For Renters

How to Apply

If you need assistance with past due rent, click below and search for your landlord. If your landlord is not enrolled, encourage them to register at houstonharrishelp.org/landlords. You will be able to submit an application even if your landlord chooses not to participate.

If the application is approved, the tenant and landlord will be notified via email.

Apply Now

If you've already applied, you can check your status here.

Do You Have Questions?

Please call our hotline at 832-402-7568.

Call center hours 9am - 6pm Monday-Friday, 10am - 2pm Saturday

You can also visit our FAQ page to find more information

More FAQs

How It Works

  1. Landlords enroll in the program. If your landlord is not registered, encourage them to enroll at houstonharrishelp.org/landlords.

  2. Tenants begin the application process by selecting their landlord. Participating landlords are listed here: hhccommunity.force.com/tenant/s/.

    If a tenant’s landlord is not already enrolled, tenants can contact their landlord and ask them to enroll at houstonharrishelp.org/landlords.

    You will be able to submit an application even if your landlord chooses not to participate.

  3. Tenants apply online, entering information about their household, location, and past-due rent amount, along with uploading documents to provide proof of income, proof of COVID-19 financial impact, and proof of housing instability.

  4. Once a tenant’s application is approved, the landlord will be asked to confirm the amount of the tenant’s past-due rent and accept any prospective payments for future months.

  5. After confirming, the tenant and landlord will receive a ‘confirmed pledge’ email indicating the amount of rental assistance they will receive.

  6. Program administrators will pay the ‘confirmed pledge’ directly to the landlord’s bank account. The landlord must then credit the tenant’s account within five business days.

Program Eligibility

This program is available to renters within Harris County or the City of Houston who have been financially impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic, who are experiencing housing instability, and whose household income is at or below 80% of Area Median Family Income.

Qualifying maximum income levels are shown below:

Household Size Monthly Income Annual Income
1 $3,679 $44,150
2 $4,204 $50,450
3 $4,729 $56,750
4 $5,254 $63,050
5 $5,675 $68,100
6 $6,095 $73,150
7 $6,516 $76,200
8 $6,937 $83,250

*AMI is for the Houston-The Woodlands-Sugar Land Metro Area in 2020 as defined by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development and reported by the City of Houston Housing and Community Development.

Public Programs List:

If you or any of your household members currently participate in any of the following programs, then you meet the income eligibility requirements for the Houston-Harris County Emergency Rental Assistance Program.

Public Programs List
Medicaid
Federal Pell Grant (if current student)
Harris Health Gold Card
Public Housing Assistance (Houston or Harris County Housing Authority)
Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP)
National School Lunch Program (Free and/or Reduced School Lunch)
Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP/Food Stamps)
Women, Infants, and Children Program (WIC)
Supplemental Security Income (SSI)
Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF)
Tribal Assistance
VA Pension or Disability
Head Start

Documentation Requirements

Types of Documents Accepted Documents
Proof of Identity
Current ID unless stated otherwise
  • Driver’s license or other state-issued ID
  • U.S. or foreign passport
  • School ID
  • Nonprofit membership ID
  • U.S. visa
  • Work permit
  • Legal permanent resident card (Green card)
  • Matrícula consular
  • Current or expired foreign government issued ID
  • Office of Refugee Resettlement ID
  • Work ID
  • Library card
  • Handgun license
  • Military ID
  • Texas Election ID certificate
  • Additional documentation may be requested if landlord refuses to participate and direct cash assistance is needed
Proof of Residence at Rental Unit
Provide all pages of the documents
  • Current photo ID with address of rental unit
  • Current utility bill (water, gas, cell phone, internet, or other utility provider to applicant at rental unit address
  • Lease
  • Mail from government office, financial institution, or utility provider to applicant at rental unit address
Proof of Income
Provide all pages of the documents
  • Award or approval letter for any of the public benefits programs listed above (letter must have name on it and must be dated on or after January 1, 2020)

OR one of the below:

  • 2020 tax return listing all adult household members
  • 2020 W-2(s) for every job held by each adult household member
  • 2020 1099(s) for every job held by each adult household
  • Unemployment compensation statement
  • Pay stubs for the 30 days prior to application date, with name of beneficiary and address of rental unit
  • Profit & Loss ledger for the 30 days prior to application date
  • Stipend(s), alimony, pension/retirement/annuity monthly award letter(s)
  • Letter from employer verifying monthly salary/wages
  • SSI or SSDI statement of benefits, with name of beneficiary and address of rental unit
  • Certification of Zero Income

OR

  • Self-declaration of income if none of the above are available
Proof of Economic Hardship due to COVID-19
Provide all pages of the documents
  • Unemployment statement
  • Discharge, layoff, or furlough letter
  • Pay stubs showing reduction in work hours
  • Pay stubs showing reduction in income
  • Notice of business closure (letter from employer of closure, closure announcement in newspaper, etc)
  • Documentation of significant costs incurred, such as child or dependent care or medical expenses
  • Other proof of financial hardship

OR

  • Self-declaration of hardship if none of the above are available
Proof of Housing Instability
Provide all pages of the documents
  • Past due rent notice or invoice
  • Letter or other communication from landlord indicating past due rent amount
  • Late or unpaid utility bill (water, electricity, gas)
  • Lockout notice or eviction notice

OR

  • Self-declaration of housing instability if none of the above are available

Funding Availability

Funding is available for past-due rent from April 2020 onward, for months in which no other rental assistance has been received, not to exceed 12 months total. Households may also be eligible for up to two months of future rental support as well as utility assistance for past due electricity, gas or water bills that are paid directly to the landlord. The landlord must confirm the amount of past-due rent and utilities that are requested.

Note: Guidelines listed here correspond to grants funded by the US Treasury Emergency Rental Assistance Program, the primary source of funding for this program. Guidelines for funding from other sources may vary slightly.

What if I need utility assistance?

If you pay your landlord directly for utilities such as electricity, water sewer, trash collection, etc., you may add your total monthly cost for utilities to the monthly amount of rental assistance you are requesting. If you do not pay your landlord for utilities, you may be eligible for assistance through BakerRipley's Utility Assistance Program.

Please note: Income eligibility for this program is significantly lower than the Houston-Harris County Emergency Rental Assistance Program. For example, a family of four can only earn up to $39,750 annually. Income and other eligibility requirements, along with an application link, are on the program web page.

What if I have a question?

Please call our hotline at 832-402-7568.

Call Center hours will be 9 am – 6 pm, Monday-Friday, and 10 am – 2 pm on Saturday throughout the program.

If you suspect fraud and want to report it, you can use this Online Hotline Form to report to the U.S. Treasury Department.

If you live in the city of Houston and suspect your landlord is not complying with ERAP program guidelines, report your concerns here.