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New rent relief program opens Monday to help during COVID-19 pandemic

HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) — The city of Houston will open another rental relief program Monday and landlords are being encouraged this week to sign up for the plan.

ABC13 has received numerous questions from viewers, many of whom are worried about how they’ll pay their rent. One example comes from Sylvia: “How can I apply for help?”

Starting next week, a portal run by Baker Ripley will open online for people to apply. Recipients will then be notified if they are selected.

Another viewer, Joe, asked, “If I got rental relief last time, can I still apply?”

Yes, people living in the city of Houston and Harris County and who have received rental relief before can still apply.

There is a total of $45 million available for rental assistance, $20 million from the city of Houston and $25 million from Harris County.

“Can I get rent relief for a home?” asked viewer Harry.

Renters living in homes may apply, but landlords have to enroll in the program.

The program is a little different, however.
SEE RELATED STORY: Everything you need to know about Houston’s second Rental Relief Package

“The first round of the city of Houston funding was first come, first serve,” said Rene Solis with Baker Ripley. “This time, we are looking at it differently where everyone can apply and then we will select applications based on criteria from Harris County and city of Houston funding.”

Officials said they are looking for people with low income and who are economically vulnerable.

People whose family earns less than 80% of the median income, which is about $63,000 a year for a family of four, can apply.

SEE RELATED STORY: Need help? ABC13 to host ‘COVID-19 Relief’ town hall Thursday

To learn more about applying, you can find more on the portal here.

Follow Jeff Ehling on Facebook and Twitter.

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