HOUSTON – The new Harris County Eviction Program will start accepting applications for those facing evictions in April after the program was recently approved at commissioner’s court, according to a release.
Harris County Community Services Department will launch the eviction defense program to help residents experiencing eviction to advisement and counsel. Program vendors, Neighborhood Defender Services and Lone Star Legal Aid, will begin accepting applications on April 10.
Qualifying tenants in Harris County will be provided legal advice and the opportunity to meet with an attorney or legal representative in court where eviction cases are handled.
The number of evictions in Harris County have increased since the impact of COVID-19 pandemic for low-income residents. The county said it seeks to expand the impact of the COVID-19 rental assistance funding by investing in eviction defense legal services.
“Housing instability has lasting negative health and financial impacts on the families losing their homes as well as their communities,” the release stated. “During the public health crisis and aftermath, they will continue to support a network of housing legal service providers to meet increased demand through funding for attorneys, paralegals, intake staff, interpretation, community outreach, and programmatic costs associated with these services as well as those costs necessary to ensure the provision of this legal assistance in a safe manner in light of the public health and economic crisis.”
Qualifying tenants are one of the following:
- Residents with household income at or below (i) 300% of the current Federal Poverty Guideline-based on the most recently published poverty guidelines or (ii) 65% of the Area Median Income (AMI) for the county and size of household based on the most recently published data.
- Priority populations include but are not limited to tenants impacted by COVID-19 .
- Individuals and households presumed to be “impacted” or “disproportionately” impacted the Covid-19 pandemic.
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