Rent, utility help on its way July 12

By Sahar Chmais
HAYS COUNTY – Residents struggling to make ends meet could receive some relief with rental and utility assistance. The application process will begin July 12.
The COVID-19 Emergency Assistance Program (ERA) is a federal fund that will assist with back rent, utility payments and late fee assistance, for those affected by the pandemic. Money granted for rental assistance will be given to the landlord or tenant.
On July 12, landlords and tenants can begin registration and receive a receipt for their registration. The receipt will be used to show Hays County courts proof of application if eviction proceedings are in motion. Landlords can also contact Hays County’s ERA Program for tenant flyers and encourage tenants with past due rent to apply to the program.
ERA Program can cover up to 12 months of rent and utility assistance, if eligible, and will account for payments accrued after March 13, 2020. Applicants will receive funds three months at a time and will not receive more than 12 months of assistance.
Eligible applicants must have an income at or below 50% of the area median, which is $98,900 in Hays County. Another eligibility includes households with one or more individuals that have been unemployed for at least 90 days prior to the date of application; these applicants will be prioritized for the first 21 days of the program.
Documents needed for application submissions include:
  • Amount due in rent
  • Utilities, if not included in rent
  • Reasonable accrued late fees
  • W9, provided by landlord
  • PDF bank deposit statements for unpaid rent
  • Previous W2
  • Other applicant expenses

To learn more, visit the county website at hayscountytx.com/departments/veteran-services/emergency-rental-assistance-program/, or email erap@co.hays.tx.us.

 

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Sahar Chmais holds a bachelor's degree in journalism from the University of Texas at Austin. She has been covering cities in Hays County for one year, touching on residents' struggles and successes, city issues, COVID-19 and more. Prior to reporting on the local spectrum, Sahar reported for a national news organization, covering gun violence. Sahar enjoys working as a local reporter because she gets to work with real people and their stories.

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