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Texas Eviction Diversion Program

On September 25, 2020, the Supreme Court of Texas established the Texas Eviction Diversion Program (TEDP) through the Twenty-Seventh Emergency Order Regarding the COVID-19 State of Disaster.  This temporary program is a partnership between the Supreme Court of Texas, Texas Office of Court Administration, and the Texas Department of Housing and Community Affairs (TDHCA). With funding allocated by Governor Greg Abbott through the Texas Department of Housing and Community Affairs, the statewide housing-assistance program seeks to reduce the number of evictions by enabling landlords and tenants to agree upon a resolution to non-payment of rent issues. 

How does the program work?

The Texas Eviction Diversion Program (TEDP) is a voluntary and temporary program that helps eligible Texas tenants, who are behind on their rent due to the COVID-19 pandemic and who have been sued for eviction, stay in their homes and provides landlords with an alternative to eviction.  If eligibility requirements are met and both parties agree to participate, 1) past due rent obligations may be eligible to be covered in full and 2) the eviction case dismissed. The rental assistance can be used to pay the full contracted rent that is past due (up to five months), and the remainder may be used to pay for subsequent months of assistance (up to a total of six months). If the landlord and tenant agree, then the court dismisses the eviction case. The landlord gets paid and the tenant stays in the home. The judge will also seal the court record so that future landlords won’t see it and hold the eviction case against the tenant.

 

Who is eligible?

Eligibility for rental assistance under the program will be administered by the Texas Department of Housing and Community AffairsTo be eligible for the eviction diversion pilot program, a landlord and tenant must meet the following criteria:

Landlord Eligibility Criteria

Tenant Eligibility Criteria

  • Assistance for rent no older than April 2020

  • Rent for the household assisted may not exceed the TDHCA maximum limits

  • Must have a bank account and accept direct deposit

  • Units that are already receiving project-based assistance or are public housing units are INELIGIBLE

  • Units that are owned by a unit of government may be ineligible

  • Household income at or below 200% of poverty

  • Household has been financially affected by COVID-19 pandemic

  • Tenants are INELIGIBLE if they are receiving tenant-based voucher assistance, are in a unit receiving project-based assistance, or are in public housing.

Household Eligibility Test (For Tenants):

To be eligible for the TEDP Pilot a household’s income must be below 200% of poverty noted below:

Household Size  200% Poverty
1 Person $25,520
2 Person $34,480
3 Person $43,440
4 Person $52,400
5 Person $61,360
6 Person $70,320
7 Person $79,280
8 Person $88,240

*For households with more than 8 persons, add $8,960 for each additional person.

Unit Eligibility Test (For Landlords):

To be eligible for the TEDP Pilot two limits apply to determining the maximum assistance for rent:

  1. The maximum amount of rent the program will pay is set at 120% of the Small Area Fair Market Rent (SAFMR), or where no SAFMR exists, the Fair Market Rent (FMR).
  2. The maximum amount of contract rent for the unit cannot exceed 150% of the SAFMR, or where no SAFMR exists, the FMR. If a unit’s contract rent exceeds this amount, the unit and household are not eligible for assistance under the program.
  • If a tenant’s unit rent falls between 120% and 150% of the applicable SAFMR or FMR, the program will still be able to assist the tenant, however, the tenant must pay the amount of arrears in excess of the 120% limit, or be in a payment plan executed by both the tenant and the landlord, before the program will pay the 120% contribution.
  • To find the 120% and 150% limits described above, use the tool (XLSX) here. Enter the zip code for the unit for which assistance is being requested.

You can learn more about the documents you will need and other related eligibility information in the informational brochure.

 

When does this program start? When does it end?

The eviction diversion program is effective on October 12 for cases filed in the pilot counties (see the chart below) that were selected by Office of Court Administration. The eviction diversion program will be effective for all other Texas counties starting on November 9 (date is subject to change).

 

The program is set to expire on December 18, 2020, unless the Texas Supreme Court order is extended by the Chief Justice of the Texas Supreme Court.

 

Pilot Counties and Community Organization Contact Information

The eviction diversion program is effective on October 12 for cases filed in the pilot counties identified by the Office of Court Administration. The following counties have been selected to participate in the pilot phase:

Bee Bexar Brazos Chambers Deaf Smith
El Paso Erath Fannin Grayson Harris
Jim Wells Kleberg Montgomery Palo Pinto Parker
Potter Randall San Patricio Wise  

Note: The eviction diversion program is scheduled to become effective in all counties on November 9 (date subject to change). 

 

These subrecipients and community organizations will be in charge of administering the program funds (information subject to change): 

 

                                                                            Eviction Diversion Pilot Programs

Organization

Counties Served

Contact Person

Phone

Brazos Valley Community Action Program

Brazos, Chambers and Montgomery

Norma Karakurt

979-595-2801 x8006

El Paso Community Action Program/Project Bravo 

El Paso

Martha Vargas

915-247-2476

Gulf Coast Community Services Association

Harris

N/A

713-393-4700

Panhandle Regional Planning Commission

Randall, Potter, Deaf Smith

John Kiehl;
Lori Gunn

806-372-3381

San Antonio, Dept. of Human Services

Bexar

Minerva Hernandez 

210-207-5917

Texas Neighborhood Services

Erath, Parker, Palo Pinto, Wise

Bradley Manning

817-598-5700

Texoma Council of Governments

Fanin, Grayson

Judy Fullylove

903-813-3537

Community Action Corporation of South Texas

Bee, Jim Wells, Kleberg, San Patricio 

Victoria Pena

361-664-0145 x2038

 

What does the process look like?

 

  1. When a landlord files an eviction case, the landlord will be required to state in the petition that he/she has reviewed the information on this website.                                                                                                            

  2. All citations (notices that a tenant has been sued for eviction) must contain the following statement and an attached copy of the "State of Texas Eviction Diversion Program" informational brochure

    “You may be able to stop your eviction if you and your landlord agree to participate in the Texas Eviction Diversion Program.  At your trial, the court will notify you about the Program and ask if you are interested in participating.  Find out more about the Program in the attached brochure, titled State of Texas Eviction Diversion Program, and at www.txcourts.gov/eviction-diversion/.”​

3. On the date listed in the citation for the trial of the eviction case, the judge must discuss this program with the landlord and tenant and ask whether the landlord and tenant are interested in the program. If both the landlord and tenant indicate they are interested in the program, the judge is required to delay the proceedings for 60 days, make the records and information on the eviction case confidential, and inform the landlord and tenant about the reinstatement procedure discussed below.

4. At any time during the 60-day delay period, the landlord can file a motion to reinstate the eviction case with the judge. The motion must be served on the tenant. The judge is then required to reinstate the eviction case, set it for trial within 21 days, inform the parties how to proceed, and make the records and information non-confidential. 

5. If the landlord does not file a motion to reinstate the eviction case during the delay period, the judge is required to dismiss the case with prejudice (meaning it cannot be filed again). All records and information will be sealed and remain confidential.

 

Does the landlord have to agree to participating in this program?

Yes. Both the tenant and landlord must agree to participate in the Texas Eviction Diversion Program. 

Landlords must agree to waive late fees, penalties and not charge the tenant for court costs. Landlords must withdraw the eviction and not evict the covered tenant as long as the tenant is receiving assistance from the program. 

 

How is the money distributed?

 If a tenant and landlord agree to enter the program and are deemed qualified, the payment will go directly to the landlord.

 

Where can I learn more about my eviction rights during this pandemic?

 

 

  • Justice of the Peace Court COVID-19 eviction materials can be found here.

 

What other rental assistance resources are there?

Texans may be eligible for rental assistance and other services offered through local providers outside of the eviction process. To find out more about these programs, please visit the Texas Department of Housing and Community Affairs rental assistance website.

You can review other local resources here.

 

Will my immigration status be affected if I apply for this program?

No. These programs funds are considered "disaster relief" and are not considered by DHS under the public charge rule. See the Public Charge Rule Fact Sheet here. Also, documentation of immigratation status is not included in the eligibility or documentation requirements for this program.

 

Where can I learn more about the Texas Eviction Diversion Program?

  • The Texas Department of Housing and Community Affairs has established a website and a toll-free hotline to provide information at 800-525-0657 or 512-475-3800 (pick option 4).

  • Texas Legal Services Center has established a toll-free hotline to assist individuals seeking legal assistance at 855-270-7655.

 

Video: Eviction Diversion Program

The National Center for State Courts staff discusses the CDC's nationwide evictions moratorium order and the new Texas eviction diversion program with Texas Supreme Court Chief Justice Nathan Hecht.