Tarrant County sets up site to financially help struggling renters

If you’re a renter in Tarrant County and struggling financially, the county is looking for you and touting a new centralized website at getrenthelp.com.

The site will hopefully cut down on confusion when it comes to what kind of assistance is out there.

Commissioners say the top two reasons people are applying for assistance are they either have been laid off or had their work hours reduced.

It’s exactly the case for Carrie Holbert.

"If more of us would tell someone else, then everybody can get the assistance they need," she said.

Holbert was laid off from her job last year and is trying to kick start a catering business. Like many who got help during the first round of funding, she was approved for CARES Act rental assistance in 2020.

"My landlord, they had to fill out information for CARES Act," she said. "And that way, the payment would go straight to them."

Holbert was not aware before today she could qualify again under the new funding available. 

"I know now a lot of the unemployment is about to cease. And for me, my job hasn’t went back yet," she said. "I’ve been trying to find another job and trying to be also an up-and-coming entrepreneur. It’s hard so I said, ‘you’re gonna have to reapply again.’"

The new website determines if the user’s application is directed to Tarrant County or to the cities of Fort Worth or Arlington. 

The effort to increase the number of applicants includes an awareness campaign. Very soon, the county will produce content for Tik-Tok.

"We’ve got a great digital media manager in our office here at the county administrator’s office, and she’s very attuned to what works best and how to engage all ages ranges of people," said Kristen Camerano with the county. "So she’s recently suggested that we branch into Tik-Tok and try to reach a new audience that way."

"That would be wonderful," Holbert said. "There are so many people on social media. Oh my goodness. So many. Yes, that would help a whole lot!"