage payments, though, you may owe more than three months' worth of housing payments within 30 days.

You should also know that within the context of this round of aid, the amount of assistance you get cannot exceed the average monthly rent within the city. The guidelines for that are as follows:

  • Efficiency: $1,334
  • One bedroom: $1,500
  • Two bedrooms: $1,900
  • Three bedrooms: $2,395
  • Four or more bedrooms: $2,795

If you qualify for rent relief and have a one-bedroom apartment that costs you $1,600 a month, you may only be eligible for a total of $4,500 in rent relief funds ($1,500 x 3).

Many people are still struggling financially at this stage of the pandemic. If you're in the same boat and live in Travis County, it pays to see if you qualify for relief on the housing front. Doing so could spell the difference between being able to stay in your home and having to scramble to avoid homelessness.

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