Texas tenants behind on rent will soon be able to seek aid from $1.3 billion assistance program
The Texas Department of Housing and Community Affairs expects that 80,000 households could benefit from a new rental assistance program. State officials plan to roll out a $1.3 billion rental assistance program for Texans struggling to keep up with housing payments during a shaky economic recovery from the coronavirus pandemic. According to the Texas Department of Housing and Community Affairs, around 80,000 households will be able to receive assistance. The program comes after renters have spent months depending on local funds and nonprofit organizations for rental assistance. We are finally getting a rental assistance program to the scale and the magnitude of the crisis,” said Eli Barrish, policy analyst at the housing advocacy organization Texas Housers.
Houston-area renters facing eviction should check this website
HOUSTON – Some renters in the Houston area are facing eviction amid the tough economic times brought on by the pandemic. Leaders spoke Monday to remind people facing eviction of the assistance programs that are available. “Harris County initiated over a dozen programs in response to the pandemic, whether its direct assistance, rental relief, digital access, small business aid, workforce development, the bottom line is we stand ready to support our community,” said Harris County Precinct 2 Commissioner Adrian Garcia. Garcia said anyone facing eviction should visit stoptxeviction.org or call 800-733-8394.
Landslide or presidential upset? Political science experts analyze the top of ticket and down ballot impact
NOT SO FAST says Brandon Rottinghaus, Ph.D. and professor of political science at the University of Houston. He says there is a certain element about polling regarding President Trump that can’t be trusted. When asked what the biggest surprise will be on November 3rd, he said it could be a landslide against President Trump. They were given proper legal advice.”Watch this week’s Houston Newsmakers Sunday morning at 10:30amMore Information:Mark Jones, Ph.D., Fellow in Political Science, Baker Institute, Rice University· Website: https://www.bakerinstitute.org/experts/mark-p-jones/· Twitter: @MarkPJonesTXBrandon Rottinghaus, Ph.D. Political Science Professor, University of Houston· Website: https://uh.edu/class/political-science/faculty-and-staff/professors/rottinghaus/index· Twitter: @bjrottingjausConstable Alan Rosen, Author: Finding Your Center After the Bottom Falls Out· Website: https://pct1constable.net/· Twitter: Pct1Constable
Spencer Solves It: Single mother of 5 facing eviction gets the help she needs
I mean, there is nothing you can do about it and when you have young children it’s I don’t know,” Heather said. Heather is a hardworking, single mother raising five children all by herself, who lost her job as a grocery store clerk back in March when the pandemic hit. “Unfortunately I am only getting $204 a week and you cannot raise your kids on $204 a week, there’s no way,” Heather said. That’s when Heather called Spencer Solves It for help. This is gonna help me out so much and it allows me to put a roof over my kids' heads,” Heather said.
Ask 2: When are the eviction protections scheduled to end?
As part of our Ask 2 series, the newsroom will answer your questions about all things Houston. Question: When are the eviction protections scheduled to end? Answer: The CDC’s agency order to temporarily halt residential evictions for failure to pay rent or late fees expires December 31, 2020. This nationwide eviction moratorium orders landlords and those with a legal right to pursue eviction to not do so in order to prevent the further spread of COVID-19. Moreover, the Texas Supreme Court recently issued an emergency order which states eviction citations must include CDC eviction moratorium information in addition to a copy of the required declaration form.
Getting evicted? These are the protections in place for tenants facing the prospect of losing the roof over their heads
HOUSTON – Heather Hartman is just one of many Houston-area residents facing eviction due to the economic fallout of the COVID-19 pandemic. And just last week, the Texas Supreme Court issued an emergency order also giving more help to tenants facing evictions. Below is a breakdown of the orders, as well as important resources for those facing eviction. AdShe said she wants to make sure tenants know their rights while facing eviction right now, especially when it comes to dealing with their landlords. “The CDC order is not a program that landlords get to decide whether they are going to participate in or not.
Group aims to provide free legal help to Harris County families facing eviction during pandemic
If you want to get help from Lone Star Legal Aid, you can start here: LSLA COVID Eviction Interview. According to research from January Advisors, from July 1 through September 9, a total of 4,988 eviction cases were filed in eight Harris County precincts. About 34% of those were filed in Precinct 5, which covers West Harris County. Total evictions in Harris County between July 1 and Sept. 9. (Courtesy of January Advisors) (KPRC)Evictions in Harris County Precinct 5 between July 1 and Sept. 9.
‘God bless everybody.’: Harris County man whose eviction story went viral thanks people who helped in emotional video
In an emotional press conference Friday, held with Harris County Precinct 1 Constable Al Rosen, 24-year-old Israel Rodriguez said the donated money would help him get his life back together. In between tears, Rodriguez said he was grateful for the money that was donated to help him and his family, including his two young children, ages 2 and 4. “Everybody that helped me out all over the world.”Rodriguez said he’s now staying at a hotel. The public response even touched Rosen, whose office handled the eviction. The constable said his office is also holding off on evictions for now following the recent CDC moratorium.
Evictions: This is what Houstonians said about the CDC’s latest move to halt future evictions on renters
HOUSTON – The CDC signed a declaration on Wednesday that prevents future evictions on struggling renters due to the coronavirus pandemic. We asked our followers on our KPRC 2 Facebook page how they reacted towards the CDC’s latest move. If people don’t pay the full amount, the landlords can’t pay their bills, it is as simple as that. If you have to work 2 jobs, or even 3 jobs to make your rent, you should do it. Not paying your bills is not the answer.” - Sylvia Basaldua SamudioHow do you feel about the CDC’s latest move?
Landlord facing hardship without ability to evict tenants for not paying rent
HOUSTON – Alberto Hernandez and his wife Ericka Hernandez are struggling with a tenant, who claims to be unable to pay his rent. However, the tenant stopped paying in April. “We talked to (the tenant), and the thing is that we keep getting promises every week. KPRC 2 talked to the tenant, he claims to be a contractor struggling to make ends meet. He said he is planning on paying about $2,000 by next week.
Harris County commissioners to provide additional $10M in rental relief to struggling families
Harris County commissioners annnounced more help is on the way for people still behind on rent. Harris County resident Kevin Jackson found himself behind rent and in eviction court Wednesday morning. Harris County Commissioners voted to allocate $10 million to help families with rent. We knew we were going to impact roughly 20,000 families but yet over a half a million applied for assistance, said Harris County Pct. Garcia said the county cant help everyone, at least not without backing from Texas governor.
Bar owners forced to closed during the pandemic gets evicted for past due commercial rent
Some businesses have even had to close for good due to the financial strain, said Kelsey Erickson Streufert, vice president of Government Relations and Advocacy for the Texas Restaurant Association. “When our small businesses close they’re no longer paying taxes to the state and so you see this shrinking of the economy,” Erickson Streufert said. “They basically said because I haven’t paid the rent they don’t want to take my rent,” Nicholson said. The Texas Restaurant Association is working to help protect businesses from evictions as part of their Restaurant Survival Plan. “I think one of the hardest parts about this is we don’t know where the bottom is,” Erickson Streufert said.
With the threat of evictions looming, Harris County, Houston recovery czars set up task force
On March 19, Governor Greg Abbott issued a 2-month moratorium on evictions during the pandemic which expired in May. The Texas Supreme Court then ruled that evictions and debt collection may resume in the state. If a landlord has a federally backed mortgage or participates in a federal assistance program then evictions on those properties cannot yet proceed. However, a huge number of residents in Houston and Harris County remain uncertain of whether they will keep the roof over their heads amid the pandemic. Thursday, Harris County Judge Lina Hidalgo said in a press conference that she could not issue another moratorium under the current state orders.
Humble woman claims landlord cut off utilities to harass her after she fell behind on rent
HUMBLE, Texas – An Humble woman says she has been without water for more than two weeks and claims her landlord is the one responsible for cutting it after she fell behind on three to four months of rent. The woman, who didn’t want to be identified, said she began falling behind on rent because her worker’s comp ran out and she’s waiting on disability payments. “When I said I didn’t have (money for rent), he come back out and he took the pipe for the water,” she said. “Unless there’s an emergency or unless there’s construction, this sort of utilities shut off is absolutely illegal,” Karni said. However, Hwang denies pulling any breakers to cut the electricity and says his workers didn’t do that either.
Mayor Turner, Judge Hidalgo ask for eviction hearings to be put on hold until late August
Mayor Sylvester Turner and Harris County Line Hidalgo asked for eviction hearings to be postponed until late August due to the economic fallout of COVID-19. The recommendation was sent to 16 Harris County Justice of the Peace courts Thursday.
Houston Mayor’s tweet sparks optimism to families facing evictions
HOUSTON – A social media post from Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner sparked immediate relief Monday night to families struggling to pay overdue rent and facing eviction. On Wednesday, Mayor Turner said he made the post after having only spoken to one Justice of the Peace, Judge Eric William Carter. Seven, plus the one Mayor Turner spoke to, said they plan to postpone eviction hearings until June. “Just right now we’re preparing for service giving food supplies to families and they come and say ‘hey we need help with rent. On Tuesday, TMO sent a letter to Harris County Judge Lina Hidalgo asking her to extend the moratorium on evictions which expired May 19.
Evictions in Texas can move forward again, so what rights do tenants have?
The Cares Act is the massive federal economic aid package passed in March. If a landlord has a federally backed mortgage or participates in a federal assistance program then evictions on those properties cannot yet proceed. Texas Housers put up a map of 14,000 multi-family units with federally backed mortgages in Texas. “We weren’t able to get data because of privacy concerns on single-family rentals that have federally backed mortgages,” said Middleton. Middleton suggests sending a letter to your landlord to inquire whether the property falls under the CARES Act.
Houston-area mayors collaborate to fight Covid-19
Both cities have increased the number of COVID-19 tests and testing sites, which means more positive indications. -Will both cities be ready if there is a spike in COVID-19 cases? That conversation on this week’s Houston Newsmakers. What stressed tenants need to know. Watch this week’s Houston Newsmakers Sunday morning at 10:30am