This has impacted both health related sectors and the overall economy as well, thus reflecting on income decrease within residents.
To make front, Country Judge KP George announced during a press conference on March 1st, additional funding to assist households that are unable to pay rent and utilities because of the pandemic, through a new Program called ERA.
The funds will be directed from the federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act with the objective of helping struggling residents to pay their rent and utility bills.
According to Community Impact, the program launched Feb. 17 but announcements were delayed because of the winter storm. To date, just under 2,000 tenants have applied for assistance, and county officials expect that number to increase.
“This program is for people that are really struggling,” George said. Furthermore, through this program, residents may be eligible for up to 12 months of assistance for rent and utilities, which doesn’t not include assistance toward mortgage payments.
Among the eligibility criteria, the applicant must be a resident of Fort Bend County, have a demonstrated reduction in household income due to the pandemic, a demonstrated risk of experiencing homelessness or housing instability, and a household income at or below 80% of the area median income.
To apply, eligible candidates must first contact their landlords and have them enroll in the Landlord Portal for the ERA Program located on the Fort Bend County webpage. Second, upload the corresponding documents into the online portal, and lastly fill the online application.
As the ERA Program will provide rent and/or utility assistance for up to twelve months or until funds are exhausted, residents are encouraged to apply as soon as possible.
More information on the application process and eligibility criteria can be found here.