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Evictions Surge After Moratoriums End; Dallas Continues Program To Help Renters

DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) - Governor Greg Abbott renewed the COVID-19 Disaster Declaration over the weekend, meaning Dallas' eviction ordinance aimed at giving tenants more time to pay their rent also gets extended.

The ordinance requires landlords to provide notice of possible eviction, beginning the eviction process, and then tenants have 21 days instead of the typical three days to respond with documented evidence that the pandemic has negatively affected their ability to pay rent.

If there's enough evidence, the tenant then has 60 days to enter into a repayment agreement with the landlords.

"It's giving tenants more time to be able to cure, to be able to solve the past payments that's due," said Ashley Brundage, Executive Director of Housing Stability and Senior Vice President of Community Impact at United Way of Metropolitan Dallas. "The truth is that people are still out of work and people are still getting sick and missing work and so the rent assistance is still just as important as it was in 2020 if not more so just because of the amount of time people have been out of work."

According to the Child Poverty Action Lab, in the city of Dallas, in the first 21 days in January of 2022, there have been 1,468 eviction filings.

During the same time period in 2021, there were 856 eviction filings and in 2020, just under 2,300 filings.

"We are definitely seeing a steady climb in new eviction filing numbers and that climb has definitely accelerated since the end of the Federal eviction moratorium in August of 2021," said Ashley Flores, Senior Director at the Child Poverty Action Lab.

Flores also said in Tarrant County, while the number of eviction filings aren't as numerous as Dallas County, it's because there's a population difference.

The rate of filings are higher in Tarrant County with 65 per 1,000 residents compared to 56 per 1,000 residents in Dallas County.

One place renters can go to if you do need assistance is United Way of Metropolitan Dallas.

To see more of Child Poverty Action Lab's work, click here.

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