City of Dallas' mortgage and rental assistance website overwhelmed with applications

The city of Dallas' new mortgage and rental assistance website was overwhelmed and crashed on Monday just minutes after going live.

When it comes to being popular, the city of Dallas’ website took the top spot Monday as applications opened for new city programs offering free cash to renters, homeowners and grants and loans to small business owners.

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Dr. Eric Anthony Johnson is chief of Economic Development Neighborhood Services for the city of Dallas.

“By 10 a.m. on the mortgage and rent assistance side, we had roughly 1,560 applications,” he said. “The message to the landlord community is that we are trying to provide some sort of sustainability in the interim period to help tenants.”

Under the program, city renters and homeowners who make 80 percent or less of the area’s $55,000 median income can apply for up to three months of assistance up to $1,500 each month. The money is granted on a first-come, first-served basis and paid directly to banks and landlords.

“If your rent is $1,500, that's what you get,” Johnson said. “If its $1,200, you get $1,200.”

The cash comes courtesy of the federal government. With about a two to three-week turnaround, payments are expected to start in June.

“Truthfully, we believe we can help about 1,000 households,” Johnson said.

But not everyone will get help.

The sizeable community in the city which calls extended stay hotels home does not qualify, but that doesn't mean they shouldn't apply. When they do, they will be redirected to funding from emergency shelter grants. For this program, a permanent residence is required.

“We have to be able to provide ether proof of residence back to the scores of funding, which is the federal government,” Johnson said.

The money is limited. By design, this program will work in tandem with others offering assistance. If the process identifies that you may better qualify elsewhere, you may be redirected.

Mortgage and rent assistance is approved first come first served.

If you're applying for the small business program, those applications are accepted through May 11 and will be awarded through a lottery system.

LINK: Rental or Mortgage Assistance Application

LINK: Small Business Continuity Fund Application