Mother of 2 facing eviction, depending to Texas Rent Relief Program for help

HOUSTON – Right now, Heather Yarbrough says her options are limited.

“I’m hoping that the Texas Rent Relief Program will come through for us so we wouldn’t have to go into a homeless shelter,” she said.

Yarbrough said her financial situation became dire when she got pregnant with her second child.

“I was doing other people’s laundry and door dashing, anything I could, and then it just got too hard and I was too pregnant to keep going with that type of work,” she said.

Yarbrough said she fell behind on all her bills, including her rent.

Lone Star Legal Aid is helping her fight to stay in her home for now, but she said when she heard the Texas Rent Relief portal reopening, she felt some hope.

However, after opening for a few days, the portal closed a week early on Thursday after reportedly running out of money.

“It could be a yes or it could be a no,” Yarbrough said.

The Texas Department of Housing and Community Affairs said in a news release that $96 million in rent relief is available for eligible households with rent and utility payments.

Dana Karni is the Litigation Director for Lone Star Legal Aid and says there are other options for rental relief.

Karni said the county just approved $4 million for legal representation in the courts.

Lone Star Legal Aid is one of the legal services in the program.

“Another thing I always recommend to tenants and landlords is that they seek information in the courthouse,” she said. “If the Eviction Defense Coalition is in a courthouse, we are in a position to provide. I need the information for all litigants.”

The Eviction Defense Coalition is made up of five local legal providers to help all renters, including those who are undocumented.

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