(The Center Square) – Despite 631,000 Texas residents receiving federal rental assistance, and the unemployed receiving an additional $600 a week in federal assistance, eviction proceedings have begun in Harris County for nearly $29 million worth of unpaid rent. Eviction proceedings in the state’s largest county, and third-largest county in the nation, began in June after a temporary halt issued by the Texas Supreme Court was recently lifted. The state’s economic downturn caused by Gov. Greg Abbott’s executive orders to help slow the spread of COVID-19, coupled with historic oil and gas losses resulting from the Russian-Saudi oil war, led to a record 3.4 million jobless claims filed in the state since March 14. According to the Texas Workforce Commission, the state has paid $14.4 billion in total unemployment insurance benefits since March 14. It has paid $9.3 billion in Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation (FPUC), $743 million in Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA), and $185 million in Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation (PEUC). Through the CARES Act, PEUC provides up to a 13-week extension of unemployment benefit payments. Click to read more at www.thecentersquare.com.