from: ASHRAF KHALIL, Associated Press
WASHINGTON (AP) – The Department of Housing and Urban Development is doubling the size of its eviction protection program, designed to fund legal aid for tenants who want to stay in their homes.
A $ 20 million HUD grant, announced Monday, will not provide any direct rental assistance; instead, it will fund legal services and representation for families at risk of eviction. The funds will be distributed under a program of grants to protect against eviction to 11 non-profit organizations and government agencies with grants ranging from $ 1 to $ 2.4 million. Recipients of the new wave of funding are Pine Tree Legal Aid from Portland, Maine, and the City of San Antonio, Texas.
Last November, HUD launched an eviction protection grant program, with an initial $ 20 million awarded to 10 legal service providers.
HUD Secretary Marcia Fudge described the new funding as doubling a proven method of mitigating the financial damage caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.
“We must continue to do everything we can to help people maintain quality housing,” Fudge said in a statement. “We know that access to legal services and eviction programs work. It helps people avoid evictions and protects the rights of tenants. ”
Funding can also be used to help landlords gain access to emergency rental assistance and generally help reduce the burden on eviction courts across the country, Fudge said.
The grant program is expected to be particularly helpful to colored people – they are disproportionately represented among the evicted – as well as tenants with limited English proficiency and people with disabilities, the department said.
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