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Harris County reopens applications for $1,500 in pandemic relief | How to apply

Eligible Harris County residents have from now until Sept. 12 to submit an application.

HARRIS COUNTY, Texas — The application process has reopened for the Harris County Recovery Assistance program, which gives a one-time $1,500 payment to households still reeling from the economic impact of the pandemic.

Harris County is accepting online applications at HarrisCountyRelief.org now until Sept. 12. 

If you applied for funds back in August, according to the county website, your application is still being considered. Do not apply again.

Applications are only open to Harris County residents who can prove they're experiencing hardship. The funds can be used for any urgent need; including rent, childcare, groceries, medical expenses, internet and so on.

Officials said a one-time payment of $1,500 will be given directly to 20,000 eligible families living in Harris County. The money will be sent out in late fall with the option of direct deposit or certified mail.

The program is not first-come, first-served. It prioritizes applicants in the lowest income bracket and applications are processed at random.

If you don’t qualify for this $1,500 boost, call 211 or check with Catholic Charities and BakerRipley for other forms of assistance. 

How to qualify

Recipients must meet the following requirements:

  • Households must be within Harris County (inside or outside City of Houston limits). 
  • Applicant must be 18 years or older (or be an emancipated minor). 
  • Households must self-certify that they have experienced economic hardship during the COVID-19 pandemic.  
  • Household must have at least one member enrolled in a public assistance program, or a total household income at or below 60% of the HUD Area Median Family Income ($33,300 for one person; $47,520 for a family of 4). 
  • One payment will be made per family unit. If housing is shared by more than one family unit, each family unit may apply.  
  • As required by federal guidelines, at least one adult member of the household must be a U.S. citizen, legal permanent resident, refugee, or other qualified noncitizen.

How to apply

You must apply online at HarrisCountyRelief.org

You will be asked for proof of ID, proof of residency within Harris County, and documentation of public benefits OR that the household income is at or below 60% HUD Area Median Family Income.

A list of acceptable documentation can be found on the Harris County Relief website.

If you have any questions, the call center is available at 832-345-6289 on weekdays from 9 a.m. - 6 p.m. It's also open Saturdays from 10 a.m. - 2 p.m.

NOTE

Call Center hours change for the following dates:

  • Saturday, Sept.11: 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
    Sunday, Sept. 12: 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Biden Administration praises Harris County

Harris County is being praised by the Biden Administration for its ongoing efforts to help residents facing evictions.

Judge Lina Hidalgo spoke to city, county and state officials from across the country about what Harris County is doing to prevent evictions. She said the county has been successful in handing out funds by prioritizing those with immediate needs, distributing money fairly across the county and working closely with others like the city of Houston.

Hidalgo said more than 50,000 households and 10,000 landlords have been helped through local funding and the federal emergency assistance program.

“As of this week, we have distributed $188 million. That is all of our round one funding as well as all of the first part of our round two funding and we’re already digging into the second part of round two funding which just arrived last week,” Hidalgo said.

She said there’s still money available to help thousands of more people.

At the moment, Hidalgo said 38,000 applications are being processed which adds up to another $130 million in emergency rental assistance.