The Texas Rent Relief website crashed Tuesday morning shortly after it began accepting new applicants.
Administrators reportedly posted a message to the site at 10:15 a.m. Tuesday alerting users of the malfunctions, with an update posted at 3:50 p.m. that said the site “is experiencing a significantly high volume of applications.”
“We understand some people are unable to access or start a new application, or are experiencing delayed load times,” the alert read. “Our team is working to address the issue as quickly as possible. If you are not able to access the application system at this time, we encourage you to close your browser completely and try again.”
The TRR program, a taxpayer-funded project of the Texas Department of Housing and Community Affairs (TDHCA), was scheduled to accept new applications until March 28. An update posted on the TRR site at 2:40 p.m. Wednesday announced that the deadline is now 11:59 p.m. Thursday because “within the first 24 hours of re-opening, requests for assistance far exceeded available funding.”
The update also cautioned that those who had already begun their applications must have all documents uploaded and the application submitted by the new deadline. TRR will give priority to those facing eviction if their application contains a valid eviction docket number, the website update said.
Eva Cortez, an Austin resident facing eviction, said the website was not working for her when she tried to apply.
“I clicked on it, and it wasn’t loading,” said Cortez, per KXAN. “I was like, ‘I’m just gonna leave it there and see if it loads,’ and then it eventually loaded.”
According to another update posted to the site, the technical issues were resolved as of 5:42 p.m. Tuesday.
“If you were not able to access the application system, we encourage you to now try again,” the update read.
The TRR customer service line, however, was still “experiencing extremely high call volume” when the evening update was posted.
Around $100 million of taxpayer-funded rent relief is available to be spent through this program, according to the TDHCA.
The maximum assistance allowed to a single applicant is 18 months. This includes money for rent and utilities.
To qualify for assistance, applicants must show a “risk of homelessness or financial impacts related to COVID-19.”
Examples include receiving eviction notices or past-due rent/utility notices, having to move to unsafe living conditions to receive assistance, loss of income and increased expenses, qualification for unemployment benefits, and overall “financial hardship.”
At what point is covid not the cause of everything. The state has been open for two years. Should they not be working by now????