FORT WORTH (CBSDFW.COM) – Texas has handed out more money for emergency rental assistance during the pandemic than any other state, but cities and counties are rushing to try to disperse more before a federal ban on evictions ends in 10 days.
New data from the U.S. Treasury Department showed Texas had dispersed $446 million to more than 73,000 Texas households in 2021.READ MORE: Decades Later, Family Gets Apology From Dallas Police Over Death Of 12-Year-Old Santos Rodriguez
That money is used for overdue rent, utility payments and even future rent for those who meet program requirements.
A moratorium on evictions however runs out July 31. The Texas Supreme Court extended a diversion program through October for renters and landlords who agree to participate.
Local government though are trying to prevent evictions situations from getting to that point.
“It’s a case by case basis for sure, but our goal is to make sure you’re not evicted, you’re not out on the street,” said Terrance Jones with Fort Worth’s neighborhoods services department. “We give you time to get yourself back on your feet, that way you can start covering your rent or utilities yourself.”READ MORE: Nobel Prize-Winning Physicist Steven Weinberg Dies At 88 In Texas Hospital
Jones said Fort Worth has assisted 973 households so far but still had $19 million from the city’s first allocation of emergency funds left to disperse.
Applications and paperwork to ensure eligibility can take time, he said. However, in some urgent situations Jones aid can be expedited.
In one case this month they were able to approve a resident’s case in one day due to an immediate risk of his car being repossessed and potentially losing his apartment.
“We’re actually taking checks out to apartment complexes, who are on the brink of evicting someone to make sure that check is in hand before they evict them,” he said.
In Tarrant County, this website will direct applicants to the right program based on where they live.MORE NEWS: 1 Dead, 1 Injured In Shooting Involving Fight In Irving, Police Say
Dallas, Frisco, Garland, Irving, Plano, Denton County and Collin County have also received funding for emergency rent assistance.