Travis County Gives $80,000 Green Light to 23 Families at ‘Imminent Risk of Eviction’

TRAVIS COUNTY, TX (KXAN) — Travis County Commissioners Tuesday approved $80,000 in federal funding to help 23 families at “imminent risk of eviction” after the City of Austin program ran out of money.

County filings say the funds will go to support services provided by Texas Rio Grande Legal Aid and the Austin Residents Council. The county intervened because of a “funding and programming gap” that left 23 families without support, according to documents.

In a statement to KXAN on Wednesday, a city spokesperson said that Austin’s Relief Emergency Needs for Tenants (RENT) program is funded almost entirely by federal COVID-19 dollars. The spokesman added that the city’s RENT program funds had been distributed.

“The county is intervening because the city has run out of rent assistance money, so we’re helping these 23 families avoid imminent eviction,” County Commissioner Travis Bridget Shea said during a county meeting.

The County is working on a long-term program to help meet the need for rental assistance, stating on standby records that “an immediate crisis situation has arisen.”

All families receiving county funds are already connected to Texas legal aid services at Rio Grande, “but are now in limbo as funding has been exhausted.” The approved money comes from the American Plan of Salvation Act.

Meanwhile, a city spokesperson added that the Austin City Council will consider adding an additional $600,000 to local funds on Jan. 26 to provide “tenant stabilization services to households vulnerable to displacement.”

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