Austin's NPR Station
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00
0:00
Available On Air Stations

Travis County's rent relief program will officially close Dec. 6

Organizers with Building and Strengthening Tenant Action (BASTA), placed door hangers with information on evictions around apartment complexes during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Gabriel C. Pérez
/
KUT
Organizers with Building and Strengthening Tenant Action (BASTA) placed door hangers with information on evictions around apartment complexes during the COVID-19 pandemic last year.

Citing a shortfall in federal funding, Travis County is closing its emergency rent relief program on Monday.

County Commissioners voted to shutter the program on Tuesday, though it could be reopened if more federal money comes into county coffers. County staff estimated a $4 million shortfall in funding, and commissioners opted to shut the program down for now.

The program saw roughly 600 applications in the last two weeks alone, a spike that county staff attributed to rent relief programs from the City of Austin and Texas closing.

In an announcement, County Executive for Health and Human Services Sherri Fleming said the program doled out more than $10 million in rent relief across more than 2,800 households.

"Travis County understands that there is still need for rental assistance in the community, and staff is working on identifying additional sources of funding. If more funding becomes available, we stand ready to resume providing assistance to families most impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic," Fleming said.

Ahead of Tuesday's vote, Fleming said the county was still awaiting more than $3 million in federal money, adding that staff also applied for an additional $7.8 million in funding, but it's not clear if or when the U.S. Treasury Department could make that available.

The county's rent relief application site will close on Dec. 6, but applicants will still be able to submit documentation after the cutoff. The closure comes as Austin and Travis County's moratoriums on evictions are set to expire at the end of the month.

If you found this reporting valuable, please consider making a donation to support it. Your gift pays for everything you find on KUT.org. Thanks for donating today.

Andrew Weber is a general assignment reporter for KUT, focusing on criminal justice, policing, courts and homelessness in Austin and Travis County. Got a tip? You can email him at aweber@kut.org. Follow him on Twitter @England_Weber.
Related Content