Brazos County eligible to receive share of $23.7 billion dollars in grants for rental assistance
“The more funding that we can get the better off we’ll be in our community.”
BRYAN, Texas (KBTX) Rental assistance could be on the way for residents in Bryan and College Station. On Tuesday Brazos County Judge Duane Peters and the Brazos County commissioners court approved a request from the cities of Bryan and College Station to apply to the U.S. Department of the Treasury for the Emergency Rental Assistance Program (Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2021) made available through the Coronavirus Response and Relief Supplemental Appropriations Act of 2021.
While precise funding amounts have not yet been announced the federal government’s December 2020 emergency COVID-19 relief legislation included an estimated $1.9 billion in emergency rental support for the State of Texas. According to the U.S. Department of the Treasury in order to apply for funding cities have to have a population above 200,000 people. The cities of Bryan and College Station do not meet the qualification on their own so Brazos County has assumed the role of working with the local cities to develop an agreement that would allow the use of these funds to implement an Emergency Rental Assistance program.
Peters said that the county doesn’t typically handle these issues but was willing to help considering the need was so great and provided that the cities come together to help as to not place extra strain on the county resources and staff.
“I’m certainly happy to make some of this happen,” said Peters. “If Bryan and College Station are willing to take on the workload.”
Debbie Eller, Director of Community Services with the City of College Station says the city is committed to working with the City of Bryan and Brazos County to obtain the funding and provide assistance to the residents in Bryan-College Station and outlying areas. She says the need for assistance is great because people’s jobs have either been eliminated or their hours have been substantially reduced due to the pandemic.
“We have seen and continue to see a growing need,” said Eller. “People don’t have the income that they had at one point so they’re having a difficult time in making rent and mortgage payments so we want to make sure that we make as much assistance available as possible.
Alsie Bond, Community Development Manager with the City of Bryan says the city is very much looking and seeking additional funding to bring into the area to address issues related to COVID and describes the grant as an opportunity to be an additional source of funding for those so desperately in need.
“We’re really trying to address local community needs,” said Bond. “The more funding that we can get the better off we’ll be in our community.”
Both the cities of College Station and Bryan say they will release more information once grant money is approved. If you need immediate assistance they suggest you call 211, the United Way of Brazos Valley, so they can direct you to resources that are currently available.
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