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Dallas Launches Housing, Small Business Assistance Program

Dallas City Hall

Some in Dallas may qualify for financial aid to pay their rent or mortgage as the city launched its mortgage and rental assistance program Monday, as well as a fund to help small businesses. The city has set aside $6.1 million for rent and mortgage aid and $5 million for small businesses.

Dallas residents could submit their applications for housing assistance onlinebeginning at 9 a.m. Monday – they’ll be processed on a first-come, first-serve basis. If approved, eligible households could get up to $1,500 for up to three months.

Demand crashed the city's website for a while on the first day the city took applications. Officials said the website was intermittently unavailable Monday due to high volume.

Dallas Mayor Eric Johnson said on Twitter that 936 applications were submitted during the first 15 minutes. And more than 1,500 applications were submitted during the first hour.

People without online access can call Tuesday starting at 9 a.m. at 469-749-6500.

Applicants will go through a prescreening process to show how COVID-19 has affected them. This includes providing proof of disrupted employment, reduced work hours or income, and increased medical and household expenses.

Homeowners must provide a copy of their mortgage statement, and renters need a copy of their lease and a late payment or eviction notice.

Small business owners who apply for financial aid will be selected through a lottery process. Those that are chosen will get up to $10,000 in grants and up to $50,000 in low-cost loans.

To qualify, businesses must show they were operating six months prior to March 16. They also must show they a 25% drop in revenue.

Residents and business owners can access applications through the city of Dallas' website.

This story has been updated.

Stella M. Chávez is KERA’s immigration/demographics reporter/blogger. Her journalism roots run deep: She spent a decade and a half in newspapers – including seven years at The Dallas Morning News, where she covered education and won the Livingston Award for National Reporting, which is given annually to the best journalists across the country under age 35.