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CDC "Eviction Diversion Program" in Texas Eviction Defense

Discussion in 'Eviction, Recovery of Premises' started by army judge, Dec 22, 2020.

  1. army judge

    army judge Law Topic Starter Super Moderator

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    Jurisdiction:
    Texas
    Do you remember in September, that time the U.S. Center for Disease Control and Prevention enacted THE federal ban on many types of evictions?

    LATE BREAKING NEWS!!!
    AUTHOR UPDATE!
    The Republic of Texas (via our Supreme Court) today extended eviction protection for tenants until 15 March of 2021.

    [Texas extends rental assistance program designed to avoid evictions]

    That federal moratorium against evictions is set to expire at the end of this month, unless the feds act to reinstate it.

    However, if you're facing an eviction in Texas and wish to avail yourself of the protections touted above, you must understand a few subtleties in the moratorium:

    1 - The CDC moratorium only applies if the eviction alleges nonpayment of rent.
    2 - If the tenant's eviction alleges other reasons (a lease violation for example), the landlord can pursue the eviction, and local authorities have to uphold Texas law.
    3 - Tenants can qualify for protection under the federal eviction ban if the tenant earns no more than $99,000 per year [(or no more than $198,000 if filing a joint tax return)] and makes attempts to pay as much of the rent as he/she/they can, among the other qualifications.
    4 - If a tenant meets all of the CDC requirements, renters must also submit a CDC declaration (attached below) and a landlord letter, (attached below) such as published by the Texas State Law Library, to the landlord.


    Tenant letter to landlord:

    https://texaslawhelp.org/sites/default/files/landlord_letter_-_cdc_eviction_order.pdf

    Tenant CDC Declaration:

    https://texaslawhelp.org/sites/default/files/cdc_housing_declaration_9.3.20.pdf

    The Republic of Texas is working on an Eviction Diversion Program, [TJB | Eviction Diversion Program] which is scheduled to be available SOMETIME in January.

    The Eviction Diversion Program is expected to cover past rent payments if both the landlord and the renter agree to it's terms.

    For a full list of requirements, see the CDC’s fact sheet. [https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/downloads/eviction-moratoria-order-faqs.pdf]
     
  2. adjusterjack

    adjusterjack Super Moderator

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    So, tenants who are employed and making as much as 99,000 per year (198,000 if filing jointly) can avoid paying rent and be protected against eviction.

    Nice.

    :(
     
  3. Tax Counsel

    Tax Counsel Well-Known Member

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    Not quite. The tenant must declare, under of penalties of perjury, a number of things, including:

    (3) the individual is unable to pay the full rent or make a full housing payment due to substantial loss of household income, loss of compensable hours of work or wages, a lay-off, or extraordinary out-of-pocket medical expenses;

    So a person who is still employed at the job that enabled him/her to pay the rent before COVID hit would not qualify for this relief unless he or she has incurred extraordinary out of pocket medical expenses that tap out his/her ability to pay rent in full.

    Note, too, that the order does not relieve the tenant of any of his/her contractual obligations. Ultimately all the rent, late fees, interest, etc are still due. And, unless renewed, this order only lasts 3 months.

    Whether Biden's administration will renew that order or instead finally get some kind of real comprehensive COVID legislation passed remains to be seen. With the vaccine starting to be made available, the necessity of orders like this will diminish over the next few months. While I have my doubts about the legal basis for the CDC order — it stretched its authority here to do this — it's very clear that the authority ends when there is no more extraordinary health risk.
     

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