Fresno's Eviction Protection Program officially begins

FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- Fresno residents who are facing unlawful evictions can now turn to the city for free legal help.

A new eviction protection program launched on Tuesday after council members recently approved the program unanimously.

We have a look at how it works and where the money is coming from to cover those costs.

Councilmembers Tyler Maxwell and Nelson Esparza are co-sponsoring the latest piece of legislation from the city

"I'm confident that this program will help level the playing field going forward, especially as we near a potential wave of evictions as we near the September 30 eviction moratorium deadline," said Maxwell.

The moratorium agreement state lawmakers reached earlier this month extends protections to keep people in their homes - and opens more relief programs for renters.

Officials are confident the deadline will be extended again, but if not, city leaders say the framework is in place to assist those families facing potential evictions now.

"The Eviction Protection Program tackles a critical component of our housing market here in Fresno and will serve as a key strategy in mitigating the growth of Fresno's homeless population," said Esparza.

The City of Fresno will provide outside legal services to families and individuals facing unlawful eviction under the new program.

EPP will be open to Fresno residents with the city attorney's office making the determination whether or not an eviction is legal.

$750,000 in federal stimulus money is being used to cover the costs of legal counsel and mediation for those vulnerable tenants

"This being non-general fund money that was provided to us by the federal government, I think this is a very modest investment that we're making in order to prevent homelessness," said Esparza.

If you would like to apply, visit their website.
Copyright © 2021 KFSN-TV. All Rights Reserved.