This morning council voted to approve a $15 million rental assistance program with funds from the CARES Act aimed to help Houstonians who have fallen behind on rent payments in April and May during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The program will be run by local non-profit Baker Ripley, who will provide up to $1,056 of rental assistance per month to qualified low-to-moderate income individuals who are delinquent on their monthly rental payment for April and/or May.

Landlords may begin applying to participate online Thursday, May 7, through BakerRipley, and residents can begin applying for relief Wednesday, May 13. The funds will be disbursed on a first-come, first-served basis.


Landlords of qualified tenants who elect to participate in this program will directly receive up to $1,056 per month to offset qualifying rent obligations for April and/or May. Landlords who participate in the program will agree to the following:

  • Waive all late fees, penalties, and interest for the two months
  • Allow tenants to enter a payment plan for any rent due in excess of $1,056
  • Rescind any prior notice to vacate and halt any prior eviction proceedings for the two months (Reminder: The Texas Supreme Court has put a temporary hold on all evictions until May 18)

In order to qualify, tenants must:

  • Be the tenant of a landlord who has elected to participate in the program
  • Reside inside the City of Houston
  • Be late on residential rental payments for either or both of the two months
  • Be current on their rent for all months prior to April 2020
  • Affirm that their inability to pay is due to financial hardship resulting from the economic impact of COVID-19
  • Have income less than 80% of the Area Median Income or qualify for one of the qualifying programs listed in the application (e.g., Medicaid, WIC, SNAP, Head Start, VA Pension)
  • Cannot be an applicant, participant on or received assistance for the April and/or May 2020 rent though the City’s Hurricane Harvey Assistance Program

Please notify anyone you believe is in need of rental assistance and pass this information along.

Together we will!

Edward Pollard