What Is The CARES Act?

The CARES Act temporarily protects some renters from eviction for nonpayment of rent. It also stops late fees for rent from March 26, 2020 until July 25, 2020. Landlords cannot issue notices to vacate for nonpayment during this time. You still have to pay rent even if your home is covered by the CARES Act. However, the landlord can’t do anything about it until after the July 25th deadline, and you have until then to pay all your rent. Your landlord may also not charge you late fees if your rent is late during that time.

What If My Landlord Tries To Evict Me Before Then?

The Texas Supreme Court requires your landlord to show that they are allowed by Federal law to evict you before December 31, 2020. Click here to see the Supreme Court’s Order.

Does The CARES Act Apply to My Home?

The CARES Act applies to properties that participate in federal housing programs. Your lease should state if your property participates in a federal housing program.

These programs include:

  • Public housing
  • Section 8 Housing Choice Voucher program
  • Section 8 project-based housing
  • Low-Income Housing Tax Credit (LIHTC) program
  • Section 202 housing for the elderly
  • Section 811 housing for people with disabilities
  • Section 236 multifamily rental housing
  • Section 221(d)(3) Below Market Interest Rate (BMIR) housing
  • HOME
  • Housing Opportunities for Persons with AIDS (HOPWA)
  • McKinney-Vento Act homelessness programs
  • Section 515 Rural Rental Housing
  • Sections 514 and 516 Farm Labor Housing
  • Section 533 Housing Preservation Grants
  • Section 538 multifamily rental housing, and
  • USDA Rural Housing Choice Voucher program.
  • The CARES Act also applies to properties financed with a federally-backed mortgage.
  • This includes mortgages backed by:
  • Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD)
  • Department of Veterans Affairs (VA)
  • Department of Agriculture (USDA)
  • Fannie Mae, and
  • Freddie Mac.

Lone Star Legal Aid has created a new tool, LSLA CARES, to help you search the many public tools available to find out if your property is subject to the CARES Act. See if your property is covered here.

What If I Can’t Tell If The CARES Act Applies To My Home?

It is the landlord’s job to prove that the CARES Act does not apply to your home before they can evict you. If you are worried about eviction, you can ask your landlord if the CARES Act applies to your home.

Even if you don’t know whether your home is covered by the CARES Act, you should put your landlord on notice that they have to follow the law. Click here to get a copy of a letter from TexasLawHelp.org to send your landlord if you think they will try to evict you.

How Can I Get Help With My Eviction?

Lone Star Legal Aid (LSLA) is a law firm dedicated to helping low-income Texans with legal issues. Our legal services are intended to help low-income people and families. If you would like to see if you qualify for legal aid, please contact us at (800) 733-8394 or at our online application.

Lone Star Legal Aid is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit law firm focused on advocacy on behalf of low-income and underserved populations. Lone Star Legal Aid serves millions of people at 125% of federal poverty guidelines that reside in 72 counties in the eastern and Gulf Coast regions of Texas, and 4 counties of southwest Arkansas. Lone Star Legal Aid focuses its resources on maintaining, enhancing, and protecting income and economic stability; preserving housing; improving outcomes for children; establishing and sustaining family safety and stability, health and well‐being; and assisting populations with special vulnerabilities, like those who have disabilities, or who are elderly, homeless, or have limited English language skills. To learn more about Lone Star Legal Aid, visit our website at http://www.lonestarlegal.org.

Media contact: Clarissa Ayala, cayala@lonestarlegal.org.