Monday, November 2, 2020

City of Austin, Housing Authority to Announce Relief of Emergency Needs for Tenants (RENT) Program Updates

For immediate release: November 2, 2020
Contact:  Jeffrey Patterson, 512-974-3172,


Austin Expands RENT Assistance Program to Offer More Help to Residents With COVID-Related Income Loss

The City of Austin is announcing changes to expand the Relief of Emergency Needs for Tenants (RENT) Assistance Program for income-eligible Austin renters who have experienced a COVID-19-related income loss. 

Since August, the City's Housing and Planning Department (HPD) and the Housing Authority of the City of Austin (HACA) have partnered to distribute $12.9 million in rental assistance through January 2021 to Austin renters impacted financially by COVID-19.

These adjustments announced today are the result of ongoing program evaluations to ensure funding is being distributed efficiently and is best meeting the needs of income-eligible households.
Effective immediately, the RENT Assistance Program will:

  • Provide up to six months of full contracted rent payment for rent incurred between March 1, 2020 through December 31, 2020.  This includes rent that is due now, rent that is overdue and future rent during this time period.
  • Conduct random selection drawings at noon every Friday through the end of the year, or until the funds are expended.  All applications, regardless of when they are submitted, will continue to be given equal chance in the selection process.
  • Households will be allowed a one-time certification of eligibility (instead of monthly) at the time applications are submitted.

Potential applicants should visit the RENT Application Portal for instructions, a how-to video, frequently asked questions, and application assistance.  For further information visit, email or call the RENT Call Center at 512-488-1397 between  8 a.m. and 6 p.m. CST Monday through Friday. Individuals needing hearing or speech accessibility using TDD or TTY technology may call Texas Relay Services by dialing 7-1-1 for assistance.

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