How The Houston COVID-19 Rental Assistance Program Works

houston covid 19 rental assistance program

How The Houston COVID-19 Rental Assistance Program Works

The Houston COVID-19 Rental Assistance Program was created to help individuals who have suffered financial setbacks due to the Coronavirus crisis. 

If you are a resident or case manager who is seeking options for rental assistance in Houston continue reading and I will show you how you can potentially apply for this program. 

How Does The Houston COVID-19 Rental Assistance Program Work? 

In this guide, I will explain how the programs works, who is eligible, how to apply, and when you should apply. 

What Is The Houston COVID-19 Rental Assistance Program? 

On May 6th the Houston City Council passed a $15 million dollar rental relief fund which was created to help individuals affected by COVID-19 pay for rent. 

Who Qualifies For The Houston COVID-19 Rental Assistance Program? 

To qualify for this program you must meet the following requirements: 

  • Your apartment complex is on the Participation Directory
  • You are behind on rent for April and or May
  • Aside from April and or May your rent is paid up
  • COVID-19 is the reason you need assistance
  • You receive Medicaid, SNAP, TANF, WIC, have Gold Card, Houston Housing Assistance, a child receives free lunch, VA pension/disability, Head Start
  • February 2020 your household income is less than 80% of the monthly Area Median Income (AMI). You can find an AMI table here. 

How Much Does The COVID-19 Rental Assistance Program Pay Toward My Bills? 

The program will pay up to $1,056 toward your rent for April and or May. 

How Do You Apply For The COVID-19 Rental Assistance Program? 

In order to receive rental assistance, your landlord/apartment complex will have had to applied for the program first

If they did apply then you are potentially eligible to receive assistance. To see if your landlord/apartment complex is on the Participation Directory see the link below. 

Search Here For Your Apartment on The COVID-19 Rental Assistance Participation Directory

If Your Landlord/Apartment Is On The List 

If you found your landlord or apartment complex on the list then you could potentially receive rent assistance from this program.

Your next step will be to visit the Baker Ripley website on Wednesday, May 13th at 10 am to apply for the program. 

Note: You are encouraged to log on even earlier than 10 am, possibly 9:30 am. These funds are limited, therefore everyone who logs on will not receive assistance. 

The application is fairly simple. On it, you provide demographics, list household members, the money owed, and check off any state benefits that you receive. 

In addition to submitting the application you will have to provide copies of the following: 

  • Your ID
  • Utility bill in your name
  • Current lease
  • Knowledge of rent owed for April and or May

If Your Landlord/Apartment Is NOT On The List

If you cannot find your apartment complex on the Participation Directory, then you’ll want to encourage your landlord to enroll in the program.

To do this you can simply share this Baker Ripley flyer with the landlord and it will explain how the rent assistance program works. 

Another option for rent assistance in Houston is to search through a guide we created called How To Find Rent And Utility Assistance In Houston. In it, you will find a table that you can use to search for agencies that help with rent in your zip code. 

Agencies like Catholic Charites, Gulf Coast, and Harris County Social Services also offer COVID-19 online financial assistance forms that you can submit. You can find links to these agencies in our guide titled 17 Houston Nonprofits Helping With Food and Rent During The COVID-19 Crisis


To recap, in order to receive rental assistance from this program first your apartment complex must be on the Participation Directory. If your apartment is not there you can share this flyer with them to encourage them to enroll in the program. 

Should you see your apartment complex on the list then you’ll need to log on to the Baker Ripley website on May 13th at 9:30 am. You cannot apply until 10 am, but you’ll need to arrive early because these funds are limited and everyone will not receive assistance. 

Nick Bryant is a Counselor with 11 years of experience working in community health. He enjoys concerts, walks with the doggo and wife, mocking Dallas Cowboy fans, and sharing community resources. Jump on the Houston Case Managers email list to receive weekly community resource guides delivered directly to your inbox.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *