HOUSTON – Cardboard boxes carpeted the floor leading to Lisa Pradia’s kitchen. Bubble wrap, packing tape, and dishes cluttered her counter, as Pradia and her daughter spent the afternoon putting away the memories they had unpacked less than one year ago. Pradia has been evicted, despite being approved for aid to pay her rent after losing her job in March.
There was one person standing between Pradia and the assistance she was desperate to receive, her landlord, who she alleges failed to fill out the necessary paperwork to free up the funds.
“I never thought I’d be in this situation, ever,” Pradia said.
The single mother is among a growing number of Texans facing eviction during a pandemic.
More than half of the Houston area’s population is renting a home or apartment, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. The state lifted its moratorium on evictions at the end of May and since that time, the number of evictions cases filed in Harris County court has continued to rise.
“This is tough,” she said to herself as she packed a stack of plates into a box.
Pradia leased her home, located in a subdivision in Richmond, in November 2019. She worked in the real estate industry and looked forward to a new chapter for her and her 16-year-old daughter. After she lost her job in March, Pradia said she used her stimulus check to cover part of her back rent.