The Texas Access to Justice Foundation, or TAJF, announced it received an additional $20 million in funding from the Texas Department of Housing and Community Affairs, or TDHCA, to continue the Emergency Rental Assistance Program. The state’s largest funding source for civil legal aid, TAJF was granted the first $20 million in August 2021 to help Texans access legal assistance with housing issues during the coronavirus pandemic.
The Emergency Rental Assistance Program, or ERAP, provides legal information and representation to help Texans maintain or obtain housing. The new funds granted by the TDHCA will support a second year of the program’s legal services through August 31, 2024.
“Since 2021, the Emergency Rental Assistance Program has provided legal services and housing stability clinics to thousands of Texans across the state,” said TAJF Executive Director Betty Balli Torres in a press release. “The program’s work to keep Texans housed plays a vital role in our mission. With these funds, we can continue helping current and future generations of Texans.”
The additional $20 million will allow Texans in eligible households who are at risk of losing their homes and unable to pay their rent with a range of free civil legal services. These include representation in eviction proceedings in justice of the peace courts, eviction appeals in county court, and housing stability clinics. Using the initial round of funding in August 2021, the TAJF assisted more than 11,000 households.
“Legal aid is a safety net that keeps our fellow Texans from going over the edge. Without it, they might never recover even when the economy improves,” Balli Torres said in a press release.
For more information or to access legal help with housing issues, go to texaslawhelp.org.