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Texas aims to help tenants, landlords suffering from financial effects of COVID-19

The CDC lists qualifications you must meet in order to be protected from eviction.

There is momentum in Washington D.C. again. We’re finally seeing another round of coronavirus relief taking shape. 

Among other measures, the proposal could include a temporary $300 federal unemployment benefit and might extend a nationwide halt on evictions. That freeze was put in place earlier this year, but the original protection order issued by the CDC was set to expire at the end of this month. 

Eviction protection from the CDC

Some important notes, there are qualifications you must meet to be eligible for the protection:

  • Have an income of $198,000 or less for couples filing jointly, or $99,000 for single filers.
  • Demonstrate they have sought government assistance to make their rental payments.
  • Affirmatively declare they are unable to pay rent because of COVID-19 hardships.
  • Affirm they are likely to become homeless if they are evicted.

Also, tenants must fill out this form in order to receive eviction protection under the CDC program.

Report predicts huge wave of evictions soon

A report put together for the federal government in late September forecasted that by January, a staggering 20.1 million Americans could experience an eviction filing. Those filings have already been piling up in places like Fort Worth, which is one of the cities tracked by The Eviction Lab at Princeton University.

Program to help tenants and landlords inundated with applications

DHA Housing Solutions for North Texas recently took applications for rent assistance. Their program aims to help struggling tenants and their landlords, because many property owners have also suffered big financial losses due to months of missed rent payments. DHA offered to assist tenants in paying their rent. 

The program quickly maxed out assisting 1,207 renters; but they had four times that many applications for assistance. 

Texas ramping up rent assistance to help tenants and landlords

A similar kind of assistance is being provided at the state level. The Supreme Court of Texas, the Texas Office of Court Administration, and the Texas Department of Housing and Community Affairs has teamed up to create the Texas Eviction Diversion Program. Tenants must meet certain qualifications for this assistance.

Right now, this is still a relatively small pilot program in 19 Texas counties: Bee, Bexar, Brazos, Chambers, Deaf Smith, El Paso, Erath, Fannin, Grayson, Harris, Jim Wells, Kleberg, Montgomery, Palo Pinto, Parker, Potter, Randall, San Patricio and Wise. 

But the program has a big chunk of funding ($167 Million), and administrators with TEDP said they plan to start assisting renters and landlords in 54 more Texas counties by Jan. 15. We’re still waiting for details on which 54 counties those will be. 

More eviction help for tenants can be found here and here.