As a clarification to the announcement below, providing guidance regarding Special Reserve Accounts for tenant benefit due to severe weather, please note that this is not a new source of funding. Special Reserve Accounts are existing accounts for a number of multifamily developments previously funded by the Texas Department of Housing and Community Affairs (TDHCA). If a property does not already have a Special Reserve Account, no assistance can be obtained as a result of the guidance issued on February 16, 2021.

The Texas Department of Housing and Community Affairs (TDHCA) encourages developments with Special Reserve Accounts to use these funds to provide grants of assistance to tenants who have been affected by the recent severe weather across the state. Permitted uses include, but are not limited to, costs for relocating tenants to temporary housing, utility assistance, and repairs to plumbing, to the extent that such repairs are not funded by other sources such as the reserve for replacements.

Property owners choosing to access Special Reserve funds in this way need to send TDHCA notice that they will be accessing these funds for the purpose of assisting tenants who have been affected by the severe weather, and must maintain an accounting of the units assisted and amount of assistance provided from the Special Reserve fund for each unit. Assistance through the Special Reserve Account may continue until the need has ended or the fund has been fully depleted.

Sufficiency of the documentation of the assistance provided is the responsibility of the owner or their designees. An accounting of all draws per tenant household must be kept, and shall be made available to the Department upon request. TDHCA may periodically request data on the status of the program to include the number of participants, number of draws, and total amount drawn.

Any program of assistance must be made available to any and all existing tenants who ask for assistance. While it is the owner’s decision, based upon the availability of Special Reserve resources, to make these funds available to any tenants, once that decision is made, the funds must be made known and available to all eligible tenants.

Any owner wishing to participate and use their Special Reserve funds in this manner must notify the Department by submitting a request for the same to TDHCA’s Asset Management Division and disclosing the total amount of Special Reserve funding available, the amount and source of any additional funds being accessed for this specific activity, and the number households anticipated to be served.  The owner must also assure that they have developed, adopted, and will make available to the residents and the Department, upon request, their written policies and procedures regarding this activity.  The owner must also refund the Special Reserve Account if it later receives reimbursement of all or some of the costs from a third party, such as a disaster response agency.

Please note that this policy is only for Special Reserve Accounts and not applicable to Replacement Reserve Accounts.

To submit requests to use Special Reserve funds or for any questions, please contact your assigned Asset Manager, who can be identified by visiting http://www.tdhca.state.tx.us/asset-management/contacts.htm and entering the county in which the development is located.