TEXAS SUPREME COURT advisory
Contact: Osler McCarthy
512.463.1441 or email
EMERGENCY ORDER OUTLINES NEW EVICTION DIVERSION PROGRAM
In an emergency order posted Monday, the Texas Supreme Court extended deadlines for procedures for tenants and landlords under a statewide housing-assistance program intended to avoid evictions for tenants behind on rent.
The Texas Eviction Diversion Program, announced last month, is supported by Gov. Greg Abbott's commitment of $171 million in federal money for landlords to provide an eviction alternative. Eligibility for rental assistance under the program will be administered by the Texas Department of Housing and Community Affairs.
The revised order, the 28th the Court has issued during the coronavirus pandemic, allows certain "pilot" counties designated after October 12 for participation in the program to be effective by dates the Office of Court Administration will determine and, for all other counties, the effective date will be January 1. The order expires February 1, 2021, unless the chief justice extends it.
Under the order establishing the program an eviction proceeding may be abated by agreement for 60 days. Courts will provide tenants with information about the program and court records for participants will be confidential while eviction cases are delayed.
The continuing order also outlines procedure for reinstating evictions. Without such reinstatement, eviction cases will be subject to dismissal.