Last week, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) announced $20 million in inaugural grants from its Eviction Protection Grant Program, the first of its kind for the department.
These grants will be awarded to legal service providers to assist in providing legal assistance to low-income tenants at risk of or subject to eviction. The Eviction Protection Grant Program is part of HUD’s continued work, as part of a whole of government approach, to support families recovering from the public health and economic impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic.
HUD has selected and offered grants to 10 organizations from across the country to support their ability to expand resolution options for clients at risk of eviction. More than 100 applications were submitted for consideration, making the grant selection process highly competitive.
“As families continue to feel the financial impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic and local eviction moratoria expire, we must continue to do all that we can to prevent evictions and keep people housed,” said U.S. HUD Sec. Marcia Fudge. “Research shows that access to legal services and eviction diversion programs can help renters avoid eviction and the many harmful outcomes that come along with eviction actions. These programs can also benefit court systems and landlords by reducing eviction caseloads for local court systems and helping landlords access emergency rental assistance so they can maintain housing quality during these uncertain times. That is why our Department is proud to release an inaugural Eviction Protection Grant Program to ensure eviction protection services reach the people who need it most.”
The Eviction Protection Grant Program supports experienced legal service providers in providing legal assistance at no cost to low-income tenants at risk of or subject to eviction. Through HUD’s Office of Policy Development and Research, the grants were made available to legal service providers serving or expanding services in areas with high rates of eviction or prospective evictions, including rural areas. This grant program plays an integral role in helping individuals and families, including people of color who are disproportionately represented among those evicted, people with limited English proficiency and people with disabilities, avoid eviction or minimize the disruption and damage caused by the eviction process.
Jacksonville Area Legal Aid was one of 10 projects funded and the only organization in Florida chosen. The group will get $2.4 million from HUD.