The City of Austin and Travis County have extended the “Stay Home, Mask, and Otherwise Be Safe” Orders to stay in place through December 15, 2020. Among other things, these orders require residents of Austin and Travis County to continue to practice social distancing, increased hygiene, and face-covering behaviors for the remainder of the year. In addition to these personal hygiene guidelines, both orders also suggest that social gatherings up to 10 people be avoided or minimized, and that socializing in groups of 10+ individuals outside of the same household is prohibited. You can get more details by reading the full City of Austin and Travis County Orders at these links.
Need COVID-19 testing for your employees? Hire Allied Mobile Services to provide on-site rapid COVID-19 testing for your workforce. By providing single employee and large group pricing, AMS provides employers with the ability to know if an employee has an active or previous infection of COVID-19 in 10 minutes or less. Click here for more info. And, coming soon are Online COVID-19 Compliance Training Courses in the following industries: Food Service & Hospitality, Event Management, Logistics Consulting, Construction, Educational Services, and Facilities Management. Pre-register your team here.
Another round of rent relief is coming to the citizens of Austin from our city government. Please share this with your employees and staff who are struggling to pay rent due to reduced income caused by COVID-19. A full explanation of the program and program requirements is below from the City of Austin “Recent News” email:
“The City of Austin’s Neighborhood Housing and Community Development Department (NHCD) and the Housing Authority of the City of Austin (HACA) are launching the Relief of Emergency Needs for Tenants (RENT) Assistance Program, a $17.75 million program providing $12.9 million in direct rent support for income-eligible Austin renters who are financially impacted by COVID-19. The RENT program will also offer related support for tenant stabilization, eviction prevention and direct community outreach.
The RENT Application Portal will open Wednesday August 19, 2020 at 8:00a.m. (CST) and remain open through January 2021, or until funds are expended. Eligible renters may submit their application for random selection. If selected and the application qualifies, a payment will be issued directly to the landlord in the full amount of the contracted rent. All applications, regardless of when they are submitted after the initial opening of the application period, will be given an equal chance for random selection.
One month of paid rent may be available to households whose income is between 30 percent and 80 percent of the Median Family Income. Up to three months of paid rent may be available to households whose income is between 0 percent and 30 percent of the Median Family Income.
“The City and Housing Authority are thrilled to be able to offer this critical support to help Austin renters stay in their homes during this difficult time,” said Michael Gerber, CEO of the Housing Authority of the City of Austin. “Mayor and City Council provided much needed funds for this emergency rental assistance program as a critical step in assisting with the financial impacts of COVID-19 in our community.”
NHCD Director Rosie Truelove “We are thrilled to partner with HACA to move funds quickly to help as many Austin renters as possible, recognizing that while the $12.9 million provided by the RENT program is not enough to meet the overwhelming need, it is a proud step we can take to help Austin renters in need.”
The Austin Apartment Association Executive Vice President Emily Blair shared support of the RENT program stating “Austin Apartment Association members work closely with our renters in the community to help connect them with resources and meet immediate needs. Working together, the RENT program will provide much-needed assistance to Austin renters impacted financially by COVID-19 and help keep Austin’s supply of rental housing intact.”
RENT Assistance Program Eligibility Requirements:
• Applicants must live within Austin’s full purpose city limits;
• Applicant household gross annual income must be 80 percent or less of the Median Family Income (See income chart below)”
The City of Austin is conducting a Disparity Study examining its Minority- and Women-owned Business Enterprise program for locally funded contracts and Disadvantaged Business Enterprise program for FAA-funded contracts. You are invited to participate in the study through an online small group interview of business owners. Register here for an online meeting, Sep 17 through Sep 28. Your insights and experiences will help identify potential improvements in Austin’s M/WBE and DBE programs and encourage increased collaboration while promoting economic growth for all segments of our community.
Citizens Bank is awarding 100 minority-owned businesses with grants of $15,000 each, a total of $1.5 million overall. To apply, a business must be: at least 51% minority owned, operated and controlled by an Asian American, Black American, Hispanic American or Native American; either a Citizens Bank Business Banking account holder or based within their 11-state footprint; and been in business for at least one year, with annual revenue of no more than $1 million. Eligible businesses can submit a statement (up to 150 words) describing how they would use the grant to strengthen and sustain both their business and their community. Apply here – the entry deadline is Aug 7 at 5pm ET.