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City of Boise awards $150,000 to Jesse Tree for eviction prevention

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Boise officials approved public funding to help slow down the rate of evictions in Ada County during the ongoing pandemic.

On October 27, Boise City Council voted to approve $150,000 for eviction prevention nonprofit Jesse Tree to use for financial assistance to prevent low-income Boiseans who temporarily cannot pay their rent from being evicted. Executive Director Ali Rabe said more people are requesting help from the nonprofit this year due to the ongoing pandemic.

“In a year in which growth in the Treasure Valley continued to unfold and economic pressures caused by the COVID-19 pandemic continued on, many of our neighbors have fallen behind in their rent payments,” Rabe said in the release. “Jesse Tree continues to see an increase in the number of requests for rental assistance on the organization’s Housing Crisis Line in step with increased rates of housing loss occurring throughout the Treasure Valley.”

The funds will go direct payments to landlords on behalf of tenants who cannot make their rent payments. Jesse Tree will also use the funds for its Eviction Prevention Program to provide financial assistance for those going through eviction court. Jesse Tree pairs all clients with a case manager for supportive services, connections to community resources, employment and financial literacy training.

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control issued a temporary halt of evictions nationwide to keep residents in their homes. The order, which is valid through the end of 2020, will give residents who meet certain income requirements and who have sought assistance to delay being removed from their homes through the courts. 

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However, this is not rent forgiveness. Tenants are still required to pay rent, either in full or partial payments, to try and meet their obligations to the property owner. If they don’t make those payments, they can be evicted in January 2021. Paperwork is required for tenants to prove their eligibility for protection from eviction by the order.

Jesse Tree will use the city funds immediately and in early 2021 when the organization expects a spike in eviction filings after the CDC’s order expires. If tenants in the City of Boise are falling behind in rent payments, they should contact
Jesse Tree’s Housing Crisis Line at 208-383-9486.

Margaret Carmel
Margaret is a BoiseDev reporter focused on the City of Boise, housing, homelessness and growth. Contact her at margaret@boisedev.com or by phone at (757)705-8066.

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