HOUSTON - Millions of Americans could now be at risk of getting evicted after the federal moratorium expired over the weekend when lawmakers failed to extend the temporary ban.
When the CDC eviction moratorium expired this weekend, more than 2,000 Houston/Harris County households lost their protection. Those renters now scrambling for help.
"We've seen a huge uptick in conversations with renters who have fallen behind where they're coming in and initiating that conversation to try to figure out some way to work out a win-win solution," said John Boriack, President of the Houston Apartment Association.
Boriack believes the moratorium was the equivalent of a bandaid.
"An eviction moratorium disincentivizes that communication kicks the can down the road and allows people to postpone an issue that just festers and gets bigger and bigger and bigger. Property owners have been in a situation where income from rent has been dwindling and there's been a lot of legislation focused around that. But in the meantime, our expenses and our bills have not gone away. In fact, they usually increase," Boriack said.
Boriack suggests anyone who’s fallen behind on rent and may be at risk of getting evicted should seek rental relief immediately.
"A lot of the evictions that might happen in the coming weeks and months are usually people that have been ghosted and haven't talked and haven't communicated and haven't tried to find out some solution or taking advantage of the situation," Boriack said.
For example, the Houston Harris County Emergency Rental Assistance Program has more than $40 million dollars still available. The program was allocated $195.5M in total. So far, $155.7M has been disbursed helping 41,000 families.
The program pays overdue rent back to the beginning of COVID and two months forward. Applicants are randomly selected and are not chosen on a first-come, first-served basis.
The program is on a rolling basis, with no deadline.
For more info click here.
The Harris County Recovery Assistance offers up to $1,500 directly to applicants instead of landlords. The money can be used towards any urgent expense such as housing, car payment, medical bills, groceries, utilities. The assistance is only open for two weeks, the deadline to apply is 8/11/2021.
Applicants are randomly selected, not chosen on a first-come, first-served basis.
Both programs listed above are not exclusive. Applicants can apply to both if needed.
For more information, click here -- HarrisCountyRelief.org