Houston - A Katy couple with four kids says they’ve been evicted, even though they say the Texas Rent Relief program notified them it paid their back owed rent.
Lawyers with the TSU Earl Carl Institute says they're seeing some cases like this. Rent relief programs were meant to stop evictions in their tracks. So what happened here?
It was Cherice Scott and her family's worst day.
"Being scared, very scared of being homeless. I have four children and it's all about them. I’m sorry. I'm still trying to process all of this. It's a lot that went on," said Scott.
Behind on the rent, Scott says she and her husband applied for the Texas Rent Relief program and notified her landlords at Seville at Clay Crossings apartments in Katy. Scott says she received a notification September 15th from Texas Rent Relief that the landlord had been paid. But she says she continued to receive notices that the eviction was moving forward.
"And they continued to tell me to disregard them and I did. Finally, it shows on September 15 an electronic payment was sent to them and they’re continuing to say that it wasn’t," said Scott.
Then Scott says she came home October 5th to this.
"It was pretty heart-wrenching and it was kind of a kick in the gut, because it was like, What did we do to deserve something like that? Um, it hurt a lot," said Scott's daughter Jasmine.
"We’re angry and heartbroken and everybody here at Earl Carl Institute and all the grantees of the Texas Rent Relief program are working day and night to keep people housed," said Scott's attorney Sarah Doezema.
Doezema says they are suing.
"We are going to pursue all legal remedies against that complex for what they’ve done," said Doezema.
Meantime, Scott and her family are staying in a hotel, with no idea where they'll go next.
"You didn’t just hurt me, you hurt my kids," said Scott.
A spokesperson for the Texas Rent Relief Program says landlords must agree not to evict a tenant if they accept payment, but could not comment on this case.
We reached out to the apartment management, but have not received a response yet.
The Earl Carl Institute is holding a clinic for anyone facing eviction on Saturday, October 23 from 9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. at Harris County Justice of the Peace Princint 7 at 5300 Griggs Rd, Houston, TX 77021.
Renters can also get legal help through StopTXEvictions.org.