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Texas Eviction Diversion Program

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The Texas Eviction Diversion Program helps tenants who are sued for eviction. You must have an active eviction case and the landlord's cooperation to participate. You can apply through Texas Rent Relief.

How does the program work?

The Texas Eviction Diversion Program (TEDP) helps tenants who have been sued for eviction. If the tenant qualifies and the landlord agrees, 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. The Texas Eviction Diversion application is part of the normal Texas Rent Relief application.

 

Who is eligible?

Both the tenant and the landlord must be eligible.

Tenant Eligibility

  • Household income must be no more than 80% of the Area Median Income. Find the Area Median Income for your area here. Your household income must be at or below the amount in the "80%" line for your county.
  • At least one of the following must apply to someone in the household:
    • They have qualified for unemployment benefits on or after March 13, 2020.
    • They say in writing that due to or during the pandemic they have experienced a reduction in household income, incurred significant costs, or
      experienced financial hardship.
  • The tenant can show one of the following:
    • They are at risk of homelessness or housing instability by providing an eviction notice or past due utility or rent
      notice.
    • They live in unsafe or unhealthy housing conditions.

Landlord Eligibility

  • The landlord cannot get assistance for rent older than March 13, 2020.
  • Rent for the household assisted may not exceed the TDHCA maximum limits (see website for your area)
  • The landlord should have a bank account and accept direct deposit.
  • Units that are owned by a unit of government may be ineligible.

 

What do I need to apply?

Tenants need:

  • Personal ID
  • Docket number, precinct number, and Justice of the Peace name for the eviction case.
  • Written lease or evidence of tenancy if there is not a written lease.
  • Annual income documentation for 2020 or income evidence for past 60 days (examples: bank statements, pay stubs, tax returns, public benefits enrollment).
  • Unemployment documentation (examples: layoff notices, unemployment assistance applications)
  • Notice of late rent or notice to evict, if any.
  • Complete Texas Rent Relief application and certifications. 
  • If requesting rent assistance: copies of past-due utility bills.
  • Be prepared to state the following:
    • You have not received rental assistance for the same months of rent and will not seek such assistance in the future for the covered months.
    • Will reimburse TEDP within 10 business days if you receive rent (or utility) payment for this same time period.
    • If no written lease: You must certify the lease term and rent amount. You must also provide proof of tenancy

Landlords need:

  • Docket number, precinct number, and Justice of the Peace name for the eviction case.
  • Written lease or certification of tenancy if there is not a written lease.
  • Proof of missed payments (example: ledger book)
  • IRS W-9
  • Completed Landlord TEDP form
  • Completed Landlord TEDP certification completed
  • The landlord should be prepared to state the following:
    • The landlord will waive late fees, penalties, and not make the tenant pay court fees.
    • The landlord has not received assistance from another program for the same months of rent for this tenant and will not apply in the future for the covered months
    • The landlord will release the tenant from payment liability for this time period, waive all prior claims raised in the eviction case, and not evict the tenant for the
      period covered by the TEDP.
    • The landlord will reimburse the TEDP within 10 business days if they receive rent payment for this same time period.
    • If no written lease: The landlord must certify the lease term and rent amount. They must also provide proof of tenancy.

 

What does the process look like?

  1. When a landlord files an eviction case, the landlord must state in the petition that they have 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 are interested, 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. The landlord and the tenant apply at Texas Rent Relief. The Texas Eviction Diversion application is part of the normal Texas Rent Relief application.
     
  5. 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 must then 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.
     
  6. If the landlord does not file a motion to reinstate the eviction case during the delay period, the judge must dismiss the case with prejudice (meaning it cannot be filed again). All records and information will be sealed and remain confidential.

 

TEDP Flowchart

Confused about how the program works? Download a flowchart that shows the process.

Does the landlord have to agree to participate 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?

 

  • Effective September 4, 2020, the Centers for Disease Control has temporarily stopped certain evictions to halt the spread of COVID-19. Read CDC Eviction Moratorium for more information and to see if you are eligible. You must take certain steps to benefit -- it is not an automatic eviction ban. The moratorium is currently set to last until June 30, 2021.

 

  • 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 as soon as they are worried about rent. You do not need to wait until your landlord tries to evict you before you look for help. You can apply for the Texas Rent Relief program, any programs you can find on your local city or county website, and help from organizations listed here and 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.

 

Do I need a referral from the judge to take part in the program?

No. All you need is a case or cause number, the judge's name, and your landlord's cooperation. You can give this information to your local provider or include it with your Texas Rent Relief application. However, it is still important to talk with the judge and the court clerk to make sure that your case gets dismissed and sealed.

I have already lost my eviction case. Can I still take part in the program?

Yes. If your landlord agrees, you can take part in the Texas Eviction Program so long as you are still living in the home. However, you will need to speak with the judge and the administrators at Texas Rent Relief.

I had already applied for a different rent assistance program when my landlord sued me for eviction. Can I still take part in the Texas Eviction Diversion Program?

Yes. If your landlord agrees, you can take part in the Texas Eviction Program. However, you will have to repay any double payments you get. If you applied for help through Texas Rent Relief, contact the administrators to tell them you want to add the Texas Eviction Program to your application.

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

  • Go to the Texas Rent Relief website or call 1-833-9TX-RENT (1-833-989-7368). Phones are open Monday - Saturday from 8:00 am to 6:00 pm. Multiple languages are supported.