News Release

Texas Access to Justice Foundation 
March 31, 2022
 

Texas Access to Justice Foundation receives $20 million from the Texas Department of Housing and Community Affairs to provide housing legal services

AUSTIN, Texas––The Texas Access to Justice Foundation (TAJF), the state’s largest funding source for civil legal aid, has received $20 million from the Texas Department of Housing and Community Affairs (TDHCA) for housing-related legal services.  

 “The need for legal services remains great, and this grant will allow our legal aid organizations to continue providing critical housing-related services,” said Texas Supreme Court Justice Brett Busby, the Court’s access to justice liaison.  

 As the pandemic waxes and wanes impacting hundreds of thousands of Texans unable to pay their rent, these funds will allow legal aid organizations throughout the state to provide free civil legal services to eligible households at risk of losing their homes. The services include a full range of legal services in order to keep Texans stably housed. This includes representation in eviction proceedings in Justice of the Peace Courts and eviction appeals in County Courts.  

“We are so grateful to receive this critical funding from TDHCA to help Texans dealing with housing insecurity that was exacerbated by the pandemic,” said Hon. Deborah Hankinson, chair of the Texas Access to Justice Foundation.  

The funds are provided through the Emergency Rental Assistance Program from the U.S. Treasury Department, which was authorized under the Consolidated Appropriations Act in 2021. The Foundation received funding last year from TDHCA for housing-related legal issues and more than 6,900 households in 155 counties received legal representation to assist them in maintaining housing stability from June 2021 through February 2022.  At 998 housing clinics, more than 8,400 households received help in applying for the Texas Rent Relief Program.   

 “The Texas Department of Housing and Community Affairs and TAJF partnership has been vital in keeping an unprecedented number of Texas tenants housed during the pandemic,” said Bobby Wilkinson, TDHCA executive director. “We are proud to continue the support of their much needed legal services in order for tenants to maintain stable housing and landlords to have access to necessary payments.”  

 Civil legal aid is a vital component of the public response to and recovery from the public health crisis. Legal aid is a safety net that keeps our fellow Texans from going over the edge; without it, they might never recover.    To access legal help with housing issues experienced during the pandemic, visit: https://TexasLawHelp.org/eviction-information.

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The Texas Access to Justice Foundation (www.tajf.org), created by the Supreme Court of Texas in 1984, is the primary state-based funding source for the provision of civil legal aid in Texas. The organization is committed to the vision that all Texans will have equal access to justice, regardless of their income. The Foundation administers a variety of funding sources, which are earmarked to assist nonprofit organizations in providing legal aid to approximately 100,000 Texas families each year.

 

For more information:

Kimberly Schmitt
512-320-0099, ext. 104
kschmitt@teajf.org

 

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