AUSTIN (KXAN) — We’ve all had hard times, but it doesn’t mean you can’t get out of it, there are always resources around, especially in the great state of Texas.

The Texas Department of Housing and Community Affairs (TDHCA) will re-open the Texas Rent Relief (TRR) application portal from March 14-28.

It is accepting new applications for the remaining $96 million in rent relief funds. The TRR application portal goes live Tuesday, March 14 at 8 a.m. and ends Tuesday, March 28 at 11:59 p.m. to help eligible households with rent and utility payments.

Applications can be also made over the phone for first-time or additional program assistance by calling the TDcall center at (833) 9TX-RENT (833-989-7368).

First-time TRR applicants may be eligible for up to 18 months of rent and utility bill assistance, either with past due payments or a combination of past due and up to three months of current and future payments made on their behalf.

Returning applicants who have not received the maximum allowed 18 months of assistance for rent and/or utility bills can submit an Additional Funding Request via their existing online user account. Applications will be processed in the order received, and priority would be given to those facing evictions.

“To date, Texas Rent Relief has served more than 316,000 households affected by the pandemic,” Bobby Wilkinson, TDHCA executive director, said. “We continue to see a strong need for assistance, and eviction filings statewide have now returned to pre-pandemic levels.”

Wilkinson advised those who will be applying to review program requirements now, to gather all the necessary paperwork ahead of time and be ready to apply on March 14.

Once an application is submitted, applicants are urged to be on the lookout for emails or calls from TDHCA asking for additional application information. Failure to respond will delay the application review and timeline for approved payments.

If you are already facing eviction, the department said you should seek legal assistance, attend the eviction hearing and stay in communication with your landlord and the court. Texas Law Help is recommended by TDHCA for free of low-cost legal assistance.

Since the program launched in February 2021, TRR has provided over $2 billion in emergency funds for rent and utility relief. It has served 250 Texas counties and prevented evictions for over 21,000 households.