Hays County Historic Courthouse, Wednesday, March 31, 2021, in San Marcos.

Hays County residents can begin applying for the COVID-19 Emergency Rental Assistance Program (ERA) on July 12. Through the ERA program, eligible residents can receive assistance with rental, utility and late fees.  

The program is funded through a federal grant and aims to assist residents who have had difficulty paying rent or utility bills due to the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Landlords and tenants can begin registering for the program and receiving a receipt of their registration beginning July 12. Registration can be used as proof of application in Hays County court if eviction proceedings are in process. Landlords with tenants approved for the program will receive payments directly from the grant. 

Households eligible for the program can receive up to 12 months of rent and or utility assistance (accrued after March 13, 2020). Households may reapply for additional assistance after an initial one to three months of support (in three-months increments, not to exceed a total of 12 months).  

The program is eligible for renter households in Hays County with an income no more than 80% of the area median income. One or more members of the households must have either:

  • Qualified for unemployment benefits, or due to or during the pandemic: 
    • experienced a reduction in income, 
    • incurred significant costs, 
    • experienced other financial hardship 

One or more individuals within the household must also demonstrate they are at risk of experiencing homelessness or housing instability or at risk of living in unsafe or unhealthy conditions. 

To apply for assistance, applicants must provide the following information: 

  • the amount due in rent, 
  • utility if not included in rent,
  • reasonable accrued late fees, 
  • W9 (provided by landlord),
  • PDF bank deposit statements for months' rent not paid, 
  • previous W2,
  • other applicant expenses 

For the first 21 days of the program, the program will prioritize applicants with an income at or below 50% of the area median ($98,000) or households with one or more individuals that have been unemployed for a 90-day period preceding the date of the application. 

After the initial priority phase, applicants facing immediate eviction with be prioritized next. Applicants that meet income eligibility requirements but are not facing immediate eviction will be prioritized after. 

Local businesses or agencies able to assist those applying for the program through services such as free faxing, scanning, computer support or language translation are asked to contact erap@co.hays.tx.us

For more information about the ERA program, email erap@co.hays.tx.us. or visit the ERA program online

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