Local organizations receive HUD grant to prevent eviction

eviction notice
Posted at 5:25 AM, Mar 04, 2022
and last updated 2022-03-07 18:50:49-05

BOISE, Idaho — As rental prices continue to increase here in the treasure valley, more and more people are finding themselves being evicted.

In 2021 rent in Boise accounted for more than half of the average salary, according to Online Mortgage Advisor. Back in 2017 rent only accounted for 29% of the average salary.

Jesse Tree recently released its annual report which says demand for rental assistance and eviction prevention increased by 300% in 2020.

Now thanks to a grant from the Department of Housing and Urban Development, Jesse Tree, along with two other local organizations will have more resources to prevent eviction.

“We’re seeing clients who are getting rent increases of like $500-$600,” Sunrise Ayers, the Deputy Director of Idaho Legal Aid Services.

Idaho Legal Aid closed 543 eviction cases in 2019. That number went up to 945 in 2021, a 74% increase.

“We do expect to keep seeing evictions be an issue in Idaho as we keep seeing housing costs go up and there not being enough affordable housing available for folks," Ayers said.

This is why Idaho Legal Aid applied for a grant from the Department of Housing and Urban Development.

“HUD identified that housing costs went up really really quickly during the pandemic, especially in states like Idaho,” Ayers said. “It’s a completely new grant that they’ve never given out before. We were one of just ten programs selected.”

Hud awarded Idaho Legal Aid Services the $1.8 Million grant.

The money will be split with the Intermountain Fair Housing Council (IFHC) and Jesse Tree here in Idaho and will support those at risk of eviction in Idaho, Utah and Montana.

“Intermountain Fair Housing Council provides legal assistance to people experiencing discrimination throughout the entire state of Idaho,” Monica Fabbi, a staff attorney at IFHC said.

This grant will allow IFHC to serve more people.

“If their landlord is treating them unfairly not because of their protected class, but maybe because they’re doing a mass eviction and there may be a problem with the way they’re doing it, the way they’ve notified people or the cause of that,” Fabbi said.

Jesse Tree said the grant will also allow them to expand their services.

"It really formulates a more robust partnership with legal aid. And it allows us to expand our services. So right now we do financial assistance and we do case management with every client but the HUD grant will allow us to provide a loophole for some legal services with clients who need more than just that financial assistance," Morgan Decarl, a case manager with Jesse Tree said.

Jesse Tree said anyone with an eviction summons, whose eviction is related to nonpayment of rent should call Jesse Tree at 208-383-9486.

Idaho Legal Aid said they can help people who have received an eviction notice, but they can also help people who know they’ll be behind on rent, have been told their rent is going to increase, or people whose landlord is selling the complex and has told the tenant they’ll be evicted.

IFHC and Jesse Tree are also resources for these and other housing-related situations.