AMARILLO, Texas (KFDA) -Amarillo City is currently helping 14 hundred families with rental assistance, and the Panhandle Community Services are helping 15 hundred.
Despite that, they continue to receive calls from community members asking for rental assistance. That need was only exacerbated during the pandemic.
"We did have an increase of calls during the pandemic, we believe we will see a continued increase of calls especially as eviction notices go through and things like that,” says Christy Hilbert, director of communications at Panhandle Community Services
Both the Panhandle Community Services and Amarillo City Housing Authority have wait lists that close for years at a time. The last time the city’s wait list was open was 2018 and for the Panhandle Community Services it was over a year ago.
This waiting period is due to lack of grants and this year that money was a bit tighter for the city.
"COVID did impact us, we are actually paying a higher portion of rents because our families have lost jobs.” said Nina Martinez, housing manager at Amarillo City
Martinez adds people are slowly getting back to work and that portion is decreasing. The city also recently received money through the CARES Act which has allowed them to re-open the wait list for the program called HUD housing.
“When they apply for the waiting list, it is not a guarantee spot for HUD housing. But, it is just to get their name on the application and waiting list," said Nina Martinez, housing manager at Amarillo City "When we pull these families, then it will start the process for HUD housing.”
The application is available online only and closes tomorrow evening at 8.
For those who live outside Amarillo City limits or don’t apply on time, Panhandle Community Services is an option.
“We do have a wait list that is open right now, and we will continue to be open,” said Hilbert “We have not set a deadline as of yet. It just opened up at the end of August, so we are excited to take more people on the list right now.”
The programs do have income limits and other requirements, but everyone who needs help is encouraged to visit their websites and fill out the application.