The economic crisis brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic has been expanded by a Democratic White House agenda that continues to cause unprecedented inflation and deep concern in families across the nation.
Now the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) has decided to double the size of its eviction protection program. This program was designed to fund legal assistance for tenants who need to stay in their homes.
On Monday, HUD announced that there will be a new account $20 million grant that will be directed towards legal services and representations for families that are being evicted. This grant will not provide direct rent relief.
The new funds will be given through what HUD is calling the Eviction Protection Grant Program and it will flow through eleven nonprofit organizations and government programs. Each grant will range from $1 million to $2.4 million. The states that have programs that will receive these grants include Louisianna, Texas, Oklahoma, California, Florida, New Jersey, New York, South Carolina, Maine, and Tennessee.
The first round of grants from HUD in the Eviction Protection Grant Program came in November of last year. They gave $20 million to 10 legal service providers. Marcia Fudge, the secretary for HUD, said that the second $20 million available now show that her Department is doubling down on a proven method of dealing with the economic damage that was imposed on the country due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Fudge said in a statement, “We need to keep doing all that we can to help people maintain quality housing. We know that access to legal services and eviction diversion programs works. It helps people avoid evictions and protects tenants’ rights.”
The available money will not only help those facing eviction with legal challenges, but it will also be available to landlords who need to access emergency rental assistance. The hope with this program is that it will help to reduce the number of caseloads in the court system around the nation.
The new HUD grant extension is focused on helping people of color who are disproportionately represented among those who are facing eviction. It will also aid those tenants who have limited English proficiency and those who struggle with disability issues.
Secretary Fudge also said that the American people have been resilient in the face of “historic challenges” that continue to face the country. And she said that her Department was “proud to expand the Eviction Protection Grant Program” so that there would be more families who have access to the protection the government can provide.
This doubling down by HUD releasing now $40 million for legal services and representation is on top of the State and local Emergency Rental Assistance (ERA) grants. The government has spent or committed over $30 billion in rental and utility assistance to over 700,000 households in America. This money has come through Fiscal Recovery Funds provided by the American Rescue Plan. It is estimated that millions of renters have avoided being evicted since 2021.
The new money from HUD will reinforce the Right to Counsel Resource Center. A study was done in Minnesota around that when a tenant is represented, they will settle their case 96% of the time, and they are twice as likely to be able to stay in the home.
These new grants come after there was a federal eviction moratorium that started through the CARES Act of 2020. Today, there are no bans on evictions from the Center for Disease Control or the U.S. Government.
The cost of the pandemic and the skyrocketing inflation from a progressive White House administration keeps spiraling out of control.