The Dallas City Council on Wednesday, April 22, on a COVID-19 relief package that will provide up to $18.4 million in rental assistance and small business relief. The package was the result of the work of two new Ad Hoc COVID-19 Committees convened to help the city determine how to respond to the COVID-19 crisis.

A majority of council members also supported measures preventing eviction.

Mortgage and rental assistance

The Mortgage and Rental Assistance program will offer $6.1 million in rental and mortgage aid. That amount will combine with existing services and programs for a total of $13.7 million. The program will provide up to $1,500 for a maximum of three months per eligible household. Applicants must be city of Dallas residents who lost their jobs or were furloughed due to COVID-19.

The program, a collaboration between the Office of Community Care and the Office of Housing and Neighborhood Revitalization, is expected to open during the first week of May.

Small business relief

The Office of Economic Development is launching a $5 million Small Business Continuity Fund that will provide up to $10,000 in grants and up to $50,000 in low-cost loans to small businesses affected by COVID-19.

The businesses must be able to prove they were in operation for a minimum of six months prior to March 16 must be low to moderate income microbusiness owners and/or businesses that employ or previously employed at least 51 percent LMI workers.

The fund is intended to ensure continued operations of small businesses and job retention by those businesses. The application is expected to go live in May for grants and loans to begin in June.

Disaster declaration extended

The council voted to extend the local disaster declaration until May 12 and automatically extend as needed to align with Gov. Greg Abbott’s declaration of a state of disaster throughout Texas. This does not extend or change current Shelter in Place: Stay home, stay safe orders.

COVID landlord-tenant notice ordinance

The council also approved the COVID Landlord-Tenant Notice Ordinance as a response to COVID-19. The ordinance requires residential landlords to issue a “COVID Notice of Possible Eviction” that provides tenants information on rental assistance and allows tenants at least 21 days to negotiate lease payment agreements with landlords.

Additionally, if tenants provide proof of financial hardship due to COVID-19, then the proposed ordinance enables tenants to receive up to 60 days prior to facing a notice to vacate. The notice ordinance takes effect immediately.

For more data related to COVID-19 in DFW click here.