Communities across Texas continue to grapple with widespread effects of COVID-19. The virus has upended community gatherings, closed schools, restaurants and non-essential stores. While so much is uncertain about how long this crisis will last, it is becoming clear that Texans will feel the economic impact for months, at least.
This is why it is essential that state officials begin planning now for how to stabilize housing for vulnerable Texans impacted by COVID-19.
With the help of several statewide advocates and housing experts Texas Housers has released a white paper with recommendations for statewide action that would help keep low-income renters and homeowners safe and to provide relief as they weather an economic downturn.
Below are basic recommendations. Read the full white paper below.
- The Texas Supreme Court or Governor Abbott should extend the order halting eviction proceedings for one month after the emergency declaration ends.
- During the emergency declaration, Governor Abbott should implement a 60-day “opportunity to cure” period for Texas renters to pay back delinquent rent before they can be evicted for non-payment. No notice to vacate should be issued to tenants until the 60-day period.
- Governor Abbott and the TDHCA should take immediate steps to halt non-essential landlord entry into properties.
- Governor Abbott should prohibit late fees for delinquent rent accrued during the disaster declaration and 60 days after the declaration ends.
- Governor Abbott should quickly approve rent control ordinances passed by cities to give impacted tenants a chance to get back on their feet.
- Governor Abbott should call a special session to provide Texas families impacted by COVID-19 with emergency rent, mortgage, and utility assistance.
- The state should allocate money from the Rainy Day Fund for short-term mortgage assistance for homeowners struggling to catch up on payments.
- Texas should do all it can to prevent a widespread foreclosures crisis and, if foreclosures do occur, make the process fair and just for vulnerable homeowners.
Read “Taking Care Of Texas during COVID-19” belowFINAL_COVID-19_TXHousers