EDINBURG, Texas (ValleyCentral) — The Texas Rent Relief Program is re-opening applications for Texas residents seeking assistance on rent and utility bills.

With rental rates continuing to increase nationwide, the Hidalgo County Community Service Agency (HCCSA) says they see 10 to 15 families a week facing imminent eviction.

Executive Director, Jaime Longoria, says just this past year, the agency dedicated over half a million dollars to help county residents afford rent.

Through the Texas Rent Relief Program, $96 million will be available across the state to assist eligible residents who are behind on rent and utility bills.

“That’s gonna allow families not to get behind on the rent, and not face eviction. What that’s going to do hopefully is free up some of our dollars to be able to do other things to help families,” says Longoria.

First-time applicants are eligible to get help for up to 18 months.

To qualify, you must have a household income that is no more than 80% of the area median income.

Applicants must also show in writing that someone in the home qualified for unemployment benefits, lost their job or experienced significant financial hardship.

Longoria adds, “During the pandemic, our services were in big demand and that demand has diminished a little bit, but we’re still out here doing what we can to help people.” 

The program will accept applications beginning March 14 through March 28.

You can apply for assistance online or visit the Hidalgo County Community Service Agency in Edinburg.