A nonprofit organization wants to talk about mortgage and rental assistance

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Throughout the pandemic Greater Dallas Community Council helps people stay afloat as the pandemic has hit the economy and hit the most vulnerable families the hardest.

“Until recently, we had a big, huge, long waiting list, and we passed it,” said CEO Sharla Myers. “So now we want to make sure we get the information that we still have funding available.”

The non-profit organization has about $ 2 million left in federal pandemic relief funds approved by Congress at the start of the pandemic.

These funds can be used to help homeowners or renters pay off their mortgage or rent. They are available to Dallas County residents facing financial stress from the pandemic and can be used to pay unpaid bills for up to six months.

Unlike some relief funds, the Public Council can use these funds to help undocumented people.

“In fact, almost anyone affected by COVID can call us and we can either help ourselves or help them find someone who can,” Myers said.

Myers worries that many people who are eligible for help with paying for housing still don’t know it’s available. The filing requirements required by the federal government to ensure that money goes to eligible people has also been a hindrance for some job seekers.

This 80-year-old non-profit organization also offers a range of other services such as emergency funding, job search and skills development assistance, financial literacy training, and business management.

All over the state, large cities and counties distributed federal aid to besieged tenants. All over the state Texas Rent Removal Program, which the fought to serve Texans in the weeks after its launch, has since improved the application process and approved assistance to more than 60,000 households.

Nonprofits like the Community Council are also a vital part of efforts to keep people in their living quarters as defenses against the pandemic disappear.

Housing costs remain an issue

The latest Census Bureau report on America’s financial health shows that Texans still find it harder to pay their rent than before the pandemic.

Nearly one in ten homeowners with a mortgage said they are delaying payments, and nearly two out of ten tenants have already missed their rent, according to the Bureau’s Household Pulse Survey.

Need help paying your rent? Check KERA management to rental assistance programs in cities and counties in North Texas.

Across the Dallas-Fort Worth metro, more than a quarter of 2-1-1 State Helpdesk calls are housing-related, and more than half seek help finding help paying rent.

Samanda Gronsthal, senior director of the Economic Mobility Council, has all too often said that people wait until they are in dire straits before seeking help, even if they don’t need it.

“People told me that I had already lost my car, I had exhausted all my savings, I have no one to lend me money, so I am here,” said Gronstal, senior director of the Economic Mobility Council.

Gronstal said she wants people to “call when the water is ankle-deep, not when it is in your throat.”

Reduced protection

For more than a year, there has been a moratorium on evictions from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and refusal of mortgage An option was offered an extension and left people in their homes, but both expire at the end of June.

Although federal protections for homeowners and renters have been expanded throughout the pandemic, the Biden administration has not said if it will do it again.

Homeowner protection expiration may not be all that bleak, even if some big banks plan to resume the purchase of mortgages back in July. The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau is considering a new regulation that prohibit foreclosure before the end of the year.

However, according to Gronsthal, most of the clients she speaks to have never heard of indulgence.

While the CDC moratorium is still in effect at least until the end of the month, tenant defenses have faced a slew of federal lawsuits and have been undermined by a Texas higher court. The state Supreme Court has stopped requiring eviction courts to notify tenants of their rights under the CDC’s moratorium.

“Once a tenant has been evicted, it will be extremely difficult for him to get another apartment because this eviction will be in his account and therefore they are much more likely to remain homeless for a longer period. time than someone who has not been evicted, ”said Myers.

Even without an eviction, skyrocketing housing prices and rising rents make it difficult to find housing elsewhere. Even before the pandemic, Texas struggled with acute shortage affordable housing.

The unemployment rate in Texas remains significantly higher than it was before the pandemic. In accordance with status data3.7% of Texans who wanted to work could not find work. Last month this figure was 6.7%.

Last month, Governor Greg Abbott decided to end additional federal unemployment assistance to unemployed Texans. His decision will cut Texas unemployment checks by $ 300 starting next month.

“We work with the whole community”

Gronsthal, of the Greater Dallas Community Council, said she heard from several clients who were just starting to rebuild family finances hit by the pandemic when the February frost hit. The hurricane stripped some workers of their wages and left others with high utility bills and home repairs, undermining their fragile recovery.

Gronstal said it is best to fill out an online application for assistance, although the organization has everything it needs to help those who do not have Internet access or who need help navigating the application process.

“We work with the entire community, whether you are an elderly person and cannot read anymore and you need someone to convey your information over the phone, or you do not speak this language and you need someone who speaks bilingual to help you. with documents, ”said Gronstal.

More information is available on the website ccadvance.org or by phone (214) 871-5065.

Got a tip? Christopher Connelly is a reporter for the KERA One Crisis Away Reporter who explores life on the brink of financial opportunity. Email Christopher at cconnelly@kera.orgYou can follow Christopher on Twitter. @hithisischris

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