September, October and November rental assistance now available. Apply or enroll today!

Frequently Asked Questions

When can I enroll?

Landlords with residential properties within the City of Houston and/or Harris County can submit their Landlord Enrollment Form and Agreement starting the week of August 17th. Landlords that participated in the City of Houston Rental Assistance Program that launched in May 2020 will receive an email with instructions on how to opt-in to participate in either or both the current City of Houston and Harris County Rental Assistance Programs. These landlords should not submit a new enrollment form.

My rental property is in the City of Houston and within Harris County. How do I know which rental assistance program is the one I am eligible to enroll in?

Based on the location of your residential rental property, you may be eligible to participate in the City of Houston program, the Harris County program, both OR neither. Enter your address into the map look up tool on the homepage to determine which program you are eligible for. At the time of enrollment, you will have the option to select which one of the programs you want to participate in - Harris County, City of Houston, or both. The City of Houston and Harris County programs have different landlord requirements that you must agree to in order to participate. Click here to be directed to the landlord requirements section of the website.

If you are eligible to enroll in both programs, we strongly encourage you to opt in to both to provide your eligible tenants the maximum opportunity to be selected to receive rental assistance. 

My rental property is eligible for both the Harris County and the City of Houston Rental Assistance Programs. Should I submit an enrollment form for each program?

No, you do not need to submit two enrollment forms. You will have the opportunity at enrollment to select which program you would like to participate in - Harris County, City of Houston, or both. Submitting more than one landlord enrollment form could result in a delay with processing and adding your eligible properties to the Participation Directory.

My rental property is not in Harris County but within the City of Houston city limits. Is this property eligible for the rental assistance program?

Residential rental properties within the City of Houston are eligible to participate in the rental assistance program as long as funding is available. Please confirm that the property is within the City of Houston city limits using the map look up tool on the home page.

What is the process you are following to verify that my property is located within program boundaries?

For Harris County, we are using the Harris County Appraisal District website to verify that the rental property is within Harris County. For City of Houston verification, we are using the Harris County Appraisal District website and under the section for Jurisdictions and Exemptions, we verify that code 061 is present which denotes that the property is in the City of Houston. For City of Houston properties outside of Harris County, we use the City of Houston’s “Who is my council member?” tool (https://www.houstontx.gov/council/whoismycm.html).

Will I receive a 1099 from BakerRipley?

Yes, IRS rules will require BakerRipley to issue a 1099 in certain conditions. In those situations, a 1099 will be issued to the Landlord.

Will I be responsible for reimbursing BakerRipley for any payment that is determined to be an overpayment or fraudulent request?

Yes. If there is an overpayment or misrepresentation and/or Fraud by the Tenant, BakerRipley will ask the Landlord to return the funds. If the Tenant is no longer leasing with the Landlord at the time of fraud determination, we will seek other actions against the Tenant.

Will landlords be required to provide evidence that they are compliant with eviction requirements and/or waived late fees requirements?

Landlords will not need to provide verification at the time of enrollment but BakerRipley reserves the right to request, as needed, any documentation to verify compliance with the Landlord Agreement.

I submitted my request to be a Participating Landlord more than 24 hours ago. Why is my property not listed in the Participation Directory?

Upon submission of your request, BakerRipley needs to verify that the property listed is within the program boundaries. Once the verification is complete, you will receive an email notification and your property will be listed in the Participation Directory. Check the website often. The verification could be instant or can take up to 2 days depending on the amount of requests received. If there is an issue with the verification which prevents us from enrolling the landlord and/or rental property, a BakerRipley program team member will email you with an explanation of the issue.

Can I apply the funds I receive for my tenant’s future rent balance?

No, the rental assistance is for outstanding rent balances only. If the tenant submitted an application for rental assistance and has since paid the past due amount, then the landlord should apply rental assistance funds received from BakerRipley to the original past due balance, and apply funds the tenant paid on its own to any new past due rent. Landlords should exhaust all rental assistance dollars received from BakerRipley to support our goal of ensuring tenants are able to stay in their homes.

Will my Tenant receive the payment?

No. Per program guidelines, rent payments will be payable directly, by ACH deposit, to the Participating Landlord. Participating Landlords will be asked to enter bank information and complete a W-9 form. Payments will be made to the Landlord by the program on behalf of the eligible Tenant.

Is there a paper Landlord enrollment application or a number I can call to enroll?

No. All Landlord information and submission must be entered on this website.

When will I be notified and when will I be paid?

Participating Landlords are not guaranteed payment. Participating Landlords will be paid ONLY if:

  • the Tenant completes the application,
  • the Tenant application is selected for processing,
  • the Tenant is deemed eligible, and
  • if funding is still available.

Tenants must do their part! It is critical that you share your enrollment with your tenants and encourage them to apply.

The Landlord will receive a ‘Pledge’ notification every time a Tenant is deemed eligible for funding.  The ‘Pledge’ notification will include the name and information of the Tenant and the amount of rental assistance that will be provided. Landlords will have the opportunity to confirm the amounts of past due rents of their Tenants. 

Landlords can expect the ACH payment for rental assistance within one week of receiving the confirmation from BakerRipley of a ‘Pledge’ to pay for an approved Tenant.

Do the terms and conditions in the Landlord Agreement only apply to those tenants that apply for and receive rental assistance or to all of the tenants at my participating property(ies)?

For Harris County funding, the terms and conditions apply only for Qualified Tenants (those receiving assistance from the program).

For City of Houston funding, the terms and conditions, such as the payment plan, apply to all Tenants residing at the rental property.

I have a tenant that applied for the program but was not selected. Can I move forward with evicting them?

City of Houston funding - If the Landlord and the Tenant received assistance, the Landlord terms and conditions apply to ALL Tenants of the property. If no Tenant received assistance for that property, then there are no requirements for the Landlord.

Harris County funding - Terms and conditions to the Landlord apply only for the Tenant who receives assistance.

Landlords are also required to halt evictions for tenants that qualify for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) nation-wide eviction moratorium through December 31, 2020. For more information on the CDC moratorium click here.

I submitted a Landlord Enrollment Form and Agreement for the City of Houston and Harris County programs. If my enrollment is accepted BUT none of my eligible tenants that apply get selected for funding, do I need to adhere to the terms in the agreement?

No. You only adhere to the terms and conditions if you have at least one Qualifying Tenant receiving assistance.

Do I need to halt an eviction in process if the tenant applies for assistance and I am notified that they have applied?

Yes. The landlord will be required to halt an eviction based on the terms and conditions of the funding for which assistance is provided (City of Houston or Harris County). Landlords are also required to halt evictions to tenants that qualify for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) nation-wide eviction moratorium through December 31, 2020. For more information regarding the CDC eviction moratorium click here.

If I am a Participating Landlord and one or more of my tenants receives rental assistance through this program, how long do I have to wait to file an eviction suit against them?

Landlords are required to halt evictions to tenants that qualify for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) nation-wide eviction moratorium through December 31, 2020. For more information on the CDC moratorium click here.

Does the 10% discount for the Harris County program apply to rental fees only or does it include utilities, water, etc.?

Harris County Funding - the 10% discount applies to the base rent, however, if utilities are part of the base rent, then the 10% discount applies as well.

When will the BakerRipley COVID-19 Rental Assistance program end?

The program will end on December 30th 2020 or when funds are no longer available.

How much rental assistance can an eligible tenant receive through this program?

The maximum rental assistance for past due rent for April - August 2020 is $1,900 for Harris County or $2,112 for the City of Houston.

For past due rent for September - November, tenants can receive up to $1,900. Tenants should not ask for a rental assistance amount greater than the amount that is past due.

Landlords will be asked to verify amounts due and are required to return any overpayments made.

If my tenant received rental assistance from this program to cover past due rent for April - August, can they apply for additional assistance for September - November?

Yes, the program can pay up to $1,900 for past due rent for September - November even if the tenant received rental assistance in the past, provided that you as landlord are enrolled in the program.

When can I apply?

Tenants with Participating Landlords can submit applications for past due rent for September, October and November starting November 2nd. You can see whether your rental property is listed here in the Participation Directory: https://hhccommunity.force.com/tenant/. Check the Participation Directory frequently, it is updated throughout the day.

I live in the City of Houston and within Harris County. How do I know which rental assistance program is the one I am eligible to participate in?

Based on the location of your residential rental unit, you may be eligible to participate in the City of Houston program, the Harris County program, both OR neither. Enter your address into the map look-up tool on the homepage to determine which program you are eligible for. Keep in mind that your landlord must enroll to participate in one or both of the programs in order for you to submit an application for rental assistance. Both the City of Houston and Harris County programs have additional eligibility criteria that you must also meet to participate. Click here to be directed to the tenant eligibility section of the website.

I qualify for both the Harris County and the City of Houston Rental Assistance Programs. Should I submit an application for each? Will submitting two applications increase my chances for being selected?

No, you do not need to submit two applications. BakerRipley is administering both rental assistance programs and will ensure you are considered for the program(s) that you are eligible for. Submitting more than one application per household could result in a delay with processing your request for rental assistance if your application is flagged as a duplicate.

I do not live in Harris County but am in the City of Houston. Am I eligible to participate?

Tenants that live within the City of Houston are eligible to participate in the rental assistance program as long as funding is available, and if they meet all of the program eligibility requirements. Please confirm that you are within the City of Houston city limits using the map look up tool on the home page.

Are tenant applications being processed on a first-come, first-serve basis?

No. Tenant applications will go through an Application Selection step before being processed. The Application Selection process for Harris County consists of a lottery and random selection of applications for processing. The Application Selection process for the City of Houston program will be based on funding priorities established by the City of Houston.

Please note that not all applications selected for processing will be approved - tenants may be required to submit additional eligibility documents and BakerRipley must verify that all program eligibility requirements are met before approving applications for funding. It is very important for tenants to respond to requests for additional documentation in a timely manner.

Additional rounds of Application Selection for both programs may take place in order to distribute all rental assistance funds available.

Can I receive rental assistance for my upcoming rent payments?

No, the program is for eligible tenants with past due rent only.

Does the address on my photo ID need to match the address on my application?

No. The purpose of the photo ID is to verify your identity; while the address does not have to match what is on the application, you must provide documentation that demonstrates that you currently reside at the rental property. When a photo ID with your current address is not available, you can submit a copy of a utility bill (electricity, gas, water, cable, telephone) with your name and current address on it as proof of address.

My photo ID is expired. Can I still submit it with my application?

Yes. The purpose of the photo ID is to verify your identity; an expired photo ID can be submitted with your application.

I have multiple adults living in my household. Who should submit the application?

Any adult that is listed on the lease is able to submit the application for rental assistance. ONLY ONE APPLICATION per rental unit should be submitted. Submitting more than one application per household could result in a delay with processing your request for rental assistance if your application is flagged as a duplicate.

I am a low-income resident on a fixed income experiencing challenges with paying my rent. However, I have not experienced loss of employment or reduced income/revenues due to COVID-19. Am I eligible to participate in this program?

If your household is on a fixed income and has experienced an increase in expenses due to COVID-19 such as for masks, hand sanitizer, grocery delivery fees, etc., you are eligible to participate in the program given that you meet all of the program eligibility requirements. Click here to review all of the program eligibility requirements.

How much rental assistance will I receive through this program?

The maximum rental assistance for past due rent for April - August 2020 is $1,900 for Harris County or $2,112 for the City of Houston.

For past due rent for September - November, tenants can receive up to $1,900. Tenants should not ask for a rental assistance amount greater than the amount that is past due.

Landlords will be asked to verify amounts due and are required to return any overpayments made.

Can I receive rental assistance from both programs?

No. Tenants will be considered for both programs if their property is eligible for both and their landlord is participating in both. However, tenants may only receive rental assistance under one program.

My lease is expired and I am now on a month-to-month plan with my landlord. Will I need to submit a current lease in order to quality for rental assistance?

No, the end date of the lease does not matter. You can apply for assistance for any unpaid rent that is past due as long as you meet all other program requirements. The maximum amount of rental assistance to be provided will depend on the program you are eligible and selected for.

Will I receive a 1099 from BakerRipley?

No, a tenant will not receive a 1099. IRS rules will require BakerRipley to issue a 1099 in certain conditions. In those situations, the 1099 will be issued to the Landlord.

What documentation will I have to provide to demonstrate my income is below the income guidelines?

At the time of application, no income documentation is required to be submitted. You will provide self-certification that you meet the income guidelines and other program requirements. If your application is selected for the Harris County program during the Application Selection process, you will be asked to submit proof of income for all household members ages 18 and older. A list of income documents that will be accepted can be found here.

I need assistance paying my mortgage. Can I apply for assistance through this program?

No, you are not eligible to participate. This program is designed to provide relief to tenants who have past due rent. Please call 2-1-1 to see if there are other resources to help you.

What if my landlord refuses to enroll into the program?

Since payments are made directly to your Landlord, the fastest way for you to be able to apply, and if eligible receive rental assistance is with your landlord being enrolled.

Make sure to check the “Participatory Directory” to look for your landlord as information gets updated. If your landlord is not listed you’ll be able to share your information as a tenant interested in rental assistance.

You can also call United Way 2-1-1 a 24/7 Helpline that may connect you to other resources to help you.

Can payment be made to me (tenant) directly?

No. Per program guidelines, rent payments will be payable directly to the Participating Landlord.

Is the website available in other languages?

Yes. On the website, look for the translation button at the top of the page and select the desired language.

Once I submit my application, am I guaranteed funding for my rent that is past due?

There is great demand and urgency for rental assistance. A submitted application does not guarantee rental assistance. After the tenant application window closes, BakerRipley will conduct an Application Selection process for each program based on program eligibility requirements and funding priorities. Tenants with applications selected for processing may be required to submit additional required eligibility documentation. Approval decisions will be made once all documentation is complete.

I don’t have a United States government agency photo ID. What else can I submit?

Any photo ID is accepted. A list of acceptable photo identification can be found here.

What about immigration status?

We will not ask your immigration status nor will it be used in making decisions about who receives funding awards.

How long does it take to find out if I am approved and receive the rental assistance?

Once you submit your application, you will receive a confirmation that it has been submitted. We will start notifying tenants that are selected for processing Tenant application deadline is reached. If you submit all of your required documentation, meet all of the program eligibility requirements and your application is approved, you will receive notification of the amount of rental assistance that you have been approved to receive and that amount will be paid to your Landlord within 1 week.

You will also receive notification if your application is not selected for processing or denied.

Will my landlord be notified of my application submission and status?

Your Landlord will be notified if your application is selected for processing AND approved. The Landlord will receive a “Pledge” notification which will list the month(s) and amount(s) approved for rental assistance payment. Landlords will have the opportunity to confirm the amount of past due rent at that time. Next, both the Tenant and the Landlord will receive notification when a rental assistance payment has been processed.

Will rental assistance payments also cover late fees and other fees incurred?

No, the rental assistance is to pay for past due rent only. However, the rental assistance programs are intended to provide relief from late fees and penalties by requiring your landlord to agree to certain terms.

In order to participate in the Harris County program, your Landlord must agree to waive any late fees, interest or penalties for past due rent, provide a 10% discount to total past due rent, and offer an interest-free payment plan for any rent due in excess of total assistance.

In order to participate in the City of Houston program, your Landlord must agree to waive any late fees, interest or penalties for past due rent and provide an interest free payment plan for any rent due in excess of rental assistance provided.

I am experiencing financial hardship due to COVID-19, but prior to COVID-19, my household income was above the income guidelines (80% AMI for City of Houston and 60% AMI for Harris County). Am I eligible to participate in this program?

Income guidelines are as follows - for City of Houston funding, your pre-COVID-19 monthly income (before April) is considered, while for Harris County funding, your post-COVID-19 monthly income is considered. We encourage all Tenants to apply regardless of previous or current income as additional funds may be available in the future with different criteria.

Is there a paper application I can mail in or do you have a paper application for tenants that do not have a computer or access to the internet?

No. Landlord enrollment and Tenant applications are submitted on this website. If you have limited or no access to a computer or internet, please look for resources (such as asking your Landlord or family members to assist you). There is an authorization form they can complete here to document that they are helping you with the process. If you have no immediate resources who may provide you with computer or internet access, there will be several agencies and phone numbers available the week of Tenant Enrollment for you to call.

I received rental assistance from the BakerRipley City of Houston rental assistance program for my April and/or May rent. Am I eligible to participate in this program if I still need help with rent?

If you received the City of Houston’s rental assistance earlier this year, we encourage you to apply since you may qualify  for Harris County funds to cover your past due rent for September, October and/or November. It is important to make sure that your Landlord is participating as well.

What months can I include in my rental assistance application?

Starting November 2nd you can request rental assistance for the months of September, October and November.

Rental Assistance applications submitted before November 2nd requesting past due rent for April - August are being processed and tenants will be updated on their application status.

Will rental assistance payments cover utilities that are part of my lease?

If utilities or other bills are included in your lease and are part of your monthly rental payment, then rental assistance would cover those costs.

The link to upload the documents to complete my application is not working.

This is probably due to the browser you are using. We recommend that you use Google Chrome browser to open the link.

I never received the email with instructions on how to submit the additional documents to complete my application.

Please make sure to check the Spam and Junk folders of your email account. Some emails may go straight to those folders without you noticing it.

Can I submit pictures of the documents required, or do I need to submit scanned documents?

Pictures of documents are accepted as long as the information is clear. Make sure that the whole document is shown in the image and that names and other information are clear and easy to read.

If I don’t have a lease, is there a different document I can submit in its place?

Submitting a copy of your lease (with your name in it) is part of the required documents to complete your rental assistance application.

  • If you signed a lease and do not have a copy, please reach out to your landlord/property owner to request it.
  • We can accept a month to month lease if you and your landlord are able to write one and both sign it with the date it was signed.
  • We do not have any other approved document that can be used in place of the lease.
Why do I need to provide proof of income for all household members 18 years of age or older, when I’m the head of household and pay for the rent?

Income eligibility for our Rental Assistance Program depends on all household member’s income. We do have to collect proof of income from all adults that live in the property. The goal is for the assistance to go to those families that need it the most.

What proof of income documents does the program accept?

Click here to be directed to the tenant documents required section of the website. You will find the list of approved documents there.

Can I still request rental assistance for past due rent for April - August?

Rental assistance applications submitted after November 2nd can only apply for past due rent for September and/or October  2020.

We are no longer accepting applications for rental assistance for the months of April - August. Rental Assistance applications submitted before November 2nd requesting past due rent for April - August are being processed and tenants will be updated on their application status.

When will the BakerRipley COVID-19 Rental Assistance program end?

The program will end on December 30th 2020 or when funds are no longer available.

If I received rental assistance from this program to cover past due rent for April - August, can I apply for additional assistance for September - November?

Yes, the program can pay up to $1,900 for past due rent for September - November even if you received rental assistance in the past, provided that your landlord is enrolled in the program.

Help us get the word out

Download a program flyer and share with other tenants and landlords.