Everyone needs a home. Never more so than during this pandemic.
Past government efforts to keep Americans who can’t pay the rent housed have helped, but too many have not been protected and have lost their homes.
The crisis will become even worse if the eviction moratorium is allowed to expire at the end of this month. The existing eviction moratorium is failing to protect too many families. It requires them to know about the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention eviction moratorium, to download, fill out and file with their landlords paperwork and for eviction courts to enforce the ban. Texas Housers and our volunteers have been monitoring eviction courts in our CourtWatch program. We have seen far too many families evicted who don’t know about their right to file for a moratorium or can’t figure out what they need to do. The solution is to eliminate the unnecessary paperwork hurdles and make the moratorium apply to everyone.
At this writing Texas Housers’ Texas Rent Clock estimates that Texas renters owe about $3.4 billion in back rent. Add in Texas homeowners who are behind on their mortgages and Texas families are well over $5 billion in the hole on housing payments. The National Low Income Housing Coalition estimates the stimulus bill passed last month will send about $1.9 billion to Texas for housing. There is clearly a need for more federal financial assistance if mass displacement is to be prevented.
There are three things our new president must do when he assumes office January 20.
- Extend the eviction moratorium.
- Make the moratorium automatic and applicable to all.
- Secure $100 billion in rent and mortgage relief from Congress.