Texas counties with populations fewer than 500,000 are eligible to apply for a share of $1.85 billion in federal funding available through the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act. Gov. Greg Abbott and state leaders made the announcement on May 11 in a letter sent to city and county leaders.
Within the CARES Act, the Coronavirus Relief Fund (CRF) was created to provide financial resources to state and local governments. Approximately $11.24 billion of the CRF went to the state of Texas, with $5.06 billion set aside to help local governments with expenses incurred by the COVID-19 pandemic. Of that $5.06 billion, the U.S. Treasury directly allocated $3.2 billion to 12 counties (Bexar, Collin, Dallas, Denton, El Paso, Fort Bend, Harris, Hidalgo, Montgomery, Tarrant, Travis and Williamson) and 6 cities (Austin, Dallas, El Paso, Fort Worth, Houston and San Antonio) with populations greater than 500,000.
The less-populated 242 counties will share the remaining $1.85 billion, based on a $55 per capita amount. Twenty percent of each jurisdiction's portion is available immediately upon certification with the remainder reimbursement based.
How to apply for initial funds
The Texas Division of Emergency Management (TDEM) will administer the process for the CRF. Once the CRF form is completed and signed, it can be emailed to CRF@TDEM.TEXAS.GOV. Information and guidance to apply for the CRF can be found on the TDEM/CRF website, along with eligible uses for funding. Questions can also be emailed to CRF@TDEM.TEXAS.GOV. For more information on the content of this article, contact Aurora Flores.