Texas eviction diversion program extended, expanded

The Texas Supreme Court has extended the state’s eviction diversion program through November while expanding renters’ ability to protect their eviction records.

The court’s emergency order, issued last week, keeps eviction records confidential for tenants who have pending applications for rental assistance. Previously, that confidentiality only applied when a landlordsubmitted an application for rental assistance on behalf of their tenant.

“We’re happy to hear about the new order from the Texas Supreme Court and the peace of mind this will bring San Antonio tenants experiencing COVID-19 related hardships,” said Veronica Soto, director of the Neighborhood and Housing Services Department.

The city’s housing department requested the confidentiality change, given that eviction court records can lead to a tenant’s inability to find housing. Federal law allows tenant screening companies to access and report eviction filings and judgments for up to seven years.

The Texas Eviction Diversion Program aims to reduce the possible surge of evictions due to the COVID-19 pandemic. It provides landlords and tenants a voluntary opportunity to resolve rent disputes before an eviction occurs.

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