Houston couple faces eviction notice amid coronavirus pandemic

HOUSTON – For Keyon Dixon, the springtime usually means the bookings are plentiful.

Dixon is the frontman of Kenyon and the Zydeco Masters, a Houston-based Zydeco band. But due to the global health emergency, Dixon and his wife Melva House has had to cancel over two dozen gigs.

"Right now is our busiest time of the year, and due to the (coronavirus), we are all shut-in," he said.

Dixon has a day job, and Melva books and manages brands in the area.

Now that the music has stopped, so has the extra income that has allowed the couple to make ends meet.

"I do receive benefits from my other job, but it doesn't cover my rent," Dixon said. "I make most of my money playing Zydeco music. I'm a working musician."

Dixon and his wife have lived at The Edge at Independence Heights on the north side of Houston for years. The couple was not able to come up with the full amount of rent for April. Melva said she spoke with the office management on April 2 about a discount or extension for the rent.

By April 7, a notice had been placed on their front door, requiring them to pay up or get out by April 13.

However, in March, the Texas Supreme Court passed an emergency order, suspending all evictions until April 19. The injunction halted all eviction cases but didn't stop landlords for filing or giving notice to residents about an intent to file.

House said the apartment management told her the landlord would not be able to offer an extension. Instead, the couple was given a list of local agencies that help with rent relief.

House said she took the list and tried but received no help. She said there is a line of Texans seeking rent relief amid the fight against COVID-19.

"The notice has left me very anxious," House said.

KPRC 2 spoke with management at The Edge at Independence Heights by phone. Staff said they offered the list of local agencies. They also said they are willing to work with residents and have made that known.

Still, the notice to leave is real, the couple said. The couple said the options they’ve received have not yet proven helpful. They said they are hopeful that they will get the cash needed in time.

About the Author:

Emmy and Edward R. Murrow award-winning journalist. NOLA born and bred, though #HoustonStrong, with stops in Minnesota, New York, Massachusetts, and Connecticut in along the way.