NEED HELP? You can contact our Client Call Center at 512-677-6070 or by email to traviscounty.onlinepha@nanmckay.com
Emergency Rental Assistance Program

FAQs

Tenant FAQ


1.      WHAT IS THE COVID-19 EMERGENCY RENTAL ASSISTANCE PROGRAM?

The Travis County COVID-19 Emergency Rental Assistance Program is a rental assistance program designed to provide relief to low- and moderate-income households residing in Travis County that are unable to pay rent due to the COVID-19 Pandemic.

2.      WHO CAN APPLY FOR THE COVID-19 EMERGENCY RENTAL ASSISTANCE PROGRAM?

Eligible households for this program are renter households in which at least one individual is obligated to pay rent on a residence and at least one individual within the household meets all the following criteria:

  • Resides within the boundaries of Travis County, Texas (persons in other states or counties are expressly excluded);
  • Qualifies for unemployment or has experienced a reduction in household income, incurred significant costs, or experienced a financial hardship due to COVID-19;
  • Demonstrates a risk of experiencing homelessness or housing instability; AND
  • Has a household income at or below 80% of the area median income (AMI).

3.      HOW DO I APPLY FOR THE COVID-19 ERAP?

If you meet the priority criteria, go to https://traviscounty.onlinepha.com/en-US/Home/Index during the 30-day open enrollment period and follow the instructions on the home page to submit an application. Applicants may also pick up and submit paper applications at designated locations. 

4.      HOW DOES PRIORITIZATION OF ASSISTANCE WORK?

The Emergency Rental Assistance Program prioritizes the following applicants:

  1. Households that include an individual who has been unemployed for the 90 days prior to application for assistance
  2. Households with incomes at or below 50% of the AMI
  3. Live outside of the City of Austin; AND
  4. Households that applied to the County’s previous pandemic-related rental assistance program and have not yet received eligibility determination and/or payment

Application intake will begin for all eligible applicants at the same time; however, applications received during the first 30 days of the application period that meet the criteria above will be prioritized. Following the processing of those priority applications received in the first 30 days, applications will be processed in the order of date and time received.  

5.   WHEN CAN I SUBMIT AN APPLICATION FOR COVID-19 ERAP ASSISTANCE?

The open enrollment period for accepting applications opens on Monday, April 19, 2021 at 9:00 am.

6.      WHAT ARE THE HOURS THAT THE WEBSITE WILL ACCEPT COVID-19 ERAP APPLICATIONS?

The application portal at https://traviscounty.onlinepha.com/en-US/Home/Index  will accept applications 24 hours a day beginning on April 19, 2021 until September 1, 2021.

Travis County has designated the following community centers for pick up and submission of paper applications:

 

Del Valle

3518 FM 973 S.
Del Valle, Texas, 78617 (Map)
Phone: 512-854-1520
Fax: 512-854-1528
Email: delvalle@traviscountytx.gov

Manor

600 W. Carrie Manor St.
Manor, Texas, 78653 (Map)
Phone: 512-854-1550
Fax: 512-854-1559
Email: manor@traviscountytx.gov

 

Jonestown

18649 FM 1431
Suite 6A
Jonestown, Texas, 78645 (Map)
Phone: 512-854-1500
Fax: 512-854-1510
Email: jonestown@traviscountytx.gov

 

Oak Hill

8656 A State Highway 71 West
Suite 100
Austin, Texas, 78735 (Map)
Phone: 512-854-2130
Fax: 512-854-2145
Email: oakhill@traviscountytx.gov

 

Pflugerville

15822 Foothill Farm Loop
Suite D
Pflugerville, Texas, 78660 (Map)
Phone: 512-854-1530
Fax: 512-854-1543
Email: pflugerville@traviscountytx.gov

 


 


7.      HOW LONG WILL THE COVID-19 ERAP ASSISTANCE REMAIN AVAILABLE?

Applications will be accepted until September 1, 2021 or until all funds have been obligated, whichever is sooner.

8.      HOW MUCH ASSISTANCE IS AVAILABLE?

Eligible applicants can apply for a maximum of fifteen (15) months of rental assistance. This total includes a maximum of twelve (12) months of support for rental arrears and, if eligible, three (3) months of assistance with prospective rental payments to ensure housing stability. The applicant’s arrears (retrospective to March 13, 2020) will be paid first, with the remainder available for future rent (through December 31, 2021).

9.      CAN I APPLY FOR, OR RECEIVE OTHER RENTAL ASSISTANCE WHILE BEING ASSISTED BY THE COVID-19 ERAP?

Yes, but not for the same months of rental payments that are being covered by Travis County. The County is leveraging statewide resources to ensure that there is no duplication of benefits through ERAP.

10.      WHAT DOCUMENTATION IS REQUIRED WHEN I SUBMIT MY APPLICATION?

Reduction in Household Income

Reduction in household income is defined as a loss of wages or compensation after March 13, 2020. Travis County will accept any of the following documents as verification of reduction in household income:

  • Letter from employer confirming reduced wages, termination, or furlough
  • Layoff letter from employer
  • Print out showing benefits received in the last thirty (30) days
  • Notice of business closure on employer website
  • Letter from healthcare provider stating that the applicant was unable to work due to a COVID-related illness
  • Payment records (pay stubs) indicating a trend of reduced income

If the applicant cannot obtain any of the above documents, they may instead provide a self-attestation stating that they meet this requirement and explaining why they are unable to provide this documentation.

Incurred Significant Costs

Significant costs are defined as any unanticipated expenses incurred after March 13, 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The following are examples of significant costs:

  • Increased healthcare costs, including at-home care for individuals with COVID-19 and its adverse healthcare impacts such as
  • Expenses incurred due to quarantining or social distancing as mandated by employer (computer equipment, internet expenses, etc.)
  • Expenses for childcare due to COVID-19 school closures
  • Penalties, fees, and legal costs associated with rental or utility arrears
  • Alternative transportation for households unable to use public transportation during the pandemic

Unable to Pay Past Rent

Unable to pay past rent is defined as lacking the current financial means to pay outstanding rent obligations. Travis County will accept any of the following as verification of housing instability:

  • Past due rent notice
  • Eviction notice

Unable to Pay Prospective Rent

Unable to pay prospective rent is defined as lacking the current financial means to pay current and future rent obligations. Travis County will accept any of the following as verification of housing instability:

  • Written attestation from the application stating concerns in ability to meet current and future rental obligations (may request 3 months of assistance)
    • Travis County will consider this attestation alongside the applicant’s documentation of rental obligations and financial need (these requirements are discussed in other sections)

Income Verification

At least one of the following documents must be provided for each household member.

Annual Income

  • 2020 tax return (1040, 1040EZ, etc.)
  • 2020 W-2 from employer
  • 2020 1099 tax form
  • Other evidence of annual income such as a wage statement, interest statement or other banking statement, or unemployment compensation statement
  • If the applicant cannot obtain these documents, they may instead provide a self-attestation stating that they meet this requirement and explaining why they are unable to provide this documentation.
    • If using attestation, applicant must sign an income disclosure statement
    • If using attestation, income eligibility must be redetermined every 3 months

Monthly Income

  • One (1) pay stub, at minimum, for wages dated within the last sixty (60) days, demonstrating a full month’s worth of consecutive pay
  • Social Security Administration (SSA) benefit letter dated within the last twelve (12) months
  • Unemployment benefits letter dated within the last sixty (60) days
  • Child support payment report from Travis County Domestic Relations Office or the Texas Office of the Attorney General
  • Letter dated within the last sixty (60) days confirming child support payments made outside of Travis County Domestic Relations Office or the Texas Office of the Attorney General
  •  If the applicant cannot obtain these documents, they may instead provide a self-attestation stating that they meet this requirement and explaining why they are unable to provide this documentation.
    • If using an attestation, income eligibility must be redetermined every 3 months.

External Income Verification

  • If an applicant’s household income has been verified to be at or below 80 percent of AMI in connection with another local, state, or federal government assistance program, applicants may provide this determination letter instead of the other required documentation in this section. The determination letter must have been issued within 90 days prior to the application date. Applicants will still be required to sign an attestation verifying their income documentation as correct and complete.

Identity Verification

Travis County will use will utilize Melissa Data to verify identity of applicants. Applicants where identity is not able to be verified by Melissa Data, may be required to provide additional documentation.

Acceptable identification must include the family member’s name and date of birth. Examples of acceptable identification include a driver’s license, birth certificate, passport, or government-issued ID (U.S. or other country).

Proof of Residency

  • Lease signed by applicant (or member of the household) and landlord that includes all the following information:
    • Applicant name listed as either tenant or resident;
    • Vendor name and contact information;
    • Dates of the lease term;
    • Monthly rental amount; AND
    • Address of applicant residence
  • If the applicant does not have a lease, they may instead provide a self-attestation stating that they meet this requirement and explaining why they are unable to provide this documentation; the applicant must also provide:
    • Evidence of paying utilities for the residential unit; OR
    • Attestation by a landlord who can be identified as the verified owner or management agent of the unit; attestation should include all the information that is required above of the lease (applicant name, vendor name, lease terms, monthly rent, etc.)
  • In addition, if the household is seeking rental assistance for a manufactured home (e.g., mobile home), the applicant will provide an attestation indicating:
    • The residence meets the definition of manufactured home stated in Section II.A.4; AND
    • The applicant has intent to remain at this residence

Rent Amount

Travis County will accept any of the following as verification of rent amount. These documents may be duplicative of the documentation that is required above for residency:

  • Lease signed by applicant (or member of the household) and the landlord or sublessor that includes the rental payment amount
    • If household receives subsidized rental assistance, applicant must also provide documentation from the housing authority or other entity providing subsidized rental assistance that shows the rent portion for which the applicant is responsible
  • If the household does not have a lease:
    • Bank statements, check stubs, or other documentation that reasonably establishes a pattern of paying rent; AND
    • Attestation by a landlord who can be identified as the verified owner or management agent of the unit; attestation should include all the information that is required above of the lease (applicant name, vendor name, lease terms, monthly rent, etc.)
  • If payment documentation is not available, applicants may apply for temporary assistance of three (3) months while they take time to work with their landlord to gather the required documentation. The County expects that in most cases the household would be able to provide documentation of the amount of the rental obligation in any applications for further assistance. In this case, Travis County will accept:
    • Written attestation from the applicant to support the payment of assistance up to a monthly maximum of 100% of the greater of the Fair Market Rent or the Small Area Fair Market Rent for the area in which the applicant resides, as most recently determined by HUD and made available at https://www.huduser.gov/portal/datasets/fmr.html; AND
    • Written attestation from the applicant that the household has not received, and does not anticipate receiving, another source of public or private subsidy or assistance for the rental costs that are the subject of the attestation.

Rental Payments

Travis County cannot not make commitments for prospective rent payments unless the rental arrears have been fully paid. Applicants with rental arrears that are seeking support for future rent payments must apply for both types of assistance.

Rent Arrears

The County cannot award more than 15 months of rental assistance total. Travis County will accept any of the following as evidence of rent arrears:

  • Lease and past due notice
  • Notice of rent arrears issued by the rental property owner
  • Eviction notice
  • Summary process summons and complaint identifying the applicant(s) as the Defendant(s)/Tenant(s)/Occupant(s), which sets forth a hearing date within thirty (30) days

If rent arrears documentation is not available, applicants may apply for temporary assistance of three (3) months while they take time to work with their landlord to gather the required documentation. In this case, Travis County will accept:

  • Written attestation, provided the applicant can provide satisfactory evidence of residence
  • If this option is the sole source of documentation, the household must provide evidence of rent owed after three (3) months to be considered for continued assistance. (See Documentation of Residency) 

Prospective Rent

Applicants requesting prospective rent payments for housing stability assistance must provide proof of rental obligation. Travis County will accept any of the following as evidence of need:

  • Lease agreement
  • Tenancy at-will agreement
  • Other written verification from the owner outlining the terms of the tenant agreement that contains the applicant’s name, unit address, monthly rent, and effective dates (must cover the period in which assistance will be covered), specifies what costs are required, and complies with local and state law
  • If the applicant cannot obtain these documents, they may instead provide a self-attestation stating that they meet this requirement and explaining why they are unable to provide this documentation

Utility Expenses

If utility expenses are included as part of the applicant’s monthly rental payment to their landlord, these expenses must be itemized on the rental bill from the landlord.

Other Expenses

All payments for housing-related expenses must be supported by documentary evidence such as a bill, invoice, or evidence of payment to the provider of the service, itemizing all expenses.

Landlord Information

For the County to make an ERAP payment to a property owner on behalf of an applicant family, that property owner or their agent must provide:

  • For landlords and utility providers, the name, address, and Social Security number, tax identification number or DUNS number (required) Landlord name, address, SSN or tax identification number and DUNS number, as applicable;
  • Landlord’s completed W-9 tax form; AND
  • Proof of ownership (deed, most recent real estate tax bill, current property insurance policy, or most recent mortgage bill)
In instances where the landlord is not the property owner, the landlord may still receive payment if they submit:
  • Landlord’s completed W-9 tax form and payment information
  • Documentation that links the landlord to the owner, such as:
    • Management agreement;
    • Appointment of agency form; OR
    • Lease that lists the owner and management company.

11.  DO I NEED TO HAVE LEGAL IMMIGRATION STATUS TO BE ELIGIBLE TO RECEIVE ASSISTANCE?

 No. Households do not need to have a legal immigration status to qualify for the program.

12.  CAN I USE MY SMART PHONE, IPHONE, ANDROID TABLET OR OTHER ELECTRONIC DEVICE WHICH HAS AN INTERNET CONNECTION TO MAKE AN APPLICATION?

Yes, if you can navigate to the website https://traviscounty.onlinepha.com/en-US/Home/Index and enter all the information from your device, you can use it.

13.  DO I HAVE TO ENTER NAMES AND INCOME ON MY COVID-19 ERAP APPLICATION?

Yes. You must answer all the questions and complete all the required fields in the application. Your application must list all the members of your household and all your household’s income including, but not limited to: Social Security Retirement, Social Security Disability, Supplemental Security Income (SSI), pensions, child support, alimony, unemployment, temporary disability, wages, self-employment earning, etc.

14.  CAN I PRINT MY COVID-19 ERAP APPLICATION?

No, you cannot print the online application. However, paper applications can be picked up from one of the aforementioned community centers. Please note that upon completion these applications will need to be dropped off in person back at the community centers.

15.  IF I HAVE QUESTIONS, WHO SHOULD I CONTACT?

Please call (512) 677-6070for assistance.

16.  I WAS ON THE WEBSITE AND STARTED TO COMPLETE MY ERAP APPLICATION.  I LOST THE INTERNET CONNECTION IN THE MIDDLE.  HOW DO I GET BACK?

If you did not receive a confirmation receipt, you will need to start your application again from the beginning.

17.  THE WEBSITE IS UNAVAILABLE AND I CANNOT ENTER MY ERAP APPLICATION.  WHAT SHOULD I DO?

Please re-try after a few minutes.

18.  CAN SOMEONE ELSE SIGN UP FOR ME?

Yes, you can have a friend, family member, or social services provider assist you in completing the application, but you must certify that all the information being provided (dates of birth, income, etc.) is true and sign electronically. The person assisting you on the application will need to provide their name, phone number and email.

19.  IF MY CHILDREN LIVE WITH ME AND THEY ARE 18 YEARS OLD OR OLDER DO I HAVE TO INCLUDE THEIR INCOME?

Yes, all adult household members’ income needs to be entered into the application.

20.  HOW DO I REQUEST A REASONABLE ACCOMMODATION DUE TO A DISABILITY?

If you are disabled and need help applying for an application, Travis County will extend reasonable accommodations on a case-by-case basis and will take into consideration the disability and the need(s) of the individual(s). Please contact Customer Service number at (512) 677-6070for reasonable accommodations, including persons with limited English proficiency.

21.  I DON’T SPEAK ENGLISH OR DON’T SPEAK ENGLISH WELL ENOUGH TO COMPLETE THE ERAP APPLICATION. CAN I GET AN APPLICATION IN ANOTHER LANGUAGE?

Yes, the application is available in English and Spanish. 

22.  HOW SOON WILL I RECEIVE MY ASSISTANCE?

We are unable to provide an estimated timeframe for payment should your application be selected and approved.

23.  WILL THE HOUSING ASSISTANCE GO DIRECTLY TO ME?

Travis County will make direct payments to participating vendors (property owners, managers, etc.) on behalf of the program participant.

24.  CAN ERAP FUNDS BE USED TO PAY FOR SECURITY DEPOSITS OR OTHER FEES?

Yes. Funds can be used to cover late fees or relocation expenses for households that have been temporarily or permanently displaced due to COVID-19; expenses include rental security deposits, application fees, and related expenses. However, all payments for housing-related expenses must be supported by documentary evidence such as a bill, invoice, or evidence of payment to the provider of the service, itemizing all expenses.


Landlord FAQ


1.      CAN I APPLY ON BEHALF OF MY TENANT?

Yes. If a property manager or owner of a residential dwelling applies for assistance, the following is required:

  • Landlords must provide documentation of such application to the tenant;
  • Landlords must use any payments received from a payment made under this section to satisfy the tenant’s rental obligations to the owner; AND
  • The ERAP system must secure a signature from the tenant through client workflow communications. This requirement may be documented electronically. 

2.      HOW WILL LANDLORDS KNOW IF ONE OF THEIR TENANTS WILL RECEIVE ASSISTANCE THROUGH ERAP?

You will receive an email stating your tenant was approved for assistance, along with the estimated amount of the subsidy.

3.      WHAT PROOF DO I NEED TO SHOW THAT I AM A LANDLORD?

For the County to make an ERAP payment to a property owner on behalf of an applicant family, that property owner or their agent must provide:

  • For landlords and utility providers, the name, address, and Social Security number, tax identification number or DUNS number (required) Landlord name, address, SSN or tax identification number and DUNS number, as applicable;
  • Landlord’s completed W-9 tax form; AND
  • Proof of ownership (deed, most recent real estate tax bill, current property insurance policy, or most recent mortgage bill).
In instances where the landlord is not the property owner, the landlord may still receive payment if they submit:
  • Landlord’s completed W-9 tax form and payment information; AND
  • Documentation that links the landlord to the owner, such as:
    • Management agreement;
    • Appointment of agency form; OR
    • Lease that lists the owner and management company.
4.      AS A LANDLORD, HOW DO I RECEIVE MY ERAP PAYMENTS?

The preferred method for disbursing payment is through direct deposit. If this is not an option, you will receive your payments by check.

5.      WHAT DOCUMENTS WOULD I NEED TO PROVIDE TO PROVE THAT THE TENANT IS MY TENANT?

  • Signed lease, tenant agreement or landlord certification
  • Documentation of residence, including utility bills, attestation by a property owner who can be identified as the verified owner or management agent of the unit
  • Other reasonable documentation

6.      ARE UTILITY ARREARAGES ELIGIBLE EXPENSES UNDER THE ERAP?

Yes, only if they are included as part of the renter’s monthly rental payment, demonstrated through the lease and rental payment notice.

7.      HOW MUCH SUBSIDY SHOULD I EXPECT TO RECEIVE?

Travis County will pay the full amount of household arrearages, for a maximum of 12 months, to the extent that funds are available. A determination will be made if further assistance is needed to ensure housing stability for an additional three months of assistance. The applicant’s arrears (retrospective to March 13, 2020) will be paid first, with the remainder available for future rent (through December 2021).

8.      DO I HAVE TO ACCEPT THE SUBSIDY?

Yes, if you desire payment from ERAP, that includes an agreement with Travis County to accept the subsidy.

9.     IF A LANDLORD NEEDS ASSISTANCE OR HAS QUESTIONS ABOUT THE PROGRAM WHO MAY THEY CONTACT FOR HELP?

Landlords may email the program at  traviscounty.onlinepha@nanmckay.com, call the call center at (512) 677-6070, or submit a service request by following the link in Step 5 on the Travis County Emergency Rental Assistance Application Portal webpage at https://traviscounty.onlinepha.com/en-US/






Need Help?

You can contact our Client Call Center at 512-677-6070 or by email to traviscounty.onlinepha@nanmckay.com.