The first of the month means rent is due for millions of Americans, and August was no different. But this month, renters are facing hard decisions as measures adopted to protect them during the pandemic are coming to an end.
On July 24th, the moratorium on evictions at apartments with federally backed mortgages expired. And on July 31st, approximately 25 million Americans stopped receiving $600 weekly in federal unemployment assistance, income that many households depended on to stay sheltered during uncertain times.
State and local moratoriums on evictions are also expiring. In Texas, the statewide moratorium ended in May, and local moratoriums in Austin, Dallas, Houston and San Antonio have either ended or will soon. Combined, these factors forecast a bleak outlook for renters and could give rise to an unprecedented spike in evictions.
In Texas, one model estimates that approximately 48% of renter households face risk of eviction in the absence of future assistance or protective measures. That could result in 1,118,000 evictions over the next four months.
In light of these alarming numbers, we're sharing a list of resources we've compiled for renters struggling during this ongoing crisis.
National Housing Conference COVID-19 Housing Resource Center (Select "Texas" in Drop Down Menu)
Protections for Texas Renters: COVID-19 (University of Texas at Austin School of Law)
Federal Housing Funding Provided to State and Local Governments (University of Texas at Austin School of Law)
CARES Act Tenant Protections (Property Search Provided by BASTA Austin)
COVID-19 Eviction Answer Toolkit (TexasLawHelp.org)
Large metro areas are also committing millions more in financial assistance for renters. San Antonio's $50.3 million fund should last through September, while Houston and Austin are preparing for a second round of rent relief. On the federal level, Congress is considering a second stimulus package that could provide relief to struggling Americans into the fall.
If you are worried about paying your rent, we recommend contacting a HUD-approved housing counselor who can help you understand the options available to you. Visit the Texas Financial Toolbox to find a HUD-approved counseling in your area.
On the House blog posts are meant to provide general information on various housing-related issues, research and programs. We are not liable for any errors or inaccuracies in the information provided by blog sources. Furthermore, this blog is not legal advice and should not be used as a substitute for legal advice from a licensed professional attorney.