Sylvia Johnson of Garland is a writer who has been on furlough for 18 months. When she got behind on rent, she applied for the the DCHHS Emergency Housing Assistance Program and qualified.
“I was shocked and once I got into the program." Johnson said. "I said what? This is real? And I started going around this apartment and telling other individuals."
Christian Grisales with Dallas County Health and Human Services said the program has been expanded from a lottery system to a first come first serve basis.
Around 1,000 people have received assistance since the program started.
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Grisales hopes to spread the word and help even more families with rent, mortgage, and utilities.
“The program covers up to 12 months in assistance," Grisales said. "So let’s say you’re behind on your rent for the last 12 months, we will cover up to 12 months, which is great."
Johnson is now caught up on apartment rent and utility bills.
“I don’t call it a Christmas gift," Johnson said. "I call it a blessing from the almighty God, because guess what? I wasn’t expecting it."
Landlords can also apply on behalf of tenants.
To qualify for the program, Dallas County residents outside the city of Dallas have to prove they’ve been impacted financially because of COVID-19.
Applications are available online or by phone at 214-819-1968, Monday-Friday, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Individuals seeking more information can click here.