The City of Dallas this week authorized about $13.7 million for short-term rental and mortgage assistance programs to help Dallas residents who have been laid off or had their incomes impacted by the spread of COVID-19.
So what does that application process look like and who qualifies?
Funding for these assistance programs is coming directly from the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act and other federal funding the city has available, so only households making 80% or below of the area median income as defined by the federal government qualify for help. Details on if your household qualifies can be found below.
Eric Anthony Johnson, Chief of Economic Development and Housing and Neighborhood Revitalization for the city of Dallas, said details on the application were still being finalized, but the city expects to start accepting applications for the rental and mortgage assistance program on May 4.
He said the city estimates the funds will be enough to help about 1,000 households in the city and that officials expect the funds to be exhausted fast.
“This is unprecedented and we’re in uncharted territory,” Johnson said. “We know that here in the city of Dallas our resources are not infinite. We’re going to do what we can do and hopefully other sources of funding start to emerge.”
Here’s what we know about the programs and what you’ll need to apply.
How do I apply?
Johnson said the online application will be available at the City of Dallas’ website. Currently the website has some links to COVID-19 resources on its website. The city is also providing information at 214-670-4636.
Applicants will have to scan and upload documents, Johnson said. He added that phone assistance will be available to those who can’t.
While the application is being finalized, residents can start getting their documents ready.
What documents do I need?
Those applying will need to provide proof that they have been laid off or are working reduced hours due to COVID-19’s impact on the local economy. Johnson said that can come in the form of a letter from an employer saying their work hours have been reduced or that the worker has been laid off due to COVID-19’s impact.
Documents like tax returns and pay stubs can be used as proof and will need to be uploaded to the online portal. Applicants will also have to provide proof of how many family members live in the household.
For fiscal year 2019, the Department of Housing and Urban Development defined Dallas County’s median income as being $83,100. Qualifying varies by size of household.
For example, a family of four would need to make under $66,500 to qualify for any of the rent or mortgage assistance.
How much help can I receive?
That will depend on income and risk of homelessness. Applicants who fall below 50% of the median income and are at risk of homelessness may qualify for up to six months of assistance.
Those closer to the 80% threshold will likely receive up to $1,500 during three months of assistance. For example, a qualifying household paying $1,000 a month in rent or mortgage could receive $3,000 in aid over a three-month period.
Will the money go to my bank account?
No. Johnson said that applicants will have to provide information about their lender or landlord and the payments will be made on their behalf.
Who is ineligible?Individuals and families living in public housing or using housing vouchers.Households that have already received federal CARES Act money from another agency.Families living in units owned by immediate family members.Those making above 80% of the median income.
This article will be updated as more details are available.