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Group calls on mayor to increase fund to help Houstonians pay rent to $100M

HOUSTON – Single mother of four, Marisol Botello, says getting by before losing her job due to the impact of COVID-19, was already a struggle.

“I was barely making it to pay my bills, I’m not working, there is no income coming in,” Botello said.

She says she has been behind on rent for the past three months and hasn’t been able to pay her electricity bill. She also hasn’t been able to make car payments and could risk losing it anytime.

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But Botello isn’t alone in her struggles, The Metropolitan Organization of Houston says 70,000 families won’t be able to make rent, and it’s why they are calling on Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner to act.

“10,000 of families will be homeless. I (implore) you, answer the call again, sound the alarm again, leave no one behind,” said Minister Jaqueline Hailey of Greater New Hope Baptist Church and member of the TMO, during a virtual press conference.

TMO members say with 57% of Houston households as renters, a crisis could be on its way.

The mayor has allocated $15 million from the coronavirus relief fund to help families pay rent, but TMO members say the amount needs to be a $100 million to cover rent and utilities for the next three months.

“They are going to let us go from our apartment because they are not going to wait for us forever,” Botello said.