First tonight, at 10 o’clock we’re going to begin with a brand new option for help for thousands of Texans who are still struggling to pay the bills during this pandemic. I’M Doug Dunbar a program that launched more than a month ago, has only given out a fraction of the more than one billion dollars available. Our Caroline Vandergriff explains why all new at 10 o’clock – it has been – you, know, kind of a long, arduous frustrating year. Aaron jones lost his job in the hospitality industry because of the pandemic. When he heard about the Texas rent relief program, he immediately applied, hopefully to get a little bit of help so that we’re not just you know, choosing do we are, we, you know, lay down the electric bill or laid on the car bill, but he’s been waiting For an answer for five weeks, the Texas department of housing and community affairs is responsible for distributing the 1.
billion dollars worth of federal aid to Texas renters. The agency launched the program in mid-February. A month later, it had only made three payments starting the ice storm was uh was not the best time. Our call center was at like one-third capacity. The other aspect – that’s probably bigger, is we were having computer i.
issues with the software and we had to switch out um kind of on the back end, which you don’t see not the website, but on the back end, tell me since then how many payments you Guys have been able to get out, certainly so so, as of this week, we’re going to have 159 tenant households served and that’s 928 000. The agency says that number will grow exponentially in the coming weeks. We’re hopeful that we’re going to be able to get things up and running much more efficiently, so that people can get that assistance for jones. It can’t come soon enough. His rent is due in seven days.
You seem so positive under the circumstance which is so admirable, but how anxious are you about all of this being you know unemployed, uh. You know there’s pandemic waiting for a vaccine, there’s a lot of things outside of my control and just have to wait and have faith. The changes the state implemented will work to finally get renters the help they need. Caroline Vandergriff CBS 11 news looking inside the numbers, there’s still 720 million dollars in assistance available in that pot and another billion on the way, by the way, if you’re, a renter or a landlord, and you need help with rent or utility bills, you can apply online.