Find relief through utility, bill and rental assistance programs from federal, state and local resources to help you navigate financial hardships.
In uncertain times, pressure can mount on individuals and families from virtually any background. A late utility bill, a looming rent payment, and housing insecurity can add tremendous stress to already straining situations.
Fortunately, there are government programs, nonprofit organizations, and local resources that can help provide financial assistance and other services to ensure you or your family can find stability.
We’ve compiled these resources from federal, state and local organizations that have the ability to help those most in need.
Please remember that demand for these programs is very high during the Coronavirus pandemic and some may not be available at this moment. Many of these organizations are working through waitlist applicants and will reopen their services at a later date, so keep checking back if you need help.
State & National Programs
Utility & Bill Assistance
- Public Utility Commission of Texas: Texas Lifeline – Designed to help qualified low-income individuals pay the monthly cost of basic telephone service. Individuals qualify if total household income is at or below 150% of federal poverty guidelines, or if they are currently enrolled in Medicaid, SNAP, Supplemental Security Income (SSI) or other programs (click here to see a full list of qualified programs).
- Texas Department of Housing & Community Affairs (TDHCA): CEAP – The Comprehensive Energy Assistance Program helps low-income households meet their immediate energy needs. Click here to read program guidelines as well as updates specific to the Coronavirus pandemic.
Housing & Rent Assistance
- Housing & Urban Development (HUD) – View resources for public housing, rental assistance, and specific information for different groups of individuals (including homeless services, homeowners, renters, Native Americans, and more). Click here to view information related to the Coronavirus pandemic.
- HUD: Apartment Finder – Browse a map of the Houston area to find vacancies in different types of housing, including low-income housing tax credit properties, multifamily homes, public housing, and USDA Rural Housing.
- HUD: Talk to a Housing Counselor – Receive free or low cost advice from a housing counseling agency regarding buying a home, renting, defaults, foreclosure avoidance, credit issues, evictions and more.
- Section 8 Housing Choice Voucher – Provides rental assistance payments on behalf of low-income individuals and families, including elderly and persons with disabilities. Click here to review guidelines and public housing agencies.
- TDHCA: Project Access Program – Utilizes Section 8 Housing Choice Vouchers to assist low-income persons with disabilities in transition from institutions into the community through access to affordable housing. Click here to review eligibility criteria and begin an application.
- TDHCA: Section 811 Project Rental Assistance Program – Provides project-based rental assistance for extremely low-income persons with disabilities linked with long-term services. Click here to review guidelines and contact a required Qualified Referral Agent.
- TDHCA: Vacancy Clearinghouse – Find rent-reduced apartments or homes in the state of Texas by searching for TDHCA-monitored rental properties and organizations offering rental assistance. Click here to view other apartment searching programs.
- Veterans Affairs: Housing Assistance – Multiple programs are available to help veterans who are homeless, in search of transitional housing, supportive housing with additional services, or prevent the imminent loss of a veteran’s home.
Utility & Bill Assistance
- Catholic Charities of the Archdiocese of Galveston-Houston – If you require family or financial assistance as a result of the Coronavirus pandemic, Catholic Charities of Galveston-Houston can offer assistance and resources, as well as food distribution for food-insecure families, seniors, veterans and other populations. Click here to review their assistance programs.
- Dollar Energy Fund – If you’re in need of utility assistance, the Dollar Energy Fund works with utility partners and can also disburse federal funds through the CEAP program for those that need help paying home energy costs. Click here to see what they can do during the Coronavirus pandemic.
- Gulf Coast Community Services Association: Electricity Assistance – If you’ve received a disconnect notice, GCCSA can assist in implementing a plan of action or service agreement to receive emergency financial assistance. Click here to review eligibility and find the nearest community center.
- Harris County Community Services: Utility Assistance – Eligible applicants may receive emergency assistance to pay utility bills that they are unable to in a given month. Click here to review eligibility criteria.
Housing & Rent Assistance
- Gulf Coast Community Services Association: Rental Assistance – If you’ve received a vacate notice, GCCSA can assist in implementing a plan of action or service agreement to receive emergency financial assistance. Click here to review eligibility and find the nearest community center.
- Harris County Area Agency on Aging – This Houston-area agency provides a bevy of resources for adults 60 years or older and their caregivers. Contact them for more information on access and assistance services, as well as home- and community-based services.
- Harris County Community Services: Rent Assistance – Qualified applicants can receive one-time rental assistance to help in making rental or mortgage payments due to unforeseen circumstances. Click here to review eligibility criteria.
- Harris County Housing & Community Resource Center – This resource can assist in finding affordable rental properties, opportunities for first-time home buyers, financial assistance and emergency shelters, among other services.
- Houston Coalition for the Homeless – For those facing homelessness and related issues, this organization provides services and referrals for emergency and crisis assistance, including shelters, clothing, medical centers, and more. Click here to review their Help Card of resources.
- Lone Star Legal Aid – If you live in a low-income household and are facing eviction or need legal representation, Lone Star Legal Aid provides free advocacy, legal representation and other resources to assist those facing problems related to vacate notices and the Coronavirus pandemic. Click here to review their services.
- Salvation Army Veterans’ Rental Assistance – Qualified veterans can receive assistance if at risk of losing housing through late notices, vacate notices, or eviction.
- The Women’s Home – The Houston area women’s facilities offer four programs: a residential treatment and transitional housing program for homeless women struggling with addiction and mental illness, supportive housing for individuals and families, and a community service center that aims to prevent homelessness in the community.