AUSTIN (KXAN) — The Texas Access to Justice Foundation announced Tuesday that it received another $20 million grant to continue the Emergency Rental Assistance Program. This is an addition to a grant of the same amount that it received in August 2021.

The Texas Department of Housing and Community Affairs awarded the grant. TAJF is the state’s largest funding source for civil legal aid.

The Emergency Rental Assistance Program provides legal information and representation to Texans so that they can maintain or obtain housing, according to a press release about the grant. TDHCA awarded the additional grant to support a second year of the program’s legal services through August 31, 2024.

“Since 2021, the Emergency Rental Assistance Program has provided legal services and housing stability clinics to thousands of Texans across the state,” Betty Balli Torres, executive director at TAJF, said. “The program’s work to keep Texans housed plays a vital role in our mission. With these funds, we can continue helping current and future generations of Texans.” 

TAJF recognizes the importance of providing legal services to residents impacted by the housing affordability crisis, which the organization says is one of the most critical issues in Texas. The funds will help provide free civil legal services to eligible Texans who are at risk of losing their homes and previously unable to pay their rent.

Services provided include representation in eviction proceedings in justice of the peace courts, eviction appeals in county court and housing stability clinics. 

Following the initial round of funding, TAJF said it assisted more than 11,000 households through legal service.

Negotiations for the additional $20 million in funds to support a second year of the Emergency Rental Assistance Program began in March 2022. The funds are provided to the Emergency Rental Assistance Program from the U.S. Treasury Department.

For more information or to access legal help with housing issues, visit https://TexasLawHelp.org/eviction-information.