Many Americans find it challenging to manage rent and utilities even as the COVID-19 pandemic subsides. If you're struggling with months of overdue rent and the looming threat of eviction or homelessness, numerous resources await your exploration.

Texas Rent Relief (TRR)stands as one of the largest statewide programs to aid households in dire need of financial assistance. Continue reading to delve into the program's structure, operational framework, eligibility criteria, and current availability for application.

What Is Texas Rent Relief?

Texas Rent Relief, federally funded and initiated in February 2021, has provided aid to thousands of pandemic-affected households. New applicants can receive up to 18 months of rent and utility assistance, covering past due, current, and future payments upon application submission.

Returning applicants who haven't exhausted the maximum 18-month assistance period can request additional funding through the application portal. Priority is given to applicants facing imminent eviction.

Is the Texas Rent Relief Program Open Again?

While the Texas Rent Relief program isn’t currently open, you can check the current status on this website. The program was first launched as a pilot program in fall 2020. By the next year, it was introduced statewide with the goal of providing emergency assistance to tenants and landlords impacted by the pandemic.

In November 2021, the program closed because it ran out of money. It was again open for a brief period in March 2023 but had to close again because the requests received greatly exceeded funding.

Texas Rent Relief Programs

The COVID-19 pandemic affected hundreds of thousands of Texans throughout the state. As an emergency measure, the government had introduced two main assistance programs at the time.

Texas Rent Relief Program

The Texas Rent Relief program was introduced to help renters who lived anywhere in the state of Texas catch up with past-due and current rent and/or utility bills. The emergency funds were available directly to both tenants and landlords.

Households with incomes below 80% of the area median income were eligible if they met other eligibility requirements.

Texas Eviction Diversion Program

The Texas Eviction Diversion Program (TEDP) aimed to aid Texas renters stay in their homes, extending up to six months of assistance to eligible applicants facing eviction lawsuits due to overdue rent.

The program also used a special court process, allowing courts to divert eviction lawsuits to the TEDP. This was a temporary program that has since closed as of the summer of 2023.

How the Texas Rent Relief Application Process Works

While the Texas Rent Relief program isn’t currently open, we’ve provided an overview of the eligibility requirements and how it works below so you can be prepared if it does re-open in the future.

What You Need To Become Eligible

To qualify for the program, your household income must be below 80% of the Area Median Income. Additionally, at least one household member must:

  • Qualified to receive unemployment insurance benefits, or
  • Experienced financial hardship
  • Experienced reduction in household income or increase in significant costs

Additionally, households must demonstrate they are at risk of experiencing housing instability, homelessness, or inhabiting unhealthy or unsafe conditions. Paperwork such as past-due rent notices, utility bills, or eviction notices may be required for verification. The rental unit must serve as your main/primary residence and be located in Texas to meet eligibility criteria.

Brad Reichert, founder and managing director of Reichert Asset Management LLC, offers this advice to Texas residents enrolling in rent relief or similar plans. “When receiving financial assistance from programs like Texas Rent Relief and the Texas Eviction Diversion Program, it’s always best to keep detailed records of your financial information, such as income, current debts, and your household budget, just in case your information is questioned or additional copies of documents are required, now or in the future,” Reichert says.   

How Long Does It Take to Process Applications

You can apply for the program online at or by calling 833-9TX-RENT (833-989-7368). The program prioritizes those facing immediate evictions. All other applications are processed in the order they’re received.

Once you submit the application, watch out for any communications from the government if they need additional information. Not responding to requests can delay your application and any approved payments that you may otherwise qualify to receive.

What To Do if a Payment Is Approved but Not Received

If your application has been approved but you have not received the payment, check your email or mailbox for any requests for additional information.

If not, you can call 1-833-989-7368 (8 a.m. to 6 p.m. CST) to ask about the status of your payment.

Alternatives to Rent Relief in Texas

Even if you can’t apply for Texas Rent Relief right now, there are other city and county rent assistance programs you can apply for. Here’s a list of resources you may want to explore:

You can also call 211 to speak to a local specialist who can help you find rent relief in Texas. If you’re being evicted, consider getting legal assistance for your eviction hearing. 

Get Rental Assistance

Facing housing insecurity, living in an unsafe environment, or facing homelessness can be incredibly challenging for anyone. Fortunately, there are many rental assistance programs, Texas debt relief solutions, and resources available that can help.

Continue to check the Texas Rent Relief website or news from the Texas Department of Housing and Community Affairs (TDHCA) for the latest updates on whether the program is accepting applications. If not, contact your local HUD office and speak to a housing counselor, or call 211 to find local nonprofits, affordable housing, and rental help.