Texas Rent Relief Program website crashes shortly after reopening
Houston - The Texas Rent Relief Program Portal opened Tuesday morning and as expected there were many people rushing to the site. The large influx of visitors has caused the site to crash shortly after reopening.
FOX 26 received numerous calls about the website being down.
The portal is scheduled to be open for two weeks, but the program said they will serve people on a first-come-first-serve basis.
RELATED: Texas Rent Relief re-opening application portal on March 14 for $96 million
In a statement Tuesday morning, the Texas Department of Housing and Community Affairs said:
"We understand some people are unable to access or start a new application, or are experiencing delayed load times. Our team is working to address the issue as quickly as possible. We’re asking individuals that if they’re not able to access the application system at this time, to check back throughout the day and try again using the ‘Apply Now’ button (for first time applicants).
We also know that the Customer Service Line is experiencing some challenges with extremely high call volume. We ask for patience and encourage any applicant to review our Frequently Asked Questions and Tenant Checklist, which may help answer questions about applying.
For those who are able to access the application (we had more than 4,000 applications submitted in the first 45 minutes of the portal opening) to please make sure to ‘Save’ your progress often, and use the Tenant Checklist to ensure you submit a complete application with all required documentation."
The program helps those who get approved, struggling to pay the rent or utility bills, pay their past due bills. Since starting in February 2021, Texas Rent Relief has helped more than 316,000 households, providing more than $2 billion in aid and preventing 21,000 evictions.
The portal opening Tuesday was set to disburse the remaining $96 million in funds.
MORE: Pandemic SNAP benefits end, low-income recipients face high inflation
The Texas Department of Housing and Community Affairs says first-time applicants may be eligible for up to 18 months of rent and/or utility assistance for past due bills, and up to three months of future payments, which will be made directly to landlords or utilities.
Returning applicants who have not already received the maximum 18 months of rent or utility bill payments can submit an Additional Funding Request through their online account.