Justice of the Peace clears ‘dozens’ of Texas Eviction Diversion Program submissions

Updated: Feb. 25, 2021 at 10:21 PM CST
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LUBBOCK, Texas (KCBD) - Lubbock County Justice of the Peace Susan Rowley has cleared dozens of eviction cases this month through the Texas Eviction Diversion Program, which allows renters and landlords- who agree- to use funds from the city’s Community Development to cover past and future rent payments. Their application must be approved for this process.

The program focuses on individuals who can prove they’ve lost income due to the pandemic such as a job loss, and requires proof that you are trying to get a new source of income.

“Since we’ve last met, we’ve had about 70 referrals so far from all the different JP courts, which is which is pretty good, considering that we don’t hear evictions every day,” said Judge Rowley.

Judge Rowley says the process starts when both the landlord and tenant agree they want to fill out the application. A Justice of the Peace then gives a referral to Community Development and this makes their application to be seen as first priority than the other general rental assistance applications from the public.

“And I’ll tell you, I’ve had several referrals where I’ve already heard from the landlord. And I’ve seen the money get to them as fast as even 10 days.”

Documents from both landlords and tenants are required as well as a copy of the lease and forms of identification, which all explained in the 12-page application.

Karen Murfee with the City of Lubbock’s Community Development says they get between 30 and 50 applications a day. The department has used Cares Act money to help more than 4,000 families with rental assistance since the pandemic began.

“There’s no deadline to get in your application. But the biggest thing is we have to have a completed application,” said Murfee.

“We want to stabilize the citizens in Lubbock and housing. So we will pay arrears and we’ll pay ahead a little bit to keep them but it has to be also based on your lease.”

You can get the application emailed or mailed to you. You can also download the application at mylubbock.us/communitydevelopment

Applications can also be picked up at 1708 Crickets Avenue, inside the Lubbock Housing Authority building.

To drop off your application, you can drop it off at 1708 Crickets Avenue or mail it in to Community Development PO Box 2000 Lubbock, TX 79457. E-mailing the application is not allowed. The application must be filled out in full or it will be returned.

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