Harris County COVID-19 relief fund to open public application for aid

HOUSTON, TX (June 17, 2020) – The Harris County COVID-19 Relief Fund will open its public application to all eligible Harris County residents in its second phase of fund deployment. The public application will be open Tuesday, June 23 and Wednesday, June 24, 2020.

“The fund’s main goal is, and always has been, to help those most vulnerable in our communities,” said Harris County Judge Lina Hidalgo. “That’s why, in the design of this process, it was paramount that this application be as intuitive and accessible as possible for all members of our community. We’ve taken extra steps to establish two ways to apply, extend the hours the application will be open, and ensure language and time accessibility for those with different working schedules.”

To ensure a fair, accessible application process, the public can access the application in two ways once it opens: online or over the phone. Applications will not be accepted at the Greater Houston Community Foundation office.

Online Application

The multilingual online application will be open at www.harriscountyrelief.org starting Tuesday, June 23 6 a.m. and close Wednesday, June 24 at 10 p.m.

Phone Application

When the phone application opens on June 23, individuals will call 832-848-0214 to speak with a call operator and complete their application. The multilingual phone application will be available:

June 23: 6 a.m. to 2 p.m.
June 24: 2 p.m. to 10 p.m.

The online and phone application will be available in a variety of languages, including English, Spanish, Chinese, Arabic, French, Farsi, Hindi, Urdu, Tagalog, Korean, and Vietnamese.

The Fund is open to all eligible low-income Harris County residents (regardless of status), including immigrant households, those who may receive Pandemic Unemployment Assistance but cannot afford to wait for months, and those ineligible for CARES Act payments or unemployment insurance. Full details can be found on the fund’s website at www.harriscountyrelief.com, but generally, recipients must:

– Be eligible for and receiving services from a long list of public benefits programs OR under 60% of area median income

– Be a resident of Harris County

– Have been economically impacted by COVID-19

– Not have received funding from a City or County COVID-19 financial assistance program

When the application closes, all applicants, regardless of when they applied, will be put into a fair process that will determine which applicants will move on to the next stage. To ensure the funds are reaching those most deeply impacted and vulnerable in our communities, this process will prioritize residents in Harris County’s most vulnerable census tracts. Residents that live in these census tracts will be prioritized, receiving up to a 50% increased chance of being selected.

By Friday, June 26, all applicants will receive an email and/or text notification regarding the status of their application. Those selected through the process will be matched with a community-based organization. This organization will reach out within five business days to continue the application process. Once the application for financial assistance is approved, the organization will coordinate the delivery of funds.

“We wanted to be thoughtful and purposeful in the fund’s approach to providing much-needed aid across Harris County,” said Precinct Two Harris County Commissioner Adrian Garcia.

The latest resource, updates, and information will be posted on the Fund’s website, www.harriscountyrelief.org