With federal eviction ban set to expire, rental assistance available for Hidalgo County residents

2 months 3 weeks 2 days ago Friday, July 30 2021 Jul 30, 2021 July 30, 2021 8:40 AM July 30, 2021 in News - Local

A federal freeze on evictions that's been in place since September of last year is now set to expire.

Hidalgo County wants residents who may be affected to know there is help available.

READ ALSO: Applications still available for rental assistance in Hidalgo County  

About $26 million was authorized through the federal treasury to help people from getting evicted. But county leaders say the clock is ticking and those applications need to be submitted soon.

"The CDC had ordered a moratorium, the moratorium has been in place as far as evictions," said Hidalgo County Community Service Agency Director Jaime Longoria. 

The order states that evictions couldn't take place during a difficult stretch of a year plagued by COVID. But now that order is expected to expire on Saturday.

"The moratorium prevents landlords from pursuing any eviction proceedings for folks who have been affected by the pandemic," Longoria said.

The Biden administration announced it will allow the nationwide ban on evictions to expire Saturday, arguing that its hands are tied after the Supreme Court said in June that they would block any further extensions without "clear and specific congressional authorization."

"My understanding, the latest is that President Biden in the last few moments has asked Congress to act to extend this moratorium, Longoria said. "We're not sure that's going to happen in time for families." 

Longoria says the county's rent relief program has not taken off the way they expected--that means funds are still readily available.

But they're asking families to submit applications as soon as possible. 

"We made it as easy as we possibly can," Longoria said.  "We stayed as close to federal regulations in requiring the minimal amount of information we can to make it easier for people to apply."

Landlords can also start the process online to help their tenants.

"So if there is a landlord out there who's got a family or several families on his properties that have been struggling to pay that rent, and the landlord has been carrying that burden financially, then the landlord can initiate this process and give us the information," Longoria said.

Interested applicants may begin to apply online at www.hidalgocsa.org

For questions regarding the application process, you may call 1-833-209-5023.

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