In response to a surge in evictions prompted by the COVID-19 pandemic, a Dallas County Police Officer’s office and multiple agencies are hosting a first-ever “eviction clinic” in North Oak Cliff.
North Texas eviction filings were at the highest level last month since the start of the pandemic in March 2020, having exploded after a Federal moratorium ended at the end of last year. Dallas, Tarrant, Collin and Denton counties have 7,829 eviction cases in March, according to the North Texas Eviction Project of Dallas nonprofit Child Poverty Action Lab. Eight out of 1,000 tenants in those counties faced eviction requests in March.
The clinic aims to bridge the gap between residents and the resources available in the event of an eviction, said a news release from Constable Michael Orozco’s office in Compound 5.
The event will take place from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday at the Oak Cliff Government Center at 702 East Jefferson Blvd.
Not all Dallas County agencies involved in the eviction process were prepared for the “onslaught of eviction petitions” that created a burden on the court system, the statement said.
“One of the toughest jobs for a police officer is to evict someone from their home on a writ of possession,” the statement said. The writ directs an officer to tell a tenant to remove his personal belongings and vacate the premises, while ordering the agent to place the tenant’s property outside.
The clinic will also benefit landlords as they are part of the housing assistance application process, the statement said. In theory, the clinic will bring citizens, property managers and landlords together in one centralized location. Then the assisting agencies can set up a workstation.
“It’s about better use of resources, working together collaboratively toward a common goal,” the statement said.
Agencies present include The United Way of Metropolitan Dallas, Dallas County Health and Human Services, Legal Aid of Northwest Texas, Dallas Eviction Advocacy Center, North Texas Behavioral Health Authority and the Deaf Action Center.