City of Fort Worth sets aside $15 million to help renters, homeowners

The city of Fort Worth is moving forward with financial help for renters and homeowners in need.

Fort Worth is one of several large Texas cities to receive federal emergency funding. It will receive close to $159 million from the federal CARES Act.

The city’s plan is to use $15 million of that to help residents with emergency housing needs. It is available money to help renters and homeowners with mortgages who are out of work or have other hardships.

Fort Worth is home to more than 86,000 apartment units. As of right now, officials say 15 percent of those rents remain uncollected for the month of April.

It’s also worth noting that the Texas Supreme Court extended the statewide moratorium on evictions until May 18.

At a special called meeting Wednesday afternoon, Fort Worth city leaders discussed how to begin the process for pairing the available money for housing assistance with those who meet the criteria.

“So the whole idea is if you’ve been impacted by COVID-19, the CARES Act funding is out there,” said City Manager David Cook. “In some ways, we may be working with individuals. And in other cases, we may be working with property owners. To me, the broader goal is to make sure that people stay in their homes at this point in time even though they might be experiencing unemployment or other issues relating to COVID-19.”

The city also outlined how it will use another $15 million for business recovery and small business loans. This would be in addition to the current assistance already available.

Fort Worth anticipates the funding will be in place to cover COVID-19-related emergencies through December.