BELTON, Texas (FOX 44) – A new initiative from the Belton City Council and the United Way of Central Texas is providing residents struggling to pay rent or utility bills a way to find relief.

On April 26, the City Council agreed to make $300,000 in relief funds available to residents struggling from the economic effects of COVID-19. The United Way of Central Texas will be distributing the funds.

“I’m proud the City Council has chosen to allocate funds to directly assist Beltonians still struggling with the financial impact of COVID,” Belton Mayor Wayne Carpenter said. “I appreciate the United Way of Central Texas partnering to distribute funds to those in need.”

Residents can apply for up to $3,000 in assistance for housing, any utilities (electric, gas & water/sewer), internet/phone, or HOP bus services. The application process involves filling out an application found on the United Way’s website

The aid comes from $5.6 million in federal funds allocated to Belton as part of the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA), which is intended to assist Americans through the COVID-19 pandemic.

In March, the City Council authorized applying $100,000 in ARPA funding to delinquent city utility bills. This new allocation opens assistance to Belton residents for both city-and-non-city utilities – as well as other common living expenses.

On May 10, the City Council will consider allocating an additional $1.15 million of ARPA funds for food assistance ($300,000) and small business support ($850,000).