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[00:00:10]

UH, I'M JEFF PATTERSON WITH, UH, UM, UH, HOUSING AND PLANNING DEPARTMENT FOR THE CITY OF AUSTIN.

WE WANT TO WELCOME YOU TODAY TO THIS PRESS CONFERENCE TO DISCUSS, UH, CHANGES AND ALTERATIONS TO THE CURRENT RENTAL ASSISTANCE PROGRAM.

UH, THE THING OFFERED BOTH THROUGH, UM, THE CITY OF AUSTIN AND THE, UH, TAP, UM, HOUSING AUTHORITY OF THE CITY OF AUSTIN.

UH, WE HAVE TWO GUESTS WHO WILL BE SPEAKING WITH US TODAY WHO WILL BE ANSWERING THE QUESTIONS.

FIRST IS NEVER TD JACKMAN, SHE'S HOUSING AND PLANNING, PLANNING MANAGER FOR THE CITY OF AUSTIN.

UH, AND THEN POLARA SANCHEZ.

SHE'S THE VICE PRESIDENT OF AUSTIN PATHWAYS OF SUBSIDIARY OF THE HOUSING AUTHORITY OF THE CITY OF AUSTIN, UM, FOLLOWING, UH, THEIR BRIEF STATEMENTS.

UH, WE WILL, UM, HAVE AN OPPORTUNITY, UH, FOR REPORTERS TO ASK QUESTIONS.

WE HAVE A POOL REPORTER, ALYSSA GOURD FROM KX HAS GRACIOUSLY AGREED TO SERVE AS THAT POOL REPORTER.

AND SO REPORTERS, IF YOU'LL GO AHEAD AND SUBMIT YOUR QUESTIONS THROUGH THE FORM PROVIDED, UM, SHE'LL BE ABLE TO ASK THEM, UH, AT THAT PART OF THE, UM, OF THE PRESS CONFERENCE.

SO WITHOUT FURTHER ADO, I'M GOING TO TURN IT OVER TO NEFERTITI, UH, TO TALK ABOUT THE RENT PROGRAM NEFERTITI.

YES, GOOD MORNING.

AND THANK YOU VERY MUCH, JEFF.

UH, MY NAME IS DEBORAH TD JACKMAN, AND I WORK FOR THE HOUSING AND PLANNING DEPARTMENT.

AND I'M HERE TO JUST SHARE WITH YOU ABOUT OUR PROGRAM.

THE RELIEF OF EMERGENCY NEEDS FOR TENANTS, WE CALL IT RENT, UH, WHICH IS A PROGRAM THAT WAS LAUNCHED, UH, A $12.9 MILLION PROGRAM.

AND IT'S THE CITY'S ROBUST RESPONSE, UH, TO PROVIDE, UH, EMERGENCY RENTAL ASSISTANCE TO LOW INCOME HOUSEHOLDS THAT HAVE BEEN FINANCIALLY IMPACTED BY THE COVID-19 PANDEMIC.

WE HAVE PLACED A PRIORITY ON HOUSEHOLDS WHO ARE EARNING 30% OR LESS OF THE MEDIAN FAMILY INCOME, AS WELL AS COMMUNITY OF COLOR, WHICH DATA HAS SHOWN HAVE BEEN DISPROPORTIONATELY IMPACTED BY COVID-19 TO DATE.

WE ARE PROUD TO SAY THAT MORE THAN TWO THIRDS OF THE HOUSEHOLDS SERVED THROUGH THIS PROGRAM HAVE BEEN AT A 30% MEDIAN FAMILY INCOME AND BELOW OUT, WE REALLY WANT TO HIGHLIGHT AND LET THE COMMUNITY KNOW THAT THERE IS STILL FUNDING AVAILABLE.

WE'RE WORKING WITH OUR PARTNER, THE HOUSING AUTHORITY FOR THE CITY OF BOSTON TO ENSURE THAT THE CARES FUNDS THAT HAVE BEEN ALLOCATED FOR THIS PROGRAM, UH, FOR RENTAL ASSISTANCE, WE WANT TO MAKE SURE THAT THOSE FUNDS ARE EXPENDED BY THE DECEMBER 30TH, 31ST DEADLINE.

AND WE ARE CONFIDENT THAT THAT WILL HAPPEN.

UH, WE ALSO ALSO WANT FAMILY TO KNOW THAT IF YOU HAVE APPLIED FOR THIS PROGRAM, YOU ONLY NEED TO APPLY ONCE.

IF YOU APPLY, WHEN WE REOPENED IT, UH, FOR AUGUST, YOU DON'T HAVE TO REAPPLY AGAIN, YOUR APPLICATION WILL REMAIN IN THE SYSTEM UNTIL ALL FUNDS HAVE BEEN EXPENDED.

UH, WHAT I REALLY WANT TO HIGHLIGHT TODAY ARE THE VERY IMPORTANT PROGRAM CHANGES, WHICH WE THINK WILL BE A BENEFIT TO, UH, THE MANY VULNERABLE HOUSEHOLDS WHO STILL HAVE NOT RECEIVED ASSISTANCE.

AND THESE PROGRAM CHANGES WILL ALSO SUPPORT SOME OF THE FAMILIES WHO HAVE ALREADY RECEIVED ASSISTANCE THROUGH THE PROGRAM.

UH, THE FIRST CHANGE IS THAT DIRECT RENTAL ASSISTANCE WILL BE PROVIDED UP TO SIX MONTHS FOR ALL HOUSEHOLDS EARNING LESS THAN 80% MEDIAN FAMILY, FAMILY INCOME.

UM, PREVIOUSLY THIS, WE PROVIDED THREE MONTHS OF ASSISTANCE TO THOSE FAMILIES AT 30% MFI AND BELOW TODAY, THE CHANGE WILL BE THAT ANY HOUSEHOLD EARNING LESS THAN 80% MEDIUM FAMILY INCOME AND BELOW WILL BE ELIGIBLE TO RECEIVE UP TO SIX MONTHS RENT.

THIS INCLUDES THE PERIOD FROM MARCH 1ST, 2020 THROUGH DECEMBER 31ST, 2020.

IN ADDITION TO THAT HOUSEHOLDS ARE DEEMED ELIGIBLE AT THE TIME THAT APPLICATIONS ARE SUBMITTED.

SO IT WILL NOT BE NECESSARY THAT, UM, HOUSEHOLDS, UM, RESUBMIT A CERTIFICATION FROM MONTH TO MONTH, RIGHT? SO ONCE YOU APPLY AND YOU'RE CONSIDERED ELIGIBLE, UH, EVERYTHING HAS BEEN VERIFIED, THAT'S IT? UH, WE WILL CONTINUE TO RECEIVE FEEDBACK.

WE THANK ALL OF THE VARIOUS COMMUNITY PARTNERS WHO HAVE PROVIDED FEEDBACK TO US ABOUT THE PROGRAM, AND WE WILL CONTINUE TO RECEIVE THAT, UH, FEEDBACK TO ENSURE THAT THIS PROGRAM REMAINS ADAPTED, UH, TO MEET THE UNIQUE NEEDS OF OUR COMMUNITY.

AND WE WILL CONTINUE TO WORK WITH OUR PARTNERS TO ENHANCE THE PROGRAM

[00:05:01]

SO THAT WE CAN ENSURE THAT WE ARE MEETING THE NEEDS OF THE MOST VULNERABLE POPULATIONS IN OUR CITY.

AND I LIKE TO TURN IT OVER TO POLARA WHO IS WORKING WITH US, OUR REPRESENTATIVE FROM HACA TO PROVIDE MORE INFORMATION ON SPECIFIC PROGRAM DETAILS.

LAR THANK YOU, ANNETTE, FOR, UH, SO APPLICANTS ARE ELIGIBLE IF THEY STILL OWN RENT FOR THE MONTHS OF MARCH THROUGH DECEMBER OF 2020, IF THEIR INCOME HAS BEEN IMPACTED BY THE PANDEMIC, UH, THEIR INCOME BEFORE COVID AND TODAY, UH, ARE AT, OR BELOW 80% OF THE MEDIAN FAMILY INCOME, WHICH IS ABOUT 29,000 FOR A FAMILY OF ONE AND 70,000 FOR A FAMILY OF FOUR.

AND THEY LIVE WITHIN THE CITY'S FULL PURPOSE JURISDICTION LIMITS.

THEY CAN'T BE A FULL-TIME STUDENT WHOSE RENT IS BEING BY SOMEONE ELSE, AND THEY CAN'T BE RECEIVING FEDERAL RENTAL SUBSIDIES AND PROGRAMS LIKE SECTION EIGHT AND PUBLIC HOUSING.

THOSE PROGRAMS ALREADY HAVE A SIMILAR SAFETY NET, UH, APPLICANTS RECEIVING OTHER THAN, UM, OTHER ASSISTANCE THROUGH A NON-FEDERAL FUNDS, SUCH AS THE RISE PROGRAM, THEY'RE STILL ELIGIBLE FOR THIS RENT ASSISTANCE.

UM, IF YOU WERE APPROVED PRIOR TO THE POLICY CHANGE, JUST LIKE NEFERTITI STATED, WE WILL CONTACT YOU TO SEE IF YOU STILL HAVE OUTSTANDING RENT FOR THE MONTHS BETWEEN MARCH AND DECEMBER AND HELP YOU, UH, RECEIVE THAT ADDITIONAL ASSISTANCE, THE DOCUMENTS THAT WE WILL NEED THE MOST IMPORTANT DOCUMENTS THAT WE NEED FOR YOUR APPLICATION WILL BE PROOF OF INCOME FOR BOTH 2019 AND YOUR CURRENT INCOME PROOF OF THE INCOME LOSS DUE TO THE PANDEMIC, A COPY OF THE LEASE AND ID FOR THE HEAD OF HOUSEHOLD AND ALL A SOCIAL SECURITY NUMBER IS REQUESTED THROUGH THE APPLICATION.

IT IS NOT REQUIRED.

THAT QUESTION CAN BE SKIPPED.

THE APPLICATION PROCESS INCLUDES, UH, FIRST REGISTERING BY CREATING A USER ID AND PASSWORD IN THE APPLICATION PORTAL, RETURNING TO THAT ACCOUNT AT ANY TIME TO START YOUR APPLICATION OR COMPLETE IT, YOU COMPLETE THE APPLICATION QUESTIONS AND UPLOAD THE DOCUMENTS AND THAT EVERY FRIDAY AT NOON, WE RANDOMLY SELECT MORE APPLICATIONS FROM ALL THOSE SUCCESSFUL SUCCESSFULLY SUBMITTED INTO THE SYSTEM TO SCREEN FOR ELIGIBILITY, A ONE CERTIFIED ELIGIBLE.

WE CONTACT THE LANDLORD AND WE REQUEST DOCUMENTS FROM THE LANDLORD FOR THE FILE AND ONCE DEEMED FULLY ELIGIBLE, THEN WE PAY THE LANDLORD DIRECTLY ON BEHALF OF THE APPLICANT.

UH, AS FAR AS TIMELINE, WE ARE TAKING APPLICATIONS UNTIL THIS UNTIL JANUARY 31ST OF 2021, OR UNTIL THE FUNDS ARE EXPENDED, WHICHEVER COMES FIRST.

UH, BUT JUST REMEMBER, REGARDLESS OF WHEN THE APPLICANT SUBMITTED THE APPLICATION, UH, THEIR APPLICATION CAN STILL BE RANDOMLY SELECTED TO BE SCREENED FOR ELIGIBILITY WHEN WE RANDOMLY SELECT MORE APPLICANTS APPLICATIONS TO PROCESS ON FRIDAYS.

AND I'LL TURN IT BACK OVER TO JEFF AND EVER TD.

THANK YOU VERY MUCH.

POLARA THANK YOU VERY MUCH, NET TD.

UM, WE APPRECIATE THAT.

UH, I'M GOING TO TURN NOW TO ALYSSA GORD, WHO IS OUR POOL REPORTER FROM KX A N UH, IF SHE WANTS TO GO AHEAD AND START ASKING THE FIRST QUESTION.

GREAT.

THANK YOU SO MUCH, JEFF.

UH, YES.

MY NAME IS ALYSSA.

I'M A REPORTER WITH CAT FAN NEWS OR FIRST CO-OP RADIO POP RADIO ASK.

IS IT NECESSARY FOR INDIVIDUALS TO BE ON FORMAL LEASES TO QUALIFY FOR RENT FUND? FOR EXAMPLE, IF IN A MULTI-GENERATIONAL HOUSEHOLD ON BY AN ADULT, HOW OLD WERE AN ELDERLY PARENT CONTRIBUTES TO RENT MONEY AND THAT ELDERLY PARENT QUALIFY FOR RENT FUNDS? IF IT'S NOT ON A LEASE, I CAN TAKE THAT ONE.

UM, ELISE IS REQUIRED.

UM, IT CAN BE AN INFORMAL LEASE, BUT IT DOES HAVE TO BE A WRITTEN RENTAL AGREEMENT.

GOT IT.

I, UM, I ACTUALLY, UM, JUST GOT A TEXT MESSAGE FOLLOW UP QUESTION TO THAT.

UM, WHAT ABOUT, UH, MUSICIANS OR ARTISTS WHO, WHO SHARE HOUSING AND ARE NOT ON A LEASE? WOULD THAT BE THE SAME SITUATION? UH, THAT WOULD BE THE SAME SITUATION, BUT THERE ARE DIFFERENT WAYS THAT WE HANDLE MULTIPLE PEOPLE IN ONE HOUSEHOLD.

AND SO IF, UM, IF EVERYONE IS ON THE LEASE, THEN WE WILL TREAT THAT HOUSEHOLD AS A FAMILY, AS ONE HOUSEHOLD.

UH, THERE ARE CASES WHERE, UM, THERE'S MULTIPLE PEOPLE, BUT EACH ONE HAS THEIR OWN LEASE.

AND IN THOSE CASES WE'LL TAKE EACH INDIVIDUAL, UM, AT A TIME

[00:10:01]

AS A HOUSEHOLD AND WE'LL JUST, UH, ASSIST THEM WITH THEIR PORTION OF THE RENT.

GOT IT.

AND ONE, ONE THING I WANTED TO, TO CLARIFY FOR FOLKS WHO ARE FOLLOWING ALONG HERE, OUT OF THAT $12.9 MILLION IN THE PROGRAM, HOW MUCH HAS BEEN ALLOCATED SO FAR, WE HAVE APPROVED A LITTLE OVER $4.7 MILLION, UM, FOR, I THINK IT'S ABOUT 1500 FAMILIES AND A LITTLE OVER 3000 INDIVIDUALS MAKING UP THOSE FAMILIES.

GOT IT.

THANK YOU.

AND WE HAVE A QUESTION FROM KUT.

HAVE THERE BEEN ANY CASES OF LANDLORDS NOT ACCEPTING THE CITY'S RENT PAYMENT? IF SO, HOW FREQUENTLY DOES THIS HAPPEN? CAN YOU QUANTIFY THAT? AND WHAT REASONS DO LANDLORDS GIVE FOR? NOT ACCEPTING ME, IT'S FUN, BUT WE HAVE HAD SOME SITUATIONS, BUT THERE ARE HANDFUL, UH, VERY FEW THAT, UH, WHERE WE HAVE ACTUALLY GOTTEN TO THE POINT WHERE WE CERTIFIED THE APPLICANT IS ELIGIBLE.

AND THEN WE REACHED THE LANDLORD.

UM, I WOULD SAY FIVE, MAYBE SIX, BUT PROBABLY LESS THAN SIX.

UM, MY LAWRENCE DID NOT WANT TO PARTICIPATE AND THEY USUALLY DON'T GIVE A REASON.

UM, SOME OF THEM DON'T WANT TO SIGN THE CERTIFICATION.

OTHERS ARE, UM, HAVING OTHER, UH, CHALLENGES WITH, WITH THE APPLICANT AND DON'T WANT TO DISCLOSE THOSE.

UM, BUT IT'S BEEN A HANDFUL.

I WILL SAY THAT, UH, THAT WE ARE HAVING TO WAIT A LITTLE BIT LONGER THAN WE EXPECTED FROM, UH, WITH LANDLORDS TO SUBMIT THEIR DOCUMENTATION, BUT THEY'RE STILL PARTICIPATING.

IT'S JUST TAKING THEM A LITTLE BIT LONGER TO GET US THE DOCUMENTS THAT ARE OKAY.

AND WE HAVE ANOTHER QUESTION HERE FROM CO-OP RADIO COOPERATIVE ASKED, IS THIS FUNDING, SOME OF THE LAST OF AUSTIN'S CARES FEDERAL FUNDING BECAUSE NO NEW FEDERAL FUNDING IS LIKELY AVAILABLE FOR THE NEW YEAR.

AND THE DEMAND FOR RE RENT ASSISTANCE WILL LIKELY BE ON THE RISE.

WHAT DOES, WHAT ELSE CAN THE STATE COUNTY AND CITY HAVE TO OFFER WHEN THIS FUNDING IS GONE AT PRESENT? THIS IS ALL THAT WE HAVE CURRENTLY.

THE CITY OF AUSTIN HAS CURRENTLY BEEN ALLOCATED THROUGH THE CARES OF FUNDING.

UH, WE ARE IN THE PROCESS.

OTHER FUNDING SOURCES HAVE COME UP.

UH, WE DO ANTICIPATE, UH, WHAT ARE WE ADDED TO THIS PROGRAM WHERE WE HAVE A NEW ITERATION AS, AS, AS NEW FUNDING BECOMES AVAILABLE, WE WILL CONTINUE TO MEET THE NEEDS OF AUSTIN RENTERS.

AND CERTAINLY, UM, CITY LEADERSHIP HAS SHARED WITH US.

IF, IF AT THE TIME WE SEE THAT WE'RE OUT OF FUNDING, THEY REALLY WANT TO, WE WANT TO REVISIT WITH STAFF, UM, TO SEE WHAT OTHER THINGS THAT WE CAN DO AS A CITY TO MAKE SURE THAT WE HAVE THE CAPACITY TO RESPOND TO THE NEEDS OF, UH, OFF THE NIGHTS.

SO WE, AGAIN, WE ARE RECEIVING SOME ADDITIONAL FUNDING WHICH WILL PROBABLY BE AVAILABLE AFTER THIS PROGRAM TILL EARLY 2020.

WILL IT BE ENOUGH? WE CAN NOT SAY THAT AT THIS TIME, BUT, UM, WE WILL CONTINUE TO LOOK AT THINGS AS THEY DEVELOP.

GOT IT.

THANK YOU.

UM, ANOTHER QUESTION FOR YOU FROM US AT CAC SAND, I KNOW THAT, UH, PLR, YOU, YOU MENTIONED, UM, THE NUMBER OF PEOPLE WHO'VE BEEN AWARDED FUNDING.

CAN YOU TELL US HOW MANY PEOPLE HAVE APPLIED FOR RENT FUNDING SO FAR? AND DO YOU THINK THERE ARE MORE PEOPLE WHO ARE ELIGIBLE TO APPLY WHO HAVE NOT ALREADY DONE? SO, UM, AS OF THIS MORNING, WE RECEIVED, UH, A LITTLE OVER 6,200 APPLICATIONS, ALMOST 6,000, 6,300.

UM, WE, UH, THE, THE MARKETING EFFORTS HAVE BEEN EXTENSIVE.

WE BELIEVE THAT WE HAVE GOTTEN OUT THE WORD.

UM, WE'VE BEEN TO SEVERAL COMMUNITY EVENTS.

THERE'S BEEN THOUSANDS, TENS OF THOUSANDS OF DOOR HANGERS FROM THE CITY AND FROM OTHER ORGANIZATIONS PUT OUT, UM, A LOT OF, UH, NEWS MEDIA COVERAGE, UM, EVENT, UH, PURCHASED MEDIA.

UH, I THINK THAT THE WORD IS OUT.

UM, AND, UH, WE'RE HOPING THAT, UM, THAT, YOU KNOW, MORE PEOPLE WILL APPLY NOW THAT IT'S, IT'S, UH, THE INSISTENCE DEEPER AND THAT'S, IT'S MORE, IT'S A LONGER LASTING.

OKAY.

THANK YOU.

AND WE HAVE ANOTHER QUESTION FROM KATIE HERE.

UH, KATIE

[00:15:01]

ASKED, WHAT KINDS OF DOCUMENTS DOES THE CITY REQUEST FROM THE LANDLORD? UH, WE NEED A COPY OF THE LEASE, OR ACTUALLY WE GET THE COPY OF THE LEASE FROM THE APPLICANT.

IF THE APPLICANT CAN GET IT, WE'LL TRY AND GET IT FROM THE LANDLORD.

UNLEARN DOES HAVE TO, UM, SIGN A CERTIFICATION, ACCEPTING THE ASSISTANCE ON BEHALF OF THE APPLICANT.

UM, AND THEY HAVE TO SUBMIT A W NINE, UM, BECAUSE THEY WILL RECEIVE A 10 99 AT THE END OF THE YEAR.

UM, AND THEY, THEY ALSO NEED TO SUBMIT DOCUMENTATION AS TO HOW THEY WANT TO BE PAID.

UH, IT COULD BE A DIRECT DEPOSIT FORM OR WHO WE MAKE THE CHECKOUT TO.

GOT IT.

THANK YOU.

AND WE HAVE A COUPLE MORE QUESTIONS FROM .

I WANTED TO ASK THE, UH, PILLAR AND NEFERTITI AMONG THE PEOPLE WHO'VE APPLIED SO FAR.

ARE THERE ANY TRENDS THAT YOU'RE NOTICING AMONG WHO THE TYPES OF PEOPLE ARE THAT ARE APPLYING OR WHAT THEY'RE ASKING FOR WHEN YOU OKAY.

I'LL, I'LL, I'LL ANSWER THE FIRST PART.

AND IF, UH, THE REPORTER HAS, UH, ANY ADDITIONAL INFORMATION IN TERMS OF WHAT THEY'RE ASKING FOR, THAT'S NOT CLEAR TO ME.

SO, UH, IF YOU CAN GET CLARIFICATION ON THAT, I'M HAPPY TO DO MY BEST AND ANSWER THAT.

UH, I WILL SAY, UM, THINGS THAT WE ARE SEEING ARE CONSISTENT, WHAT WE'RE SEEING IN TERMS OF THE APPLICANTS ARE THINGS WHICH ARE CONSISTENT WITH, UH, VULNERABLE POPULATIONS, VULNERABLE POPULATIONS, TO DISPLACEMENT AND, AND, UH, FEMALE HEADED HOUSEHOLDS.

I MEAN, WE HAVE OVER IT'S OVER 50% OF HOW THIS POLLS ARE BEING HIT, EDIT FEMALE, HEADED HOUSEHOLDS.

UH, ADDITIONALLY, UM, WE ARE SEEING, UM, A LARGE NUMBER OR A LARGER NUMBER OF, UH, COMMUNITIES OF COLOR AS WELL.

AND THEN SOMETHING THAT I THINK IS VERY INTERESTING, WHICH IS, UM, MIGHT NOT BE ALARMING TO SOME, BUT IT IS A TREND.

WE HAVE A SIGNIFICANT NUMBER OF PEOPLE APPLYING FOR RENT, WHICH ARE SINGLE HEADED HOUSEHOLDS.

AND I, I, YOU KNOW, I THINK THAT THAT COULD BE VERY UNIQUE TO AUSTIN, OR IT COULD BE, UH, SOMETHING THAT IS NATIONWIDE.

AND I DON'T KNOW, BUT IT'S, IT'S A STATISTIC THAT I CONTINUE TO LOOK AT TO TRY TO UNDERSTAND, OR AT LEAST PUT A, A RADAR OR AN EXTRA LENS, BECAUSE WHAT IS SHOWING ME ALSO IS I THINK THAT THINGL HOUSEHOLDS ARE PROVING, COULD BE BASED UPON THOSE WHO ARE RECEIVING ASSISTANCE IN THIS PROGRAM ALSO MORE VULNERABLE TO DISPLACEMENT.

SO IT'S JUST SOMETHING THAT I HAVE BEEN MADE AWARE OF AS A RESULT OF WHO HAS BEEN RECEIVING ASSISTANCE THROUGH THIS PROGRAM.

YEAH, I'LL ADD AS AN INTERESTING, UM, INFORMATION THAT WE'RE SEEING IS THAT, UH, THE FAMILIES THAT WERE FIRST ONLY BEING ASSISTED FOR ONE MONTH, BECAUSE THEY WERE BETWEEN 30 AND 80%, UH, THERE THEY HAVE A GREATER NEED.

UH, THEY THEY'RE, YOU WERE IN ARREARS, UH, MUCH MORE OFTEN THAN THOSE AT 30% AND BELOW.

UM, AND SO THEY NEED DEEPER ASSISTANCE.

UM, AND, UH, ANOTHER INTERESTING FACT IS THAT, UH, PRE COVID AVERAGE INCOME FOR THESE APPLICANTS WAS $28,000.

AND CURRENT, THE CURRENT AVERAGE INCOME IS 15.

SO THERE'S BEEN A, UM, PRETTY MUCH THEIR INCOME HAS BEEN CUT IN HALF DUE TO THE PANDEMIC.

YEAH.

SO I THINK JUST TO ADD ONTO WHAT, UH, POLARA IS SHARING ABOUT, UH, THE VULNERABILITY OF HOUSEHOLDS IN THE ECONOMIC IMPACT TO THOSE HOUSEHOLDS.

I THINK WE SEE THAT THERE WILL BE ADDITIONAL NEEDS THAT PEOPLE WILL HAVE.

UM, IN ADDITION, AND I WAS HOPING TO GET CLARIFICATION IN TERMS OF WHAT THE PERSON WAS ASKING, BUT ANOTHER TREND THAT WE SEE FROM THE APPLICANT, AND THIS IS APPLICANT DATA IS BAD OVER 47% OF THE HOUSEHOLDS ARE REQUESTING AS THIS THEN, UH, FOR UTILITY, UM, UTILITY ASSISTANCE.

SO I THINK THAT'S SOMETHING ALSO EXPOSING, UM, THE NEED THAT FAMILIES ARE HAVING.

UM, IN ADDITION TO JUST RENT ALONE, THANK YOU SO MUCH.

AND I'VE NEVER ASKED FOR THE CLARIFICATION ON THAT QUESTION.

WHAT I WAS REFERRING TO WAS ONE OF OUR REPORTERS, IT LOOKED LIKE INTERVIEWED YOU ABOUT

[00:20:01]

A WEEK AGO.

AND SOME OF THE THINGS THAT SHE NOTED AFTER HER CONVERSATION WITH YOU WAS THAT THERE WAS A SIGNIFICANT NUMBER OF LATINO APPLICANTS, UM, FOR RENT ASSISTANCE.

AND THAT THERE WAS A LARGE NUMBER OF APPLICANTS FROM THE 77 41 ZIP CODE.

DOES THAT SOUND ABOUT RIGHT TO YOU? THAT THAT DOES SOUND CORRECT? YES, THAT IS CORRECT.

AND I, AND I GUESS THE NUMBER IS SIGNIFICANT.

IT VARIES.

UH, BUT WE DID SEE, I BELIEVE IT'S IN POLARA PLEASE.

CORRECT ME ABOUT 36% OF APP, UH, HOUSEHOLDS APPLIED, IDENTIFY AS LATIN X.

YEAH.

AS OF TODAY IT SAID 38%.

OKAY.

OKAY.

THANK YOU.

AND I KNOW WE'RE TALKING ABOUT RENT ASSISTANCE SPECIFICALLY TODAY, BUT WE'VE CONTINUED TO GET A LOT OF QUESTIONS ABOUT RENTER PROTECTIONS AT THIS POINT.

DO YOU HAVE ANY SENSE OF WHETHER THERE WILL BE A MOVE FROM THE CITY TO EXTEND RENTER PROTECTIONS PAST DECEMBER 31ST? I CAN'T SPEAK, UH, SPECIFICALLY TO, UM, YOU KNOW, ANY EVICTION MORATORIUM SET THAT SOMETHING THAT COMES, UH, WOULD COME FROM THE MAYOR'S OFFICE, WHAT WE ARE DOING WITH THE ADDITIONAL FUNDING THAT WE HAVE RECEIVED.

WE ARE IN THE PROCESS OF, UH, WORKING WITH COMMUNITY-BASED ORGANIZATIONS TO PROVIDE ADDITIONAL SERVICES.

UH, ONE IS A CONTRACT THAT HAS BEEN, UH, APPROVED FOR NEGOTIATION, UM, BY THE CITY OF AUSTIN, UH, CITY COUNCIL, WORKING WITH TRELLA TO PROVIDE, UM, EVICTION REPRESENTATION SERVICES.

UM, YOU KNOW, WE KNOW THAT AS A RESULT, IF, IF THESE PROTECTIONS, UH, ARE NOT CONTINUE, THERE WILL BE CERTAIN HOUSEHOLDS THAT, UM, WILL BE FACING EVICTION.

AND THAT'S UNFORTUNATE.

THE GOOD THING IS WE ARE TRYING TO NOT ONLY PROVIDE A RESPONSE TO PROVIDE RENTAL ASSISTANCE, BUT ALSO, UH, LEGAL REPRESENTATION FOR HOUSEHOLDS THAT MIGHT FACE EVICTION.

AND, UM, IN ADDITION TO THAT, UH, WE ARE WORKING AND WE'RE WORKING ON SOME OTHER CONTRACTS TO PROVIDE ASSISTANCE, UH, TO HOUSEHOLDS.

UH, BUT UNTIL THOSE GO TO CITY COUNCIL, UH, FOR APPROVAL, UM, YOU KNOW, I'LL JUST WAIT, BUT IT IT'S, IT'S PART OF OUR LARGER EFFORT TO PROVIDE BOTH A SUSTAINED RESPONSE, UH, BECAUSE WE UNDERSTAND THAT WE KNEW BEFORE COBIA THAT FAMILIES WERE VULNERABLE TO DISPLACEMENT AND TENANT STABILIZATION, UH, WAS ONE OF THE PROGRAMS THAT WE WERE WORKING ON, UM, TO HELP FAMILIES IN THEIR PLACE.

AND SO WITH THE FEDERAL DOLLARS, WE'VE BEEN ALLOWED THE OPPORTUNITY WITH FEDERAL, AND I WILL SAY ALSO LOCAL DOLLARS.

UH, WE'VE BEEN ALLOWED THE OPPORTUNITY TO PROVIDE A MUCH GREATER RESPONSE THAT WE HAD PREVIOUSLY PLANNED FOR.

SO, UM, EVERYONE CAN KEEP THEIR EYES AND EARS OPEN TO, UH, ADDITIONAL SUPPORT FOR FAMILIES WHO ARE VULNERABLE TO, UM, DISPLACEMENTS, UH, AS IT RELATES TO, UM, UH, COVID IMPACTED ME.

THANK YOU SO MUCH.

IT LOOKS LIKE WE'VE HIT THE END OF THE QUESTIONS THAT REPORTERS HAVE SUBMITTED FOR TODAY.

BUT ONE LAST THING I WANTED TO FOLLOW UP ON JUST BASED ON THE NUMBER OF MESSAGES THAT I'VE BEEN GETTING.

I KNOW THAT THERE ARE PEOPLE WHO ARE WATCHING THIS, WHO COULD POTENTIALLY QUALIFY FOR THIS ASSISTANCE.

IF THERE'S SOMEBODY WHO'S WATCHING THIS RIGHT NOW AND IS AT HOME AND HAS EITHER ALREADY APPLIED FOR RENT ASSISTANCE OR IS THINKING THAT THEY MIGHT WANT TO, BUT ARE KIND OF NERVOUS OR APPREHENSIVE ABOUT IT, WHAT WOULD YOU SAY TO THEM? I WOULD PULL OUR GOALS.

YEAH.

UM, I THINK THERE'S A CONFUSION, UM, AS TO WHETHER THEY ARE ELIGIBLE, IF THEY RECEIVED RICE FUNDS AND THEY AREN'T, I WOULD SAY IF YOU RECEIVED PRIZE FUNDS, PLEASE STILL APPLY FOR THE RENT PROGRAM.

THE RENT PROGRAM IS STILL GOING ON.

IT DID NOT END UP WITH RISE.

UM, AND I WOULD SAY THAT IF YOU'RE HAVING PROBLEMS OR THE APPLICATION, YOU NEED HELP WITH THE APPLICATION, PLEASE CALL OUR CALL CENTER.

UM, AND THAT NUMBER IS (512) 488-1397.

THERE ARE ALSO SEVERAL COMMUNITY ORGANIZATIONS THAT ARE PROVIDING STEP-BY-STEP, UM, ASSISTANCE ON THE APPLICATION.

AND THERE ARE SOME THAT ARE, UM, ARE GOING TO BE PROVIDING ASSISTANCE IN PERSON AS WELL.

SHOULD SOMEBODY NOT HAVE A COMPUTER OR IS HAVING A HARD TIME WITH THE APPLICATION? SO PLEASE APPLY,

[00:25:01]

UM, THE, THE BENEFITS, UM, CAN, CAN BE, UH, SIGNIFICANT AND, UM, WE CAN DEFINITELY GET YOU THE HELP THAT YOU NEED TO COMPLETE THE APPLICATION.

GREAT.

I THINK THOSE ARE ALL THE QUESTIONS THAT WE HAD HERE ON OUR LIST FROM REPORTERS TODAY.

IS THERE ANYTHING ELSE THAT YOU GUYS WOULD LIKE TO ADD AS WE CLOSE THIS OUT? I JUST REALLY WANT TO, UH, EMPHASIZE WHAT POLARA SAID.

UH, I WANT TO ENCOURAGE FAMILIES TO ALL THE HELP LINE.

UM, THE ASSISTANCE IS AVAILABLE, IF IT IS CHALLENGING.

UM, THERE ARE COMMUNITY PARTNERS WHO ARE WILLING TO ASSIST PEOPLE WHO NEED THE HELP ARE CALLED THAT HELP ALIGN, UM, YOU KNOW, THE MONEY IS THERE.

UM, AND I JUST WANT TO ENCOURAGE PEOPLE TO GO THROUGH THE PROCESS TO GET THE ASSISTANCE AND, UM, AND YOU KNOW, PEOPLE ARE THERE WILLING TO HELP.

IS IT AS EASY AS SOME OF THE OTHER PROGRAMS NOW IT MIGHT NOT BE, BUT I CERTAINLY HOPE THAT IT WILL BE WORTH YOUR EFFORT TO GET, UM, THE ASSISTANCE, UH, AND HOPEFULLY MULTIPLE MONTHS OF ASSISTANCE OF, FOR THE PROGRAM, IF YOU ARE ELIGIBLE.

SO, UH, WE THANK YOU VERY MUCH FOR YOUR TIME, AND WE CERTAINLY HOPE THAT, UM, THE REPORTERS, THE COMMUNITY PORT REPORTERS AND COMMUNITY-BASED ORGANIZATIONS WILL CONTINUE SPREAD THE WORD ABOUT THE AVAILABLE ASSISTANCE PROGRAM.

IF I MAY SAY SOMETHING, UM, THE HOUSING AUTHORITY OF THE CITY OF AUSTIN IS VERY PROUD TO WORK WITH THE CITY OF AUSTIN OR A DIFFERENT ORGANIZATION.

THE CITY'S BEEN REALLY QUICK TO ADAPT.

WE'VE BEEN LEARNING THROUGH THIS PROCESS AND THEY QUICKLY ADAPT.

THEY'RE DOING EVERYTHING THEY CAN TO ENSURE THAT IT'S MANY PEOPLE THAT NEED HELP ARE ASSISTED.

UM, AND THEY'RE MAKING SURE THAT PEOPLE ARE BEING ASSISTED AS DEEPLY AS NEEDED FOR LONGER LASTING, UH, BENEFIT.

AND, UM, WE'RE JUST VERY HAPPY TO BE A PART OF THIS PROGRAM.

IT'S BEEN A SUCCESSFUL PROGRAM AND WE'RE HOPING THAT, UM, MORE PEOPLE WILL TAKE ADVANTAGE OF IT.

THANK YOU, PAULA.

I THINK THAT'S, UH, THE CITY WOULD SAY THE SAME THING ABOUT US BEING VERY HAPPY TO BE WORKING WITH, WITH HAKA ON THIS PROGRAM.

I THINK IT'S BEEN A TERRIFIC PARTNERSHIP AND A LOT OF PEOPLE AND HELPED BY THIS.

AND WE'RE HOPING THAT WE'LL BE ABLE TO DO THAT FOR A LOT MORE.

ALYSSA.

I ALSO WANT TO THANK YOU FOR, FOR AGREEING TO SERVE AS THE POOL REPORTER.

I WILL SAY TO ANYONE WATCHING WHO IS INTERESTED, PLEASE, IF YOU HAVE OTHER QUESTIONS OR YOU WANT TO DELVE A LITTLE BIT MORE DEEPLY INTO THE INFORMATION ABOUT THE RED PROGRAM, YOU CAN COME TO THE CITY OF AUSTIN'S WEBSITE FOR THE PROGRAM IT'S WWW DOT AUSTIN, TEXAS.GOV ACT SLASH RENT.

VERY EASY TO REMEMBER, UM, AND JUST COME.

AND THERE'S A FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS SITE.

THERE'S A PORTAL, THERE'S ALL THE INFORMATION THAT YOU'LL NEED.

UH, SO IF YOU HAVE QUESTIONS, PLEASE FEEL FREE TO VISIT THAT SIDING AND, UH, REACH OUT TO US.

AND WE'LL SEE ABOUT ADDRESSING THIS FURTHER, UM, AND, AND TRYING TO HELP.

SO AGAIN, ON BEHALF OF THE CITY, ON BEHALF OF THE HOUSING AUTHORITY OF THE CITY OF AUSTIN, I WANT TO THANK YOU GUYS FOR COMING.

IF YOU HAVE ANY OTHER QUESTIONS THAT COME UP AND YOU'RE DOING YOUR STORY, PLEASE FEEL FREE TO REACH OUT TO US.

UM, WE'LL GET BACK TO YOU AS QUICKLY AS WE CAN, AND THANK YOU VERY MUCH AND HAVE A GREAT DAY.

* This transcript was compiled from uncorrected Speech-to-Text.