As part of a larger, statewide effort to address mass evictions due to COVID-19, TLSC introduces its multi-pronged approach aimed at assisting Texans in rural communities.
With funding from the Texas Access to Justice Foundation, TLSC launched seventeen legal clinics and a helpline to assist tenants facing eviction in rural areas. We can help eligible tenants apply for back rent and utility payments, stay in their homes, keep eviction off their records, and apply for utility payments.
The helpline serves the 192 rural counties defined by the Texas Department of Housing and Community Affairs. The eviction clinics are located in Anderson, Childress, Erath, Frio, Gaines, Hardin, Hood, Kerr, Llano, Ochiltree, Pecos, Reeves, Titus, Uvalde, Washington, Wharton, and Young counties (the same counties as our Family Law Clinics). To register for a clinic, tenants may call the TLSC Eviction Helpline at 855-270-7655.
Within the clinic structure and via the helpline, we work with tenants to complete the Texas Department of Housing and Community Affairs (TDHCA) Texas Rent Relief application — which includes the Texas Eviction Diversion Program.
Texas Rent Relief and Eviction Diversion Program
The Emergency Rental Assistance program makes available $25 billion from the U.S. Department of the Treasury to assist households that are unable to pay rent and utilities due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The State of Texas received approximately $1.3 billion to assist landlords and tenants through the Texas Rent Relief Program.
Through the program, tenants can receive up to 15 months of rental assistance. Within the Texas Rent Relief application, tenants undergoing eviction proceedings can submit information for the Texas Eviction Diversion Program.
The Texas Eviction Diversion Program was created by the Supreme Court of Texas, Texas Office of Court Administration, and TDHCA to help eligible tenants stay in their homes and provide landlords with an alternative to eviction.
Both the tenant and the landlord must agree to participate and meet the requirements. Lump-sum payments are made to landlords in exchange for allowing tenants to remain in their homes, and diverted cases are dismissed and made confidential from public disclosure.
Support Our Work
Post-moratorium, it is critical we work together to uphold the basic right to housing. While there are funds available for eviction relief, there is also complex paperwork, legal language, and court proceedings. TLSC is helping tenants navigate the complexities surrounding rental assistance and related legal needs.
TLSC's eviction projects serve rural communities where outreach is difficult. We ask our friends and allies to help us spread the word about these vital services — share our downloadable social flyers and eviction helpline information.
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Another way to support TLSC's work is by donating — make a gift today.