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Thousands of Houston families could face eviction when the CDC moratorium ends in December

According to CBS News,more than 17,000 evictions have been initiated in Houston during the pandemic, but they were temporarily halted by a court order.

HOUSTON —

  • A federal eviction moratorium is set to expire at the end of December and that means thousands of Houston-area families could be out in the cold.

Alyssa Cohn’s family is one of many that faces eviction come December 31. She is a single mother and like many others she’s had a hard time during this pandemic.

"I was unemployed for a little bit. I wasn’t getting much in employment benefits, started getting behind. I lost the childcare that I had and limited hours wasn’t making money," said Cohn. "We just need a chance to get caught up. I don't know what they expect us to do."

According to CBS News,more than 17,000 evictions have been initiated in Houston during the pandemic. At times, we've led the nation in the number of evictions. 

In September, the CDC issued a temporary order to halt residential evictions until the end of December. 

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County leaders tell us they are aware and are hoping to provide families with additional funds to help.

"We are trying to find other ways to support those families by converting some of those programs into direct assistance the money goes to the potential renters to apply for rent," said Harris County Commissioner Adrian Garcia.

There’s a coalition of lawyers and law students that has formed to provide these families with legal help. They have been swamped with phone calls from people scared they’re going to be left homeless.

"There is no other emergency protection in place for them. At least not in Texas or Harris County," said Mari Carmen Dollar a staff attorney for Houston Volunteer Lawyers.

"We have been able to step in. But once that CDC order expires the tenants' options are going to be extremely limited," said John Ross Trevino, the managing attorney Lone Star League Aid.

The state has an eviction diversion program. This program can provide families with up to 6 months of rent. But both parties need to agree to participate not all landlords are willing.