Eviction Moratorium - Our JP Judges and Harris County MUST Partner to Prevent Evictions.
Updated: Oct 5, 2021
The eviction moratorium has expired, leaving millions of people vulnerable nationwide to losing their apartments or homes. Fortunately, since there are still millions of dollars left in local rental assistance relief funds (see link below), there is no reason evictions have to occur in our community. Rather than just processing eviction cases, our 16 local Justice of the Peace judges should instead directly refer these debt cases to Harris County for expedited review/approval for relief funding. While this process would slightly delay eviction case rulings, it would help us avoid thousands of unnecessary local evictions. Remember, behind every eviction case are real people, including children, single mothers, senior citizens, and the disabled. I urge all of our Harris County JP judges and City/County leadership to work together to avoid adding to our local homeless population. As Democrats, we must think outside the box to help people in need - mountains are no obstacle when the cause is just.
UPDATE: Great news! The CDC just extended the eviction moratorium until 10/3/2021. This extension should give us time to deploy the available rental assistance relief funds. I suggest single mothers, senior citizens, and the disabled be given the highest priority for assistance. As far as the able-bodied folks, if they want to keep their homes, I suggest they go out and get a job ASAP - I see "Help Wanted" signs everywhere. For more information, please see the link below.
UPDATE: On 8/26/21, in a 6-3 decision, the United States Supreme Court blocked the eviction moratorium. Evictions can now begin again, despite the recent surge in COVID cases and hospitalizations. As I mentioned above, we can avoid adding thousands of people to our local homeless population if our 16 local JP judges agree to refer pending eviction cases to City/County officials for payment using available rental assistance funds. In these extraordinary times, our local officials need to go out of their way to help the most vulnerable people in need. I know there are many obstacles to this idea, but I urge our leaders to find a way to do the right thing. For more information on the Supreme Court decision, please click on the link below.
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