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Nearly 1.5 million Texans have 'no' or 'little' confidence they can make the rent

An eviction moratorium is back, still...things could go from bad to worse for many struggling renters in Texas. But help is available for them and for landlords.

DALLAS — **Update: The Biden Administration has extended a targeted eviction moratorium in areas of "substantial and high levels of community transmission levels of SARS-CoV-2 ". That would include much of Texas right now. Here is the CDC's new extension.

Before that, the CDC’s eviction moratorium had expired on July 31, putting millions of struggling renters in potential peril. But even with that federal shielding in place, tenants have still been kicked out. In fact, in one week in mid-July, more renters in Dallas were told to get out than at any other time since the beginning of the pandemic.

According to the Eviction Lab at Princeton University, there were 686 eviction filings in Dallas in that one week. It’s safe to say that number doesn’t reflect "informal evictions" that are not recorded. In addition to those numbers, there are these alarming data points: In July, The Census Bureau reported that 1,458,518 Texas tenants had “no confidence” or “slight confidence” they could make their next rent payment. That’s 31% of Texas renters indicating they are in serious trouble.

There is some relief for Texas tenants

Separate from what is happening with the eviction moratorium nationally, the Texas Supreme Court recently extended the Texas Eviction Diversion Program, which had been set to expire in late July. 

The program includes eviction protection, and even rent assistance. Hundreds of millions of dollars in federal aid is still available through the Texas Rent Relief program. Critically, it covers rent payments for tenants so their landlords can get paid, because this pandemic has devastated many of them, too.

In May, that rent relief effort had only helped about 10,000 households in Texas. That has now exploded to more than 100,000 households. The program has now doled out more than $576,644,042 in rent assistance. And they still have almost that much money left over to help more renters.

If you are a renter and need legal help, the state advises that you reach out to this legal aid eviction portal.

Additionally, the United Way of Metropolitan Dallas has created a comprehensive page of local resources to help renters in need.