This week, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention announced another federal eviction moratorium after the last one expired over the weekend.
The moratorium aims to stop evictions for nonpayment of rent in areas of high COVID-19 transmission – which currently includes most of Texas.
You can look up county transmission rates on the CDC’s website here.
Even if you live in a high transmission county, the moratorium won't apply to all North Texans.
Read on to learn more and connect with rent relief and legal aid resources.
The Latest CDC Order
The CDC's new eviction moratorium cites the rise of the COVID-19 delta variant and said the moratorium targets regions of the country with "substantial and high transmission" of the coronavirus.
You can read the order here.
If you’ve submitted a CDC declaration to both your landlord and the court, Legal Aid of NorthWest Texas attorney Farwah Raza said you wouldn’t have to submit a new one under the new order.
“If they've already submitted it, it continues to apply. If they haven't submitted it, certainly go ahead, sign it and submit it,” said Raza.
If you’re turning in a new declaration to your landlord, it will need an additional provision noting the renter lives in a county experiencing high transmission of COVID-19.
Federal Moratorium Enforced by Some Judges, Not Others
The CDC order may not stop all evictions for non-payment of rent.
Raza explains a federal court decision in Texas challenged the CDC’s authority to issue a moratorium. Texas Justice Court Training Center issued new guidance to Texas Justice of the Peace Courts earlier this year saying the CDC moratorium is targeted to landlords and not the courts - resulting in some judges applying the moratorium while others aren’t.
You can read the latest from the TJCTC here.
Renters Still Owe Rent Under a Moratorium
The CDC’s order said the renter still owes rent and that the renter must try to line up rental assistance to pay landlords.
The Texas Supreme Court extended its Texas Eviction Diversion Program.
There are still millions of dollars available in a separate Texas Rent Relief program. Renters can apply for back rent and up to three months of future rent payments. Landlords can also apply for relief on behalf of renters. You can find out more here.
You don't have to be in eviction proceedings to apply for Texas Rent Relief.
If you are facing an eviction and a lawsuit has been filed, you can contact Texas Rent Relief with the court information and ask to have your application fast-tracked. Call 1-833-9TX-RENT or 1-833-989-7368 and provide the case number, docket information.
There are other local programs providing assistance. You can search 211texas.org. In the search box, type “rent assistance” and enter your ZIP code for a list of agencies to call.
Raza said renters need to continue to try to pay their landlords and go to court if they receive an eviction citation.
“If you receive anything that says you need to show up to court, even if you've submitted the declaration, even if you've applied for rental assistance, you still need to show up to court,” said Raza.
“Submitting these documents and applying for rental assistance does not mean that the eviction automatically goes away. If you receive a formal notice saying that you need to appear in court, you need to appear in court,” Raza added.
This group is also providing legal assistance for people facing evictions.
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