Must-have Resources for Austin Area Rental Housing Industry Professionals
Table of Contents
AAA's Preliminary Local Guidance on CDC Order
ANNOUNCING RENT 2.0 : City of Austin launches $12.9M in Rental Assistance
With Abbott’s OK, Austin Requires Masks at Businesses - June 17, 2020
"Notice to Cure" Requirements Are Still Active in The City of Austin and San Marcos - June 11, 2020
Covered Dwellings and the CARES Act
NAA: Statement and Position on Coronavirus Disease
NMHC: Coronavirus Preparedness for Apartment Firms
ANNOUNCING RENT 2.0: City of Austin launches $12.9M in Rental Assistance
August 19, 2020 - Relief of Emergency Needs for Tenants (RENT) Assistance ProgramThe Relief of Emergency Needs for Tenants (RENT) Assistance Program provides full rent payment for income-eligible Austin renters financially impacted by COVID-19.
Applications open Wednesday August 19, 2020 at 8:00 a.m. (CST).
RENT Assistance Program Eligibility
You are eligible for the RENT Assistance Program if you:
RENT Assistance Program Basics
Eligible Austin renters apply through the online RENT Application Portal (applications open Wednesday August 19, 2020 at 8:00 a.m. (CST)). Applicants are randomly selected for further qualification review. If your application is qualified, the rent payment will be issued directly to your landlord in the full amount of your contracted rent.
1 Month of Paid Rent: If your income is between 30% and 80% of the Median Family Income (see table below), eligible and qualified applicants could receive full monthly rent payment for one month.
Up to 3 Months of Paid Rent: If your income is between 0% and 30% of the Median Family Income (see table below), eligible and qualified applicants could receive full monthly rent payment for three months (either overdue rent or future rent.)
RENT Assistance Program Benefits
The RENT Assistance Program provides FULL contracted rent payment.
Your current income plays a role in determining whether you can receive rent payment for either 1 month or up to 3 months with the RENT program.
3 Months of RENT: If your income is between 0% and 30% of the Median Family Income (see table below), eligible and qualified applicants could receive full monthly rent payment for three months.
EXAMPLE: The head of a 4-person household in Austin, TX was laid off because their employer downsized in June due to the COVID-19 crisis. Other sources of income generated in the household produce a gross monthly income of $1,900. The household has a lease with a monthly rent amount of $1,100 (the home is not a federally subsidized rental unit, nor do they have a HousingChoice Voucher.) The next rent payment is due in September, although the household has not paid July or August rent either. The household applies for the RENT Assistance Program in September 2020 and is randomly selected for qualification review. Once qualified, the full rent amount is paid for 3 months (July, August and September*) directly to the landlord on behalf of the household.
*Note: 3 months of rent payment can be applied to future rent as well. If the qualified applicant self-certifies in advance of each month going forward that they are still unable to pay their rent, they could receive future rent.
1 Month of RENT: If your income is between 30% and 80% of the Median Family Income (see table below), eligible and qualified applicants could receive full monthly rent payment for one month.
EXAMPLE: A person in Austin, TX now works a reduced schedule at a local business due to reductions in customers due to COVID-19. They are now earning $2,400 per month. Since May, due to the reduction in income, they have only been able to pay for living expenses with savings (like food, medications, and other necessities), but they are unable to pay the $900 monthly rent (the home is not a federally subsidized rental unit, nor do they have a HousingChoice Voucher.) The next rent payment as written in the lease is due in September. The person applies for the RENT Assistance Program in September 2020 and is randomly selected for qualification review. Once qualified, the full rent amount is paid for September directly to the landlord on behalf of the tenant.
RENT Assistance Program Application Process
Go to the RENT Application Portal (applications open Wednesday August 19, 2020 at 8:00 a.m. (CST)) for instructions, how-to-apply video, frequently asked questions, and application assistance available in multiple languages. Once applications open, they can be submitted 24 hours a day, seven days a week, from any smartphone, mobile device, or computer with Internet access until funds are spent.
Application Process - what you can expect:
Below you will find the link that includes all materials to help you inform, amplify, and promote the RENT program to your residents.
Promote the RENT Assistance Program
Click here to View and Download RENT 2.0 Marketing Kit and Materials
RENT Marketing Kit Materials Include:
· RENT Program Flyer & Poster (with translations for top 9 languages)
· Social Media Graphics (with translations for top 9 languages)
For more information visit www.austintexas.gov/rent. After applications open August 19th at 8:00 a.m.CST, call the RENT Call Center at 512.488.1397 Monday through Friday from 8:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m.CST, or email the RENT at AustinRENT@cvrassociates.com.
With Abbott’s OK, Austin Requires Masks at Businesses
June 17, 2020 - The Statesman - Austin Mayor Steve Adler issued an order Wednesday, mandating that all businesses immediately come up with a plan to require facial coverings.
The order came after Gov. Greg Abbott gave his approval to a new Bexar County rule that requires businesses to mandate masks for workers and customers. As the state reported another day of record-setting COVID-19 infections, Abbott was asked if the Bexar County order went too far. No, he told a Waco TV station, indicating that it was consistent with his emergency orders during the pandemic.
With that clarification in place, Adler moved ahead with similar guidelines in Austin, which requires businesses to “develop and implement a health and safety policy or plan related to COVID-19.” The plan must require, at minimum, that all employees and visitors wear face coverings.
Adler’s order offers several exceptions for facial coverings, including when a person is alone “in a separate single space, whether indoors or outdoors.” It also lays out exceptions for those with members from their same household and when a person is eating or drinking in a restaurant or bar.
“During this time, we will transition to a more direct order on masks, working with our business community so our whole city moves forward together and so that everyone can get prepared,” Adler said in a statement.
A county spokesman said Travis County Judge Sam Biscoe is working with attorneys to research Bexar County’s order and is considering issuing something similar “very soon.”
Under the order issued Wednesday by Bexar County Judge Nelson Wolff, businesses must require employees and customers wear face coverings starting Monday.
Bexar County businesses could face a $1,000 fine for failure to develop and implement the policy, but — keeping in line with Abbott’s previous orders — no penalties can be enforced on individuals who fail to wear a face covering.
Amid uncertainty about the scope of Abbott’s orders and what they allow, the governor said it seemed Wolff had read his reopening plan and “finally figured that out.”
“There has been a plan in place all along that all that was needed was for local officials to actually read the plan that was issued by the state of Texas,” Abbott said in an interview Wednesday with KWTX-TV in Waco.
Health officials largely agree that wearing a face covering, in addition to social distancing, can help limit the spread of the coronavirus.
But the National Federation of Independent Business, a lobbying group for small companies, complained that Bexar County’s order will hurt businesses that are already struggling during the pandemic.
“The shutdown had a devastating impact on the Texas economy,” the federation’s state director, Annie Spilman, said in a statement. “Orders like Judge Wolff’s put owners in the difficult position of policing their customers while trying to reopen and rebuild their businesses.”
Abbott’s approval of the local mask rule came one day after nine Texas mayors, including Adler, asked the governor to allow local governments to draft and enforce their own rules on facial coverings.
Abbott’s statewide executive orders, which supersede local orders, do not require face coverings for Texans. Abbott also has specified that local officials cannot jail Texans for violating his orders.
Democrats have argued that the lack of enforcement makes it difficult for local governments to require social distancing and other policies to slow the coronavirus spread.
In a letter to Abbott, U.S. Rep. Lloyd Doggett, D-Austin, urged the governor to give local officials the authority to set their own rules and regulations on public health.
“Unshackle local leaders to lead since you will not,” Doggett wrote Wednesday.
Meanwhile, COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations have continued to rise across the state and in Austin.
State health officials reported a record 2,793 COVID-19 patients in Texas hospitals on Wednesday, the sixthday in a row the state had hit a high in hospitalizations.
The Texas Department of State Health Services also reported 3,129 new COVID-19 cases, a record high. Abbott had said the state expects see a surge in new cases because of additional reporting out of prisons, but it’s not clear how many of Wednesday’s cases could be attributed to prison outbreaks.
Below you will find the new AAA Health and Safety Policies as well as both Austin-Travis County and Hays County Orders:
"Notice to Cure" Requirements Are Still Active in The City of Austin and San Marcos
AAA Health & Safety Policies
Forms for Owners & Managers