City expects bump in housing assistance requests as state halts new rent relief applications
The Texas Rent Relief program stopped taking new applications at 5 p.m. Friday, citing more requests than money available. However, the City of San Antonio says its Emergency Housing Assistance Program (EHAP), which pays rent or mortgage, and utility bills for San Antonio residents affected by the pandemic, still has enough money to last through the end of the year.
Program to help struggling San Antonio families still flush with cash
SAN ANTONIO – A program to help residents who are struggling because of the pandemic pay their rent and other bills still has tens of millions of dollars to dole out. The Emergency Housing Assistance Program (EHAP) has received a total of $133.6 million in chunks over the past year from various funding sources. That’s before any additional rent assistance money from a stimulus bill passed by Congress is added to the mix. Bexar County residents appear only to be eligible for rental assistance, while city residents can also get help with water, power and internet service. However, they won’t be able to get assistance for the same period of time for which they already got help.
San Antonio gets $46.7M from federal government for rental assistance
San Antonio – The City of San Antonio has received $46.7 million dollars from the federal government to bolster its efforts to keep struggling residents in their homes. It appears this could extend the life of the city’s popular Emergency Housing Assistance Program (EHAP) for several months. Excluding the federal money, the total amount allocated to the program, including some $10.1 million on Wednesday, amounts to about $86.8 million. At least 90% of the incoming federal dollars must be used for direct financial assistance, which includes rent, rental arrears, utilities, and home energy costs. If you have been affected by the pandemic and need help with your bills, you can get information on the Emergency Housing Assistance Program HERE.
City looks to stretch rent assistance program into March
One of the most high-profile uses of that money, and other funding sources, is the city’s Emergency Housing Assistance Program (EHAP), which helps struggling residents pay their rent, mortgage and other bills. As of Wednesday, $64.8 million had been approved through the program, and city staff members have plans to keep it funded into March. In a briefing to city council members on Thursday, staff members said the city will receive $3.6 million in Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) funds from the state as part of the Texas Emergency Rental Assistance Program. The city has also been notified it will get an additional $10.2 million in CDBG dollars through the CARES Act. City staff members recommend using $4.6 million for EHAP, which Assistant City Manager Lori Houston said could take the program into “most likely early March.”A full recommendation is expected in January to the Culture and Neighborhood Services Committee.