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Harris County launches new $40 million COVID-19 relief fund

Starting today, Harris County families in need can register to get $1,200 in coronavirus relief.

Harris County has issued a new $40 million COVID-19 relief fund to help residents in need during the pandemic that will be administered by Houston Catholic Charities.

Applications open today and will be accepted through Friday, Nov. 6.

The program will provide one-time payments of $1,200 to up to 33,333 families struggling with financial hardships related to COVID-19.

The payments will be distributed in two rounds. The first round is already underway and is assisting families who applied, but did not receive help from the county’s coronavirus relief program that was launched earlier this summer.

The second, “public,” round begins today.

The money can be used for any type of emergency expense, such as housing, food, utilities, healthcare, childcare and transportation.

This is not a first come, first served enrollment. Instead, families will be selected randomly after the registration period ends.

Families can apply on their own without cooperation from a landlord or anyone else.

“Thousands of families across Harris County have struggled to overcome the financial damage from COVID-19,” said Harris County Judge Lina Hidalgo. “While this relief will not reach everyone who needs it, we must do everything in our power to help those who are vulnerable pull through.”

The fund is entirely need-based, and the money will be distributed equally across the county’s four precincts.

To qualify, you must live in Harris County, prove the pandemic has impacted your income and earn below the median family income line.

Harris County residents living inside the city of Houston will not be excluded.