The following information provides a summary of federal funding initiatives adopted in response to COVID-19 that directly support or could be used to support housing stability for Texas residents. Updated as of May 2020.
The Act, which was adopted on March 27, 2020, includes the following funding for state and local jurisdictions that can be used towards housing-related programs. The numbers below are the national allocations. A percentage of these funds flowed directly to the State of Texas, as well as directly to local jurisdictions.
- $4 billion in Emergency Solutions Grants (ESG) to assist homeless shelters and outreach workers for the homeless;
- $5 billion in Community Development Block Grants, which can be used for rental assistance (30% will go to state governments);
- $1.25 billion in Tenant-based rental assistance;
- $1 billion for project-based rental assistance;
- $685 million for the public housing operating fund;
- $50 million in Section 202 Housing for Elderly.
Here is a list of how much Texas jurisdictions received from the CDBG, ESG and HOPWA CARES funds.
Here are recommendations from the Corporation for Supportive Housing of how states and local jurisdictions can use these funds to support housing stability.
April 15, 2020, updates: For the Emergency Solution Grants (ESG) CARES funds, HUD has allocated $33M to TDHCA. (TDHCA had been receiving $9M annually prior to CARES). An additional $38.5M in ESG CARES went directly to cities and counties in Texas.
Coronavirus Relief Fund
The CARES Act also provided $150 billion for a new Coronavirus Relief Fund, which provides flexible funds for state and local governments. The funding can be used for necessary expenditures incurred due to COVID-19, which could include rental housing assistance and other housing needs.
- Of the $11+ billion that Texas received from the fund, approximately $8 billion flowed to the state and $3.2 billion flowed directly to cities and counties with populations over 500,000.
- There’s wide flexibility on how these funds can be spent, as long as they are (1) “necessary expenditures incurred due to the public health emergency with respect to” COVID-19; (2) were not already accounted for in the local government’s most recently approved budget as of March 27, 2020, and (3) incurred on or between March 1, 2020 and December 30, 2020.
- A local government must have submitted a request for the funds to the US Treasury Department. Applications were due April 18, 2020.
- The level of funding is determined by taking 45% of the state’s total allocation and multiplying that by the local government’s share of the state population.
Here’s a rough estimate of how much particular local jurisdictions in Texas should have based on their population. This information from the US Treasury Department provides additional information about the funding methodology, as does this publication from the Congressional Research Office.
Total Texas Allocation: $11.2 billion; state’s Share: $8 billion
- Harris County and City of Houston: $822 million
- Dallas County and City of Dallas: $460 million
- Bexar County and City of San Antonio: $349 million
- Tarrant County and City of Fort Worth: $367 million
- Travis County and City of Austin: $232 million (Austin= $171 m and Travis County =$61m)
- Colin County: $181 million
- Hidalgo County: $152 million
- El Paso County: $146 million
- Denton County: $155 million
- Fort Bend County: $142 million
- Montgomery County: $106 million
- Williamson County: $93.3 million
The US Treasury Department released guidance to state and local governments on April 22, 2020, regarding the Relief Fund. Economic support to those suffering from employment loss due to COVID-19-related business closures are clearly authorized in the guidance.
Texas also received $237 million from FEMA under the Stafford Disaster Relief and Emergency Assistance Act.
April 24: Governor Abbott and Texas Department of Housing and Community Affairs announced that Texas will provide up to $11.3 million in federal HOME funding for Tenant Based Rental Assistance (TBRA), to be administered by TDHCA’s TBRA administrators.
Apr 1, 2020: Governor Abbott and Texas Department of Housing and Community Affairs issued a press release regarding their request to HUD to waive program requirements for HUD’s HOME Investments Partnership program regarding using the funds for rental housing assistance.