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State allocates $171 million in CARES Act funds for rental assistance, Texas Eviction Diversion Program

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Posted at 7:30 PM, Sep 25, 2020
and last updated 2020-09-25 20:30:58-04

The state has allocated $171 million in funding from the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act for Texans at risk of becoming homeless due to eviction.

Governor Greg Abbott said the funds would be used for targeted rental assistance as well as the Texas Eviction Diversion Program. The newly created program helps renters stay in their homes, catch up on missed rental payments and avoid an eviction on their records.

Officials say $167 million will go to targeted rental assistance while $4.2 million will be allocated through the Texas Supreme Court to help the state’s legal aid providers and pro bono lawyers provide basic legal services to eligible Texans through this pandemic.

"The Texas Eviction Diversion Program is crucial to our state's response to COVID-19, and it will help many families recover from the impact of the pandemic without the looming threat of eviction," said Governor Abbott. "This innovative partnership, coupled with the renters assistance provided through CARES Act funding, will strengthen our economic recovery efforts and provide a lifeline to renters and property owners alike."

"Judges across Texas have a duty to ensure that justice is delivered in a timely, fair, and impartial way. In times like these, sometimes that means that we search for creative ways to meet the needs of landlords and tenants," said Texas Supreme Court Chief Justice Nathan L. Hecht. "The Texas Judiciary is happy to work with Governor Abbott and the Texas Department of Housing and Community Affairs to provide a way for tenants to stay in their homes and ensure that landlords are made whole."

"Over the course of the pandemic, the State of Texas has made providing support for renters and property owners experiencing financial hardship a top priority, and this funding for rental assistance, combined with the Texas Eviction Diversion Program, reinforces that very commitment. This partnership will go great lengths to help stimulate our economy, equip our courts with the tools needed to ensure justice in eviction cases, and relieve many of the financial burdens that landlords and tenants are facing as a result of COVID-19," said Speaker Dennis Bonnen.