With the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s eviction moratorium coming to an end on July 31, San Antonio’s Emergency Housing Assistance Program (EHAP) will continue to accept applications for rental and utility assistance.
[ More info: Emergency Housing Assistance Program ]
If you’ve fallen behind on rent or utility payments due to the loss of a job, working hours, medical issues, or other financial hardship caused by the pandemic, the city is offering up to nine months of rental and utility assistance for applicants making up to 50% of the area median income (AMI), or up to six months of assistance for applicants making 51%-80% AMI.
[ Scroll down for a chart showing AMI levels. ]
» To apply for the City of San Antonio’s emergency housing assistance and right to counsel programs, click here.
» Browse the city’s other Covid-19 relief options
Currently, the city does not expect to receive additional funding for the program, but does expect the remaining $50.3 million in the program to last until the end of the year, according to city spokeswoman Michelle Vigil.
Through the program, city residents can receive help paying both rent and utility bills—water, energy, and internet—from the program, and Bexar County residents who live outside city limits can apply for rental aid, as well.
If you or someone you know doesn’t have access to a computer to fill out the application, or encounters another impediment due to lack of technology, transportation, or confidence in filling out an application, call the Department of Neighborhood and Housing Services at 210-207-5910 to request a paper application, or to be connected with a community partner, such as the Bexar County Health Collaborative, to provide one-on-one help.
The Health Collaborative is a nonprofit located on the West Side that helps families and individuals access healthcare resources. The collaborative works with community members to identify and connect with residents unable to access resources like vaccinations and assistance programs due to lack of technology, internet access, transportation, or confidence.
“Through the process of assisting (people) with urgent needs, our community workers also ask them if they’re facing any other issues,” said Elizabeth Lutz, executive director of the nonprofit. “Right now we’re getting a lot of requests for back-to-school supplies.”
To contact the Health Collaborative directly and request assistance, you can reach out at 210-481-2573, Ext. 101, or through their Facebook page, Health Collaborative SA.
If your application is approved, the city will pay your landlord or utility agency directly.
The program was created in 2019 as the Risk Mitigation Fund, and had a budget of $1 million, originally intended to offer financial assistance to individuals and households whose rent or housing is threatened by gentrification.
In April 2020, the program was adapted to act in response to the pandemic, and received additional funding of $25 million from the City Council. The program originally provided assistance for both rental and mortgage payments, and in its second phase offered cash for groceries and gas, but now only provides direct rental and utility assistance, according to the program website. Former District 1 Councilman Roberto Treviño championed the reallocation of city funds to add to the emergency program throughout the pandemic. Current District 1 Councilman Mario Bravo did not respond to the Heron’s question about whether he would support additional funding for the program. Mayor Ron Nirenberg did not respond to the Heron’s request for comment on the program.
As of July 23, over 70,000 applications have been submitted, and nearly 43,000 applications—113,778 people—have received assistance. The average amount of aid allocated per person is $1,106, according to the program’s dashboard.
The program is currently in its fourth phase, which began in April of this year and has a budget of $189.3 million, of which $125.8 million has already been distributed to households in need.
2021 Area Median Income
|1 person||2 person||3 person||4 person||5 person||6 person|
|Source: U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development|
San Antonio native Maggie Ryan is pursuing a bachelor’s of arts in English Language and Literature/Letters at Hendrix College in Conway, Arkansas. She is interning at the Heron through Students + Startups, a program by the 80/20 Foundation that pairs undergrad students with local companies and nonprofits. She can be reached at email@example.com or @m_rrye on Twitter.