ANGLETON Getting a few million dollars to help people isn’t a quick process, but the months of waiting to help people struggling to pay their rent is over.
“There are people in need – I think the biggest part of it is that a lot of people have a lot of new tenants or mortgage loans, and those amounts are high,” said Gloria Luna, community outreach director for the United Way of Brazoria County. “If I look at the program that is out there, they can have up to $ 25,000, which can be very helpful for individuals who still owe a lot of money.”
Brazoria County has received a multi-million dollar state rental grant, and starting Monday morning, people through the county will be able to apply for rental allowance – and in significant amounts if they qualify. Only tenants and landlords are entitled to this pot of money, not homeowners.
With the money, as many qualified families as possible should pay back rent and ancillary costs until the money is used up. However, current rental or utility bills and, in some cases, Internet access costs can also be paid through the program.
People who need help can access the application process in a number of ways. One is online at brazoriacountytx.gov/ERAP. This section of the Brazoria County website provides information about the program as well as answers to a list of frequently asked questions. Instructions on the website show applicants which information and documents they need in order to speed up processing a little.
The Brazoria County’s government applied for a federal grant last year to help solve serious financial problems people had from responding to the COVID-19 pandemic. The February freeze exacerbated these problems, creating new ones, with burst pipes and water-damaged houses.
“We got deposited January 26th … $ 11.3 million,” District Judge Matt Sebesta said in April. âWe have the money – we just have to get a grant administrator to work with us to get that out. We had people who got in touch and wanted to help us spend this money. “
In March, the Commission’s court approved the grant management tender and in April awarded the contract to Carr, Riggs & Ingram of Metairie, Louisiana. The company was the most senior among the proposals. The estimated administrative cost of the grant is $ 800,000 derived from federal dollars received by the county.
Ten companies made statements to the selection committee as to who should receive the contract, and Carr gave 93.2 out of 100 points. The total score is a combination of other ratings that assess the company’s experience, job performance, productivity, and proposed cost. The closest scoring firm was Witt O’Brien’s of Houston, who scored 88.4 out of 100.
Organizations like United Way and River of Hope are not part of the program but can help with rent through programs they are already involved in and share information about that path when the others don’t work.
âAnd if they haven’t (got help) we’ll try to take a little shot with them to see if they qualify for the program or not and we’ll give them the number for the new program in turn is out there now, âLuna said.
In addition to applying and information online, you can contact the County Rental Assistance Program hotline at 979-300-7145, open Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. The program can also be sent by email to [email protected]
Wes Wolfe is a reporter for The Facts. Contact him at 979-237-0152.