A Little Louder Podcast

Buzz Session 7: How did ERA really perform in Texas?

The Department of Treasury launched its Emergency Rental Assistance Program in March of 2021 with Texas receiving $2.4 billion dollars to aid with families and individuals struggling to stay housed during the pandemic. Now nearly 18 months later, Texas Housers has observed the manner in which the State of Texas and 37 localities within have distributed this essential rental assistance and closely reviewed 10 major programs in our latest report ‘Emergency Rental Assistance in Texas: How it went and what happens now.’

On today’s Buzz Session of A Little Louder, we hear from the report’s author, research analyst Erin Hahn, to ask her how the ERA program was seen in different regions of Texas, how the Federal government’s hands off approach had pros and cons, and what should be done to prevent displacement and evictions in the future using lessons from this program.

You can read the report on our blog and keep posted here on Texas Housers’ website for a companion report on evictions in January.

Episode 50: What’s happening in housing at the 2023 Texas Legislature?

It’s a new year and a new session, the 88th to be exact, of the Texas Legislature. Communications Manager Michael Depland sits down with Research Director Ben Martin to break down the housing bills with the biggest potential impacts this session including issues regarding the construction of affordable housing, fighting for tenants’ rights, and much more including how you can get involved and keep up with what’s happening at the Capitol.

Follow housing bills on our website: https://texashousers.org/2023-texas-legislature/

Texas Tenants For Change petition for Renters’ Rights: https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSdYY9Me5XiN7wyt6YPeMa7x5aTlK1YlmcUj9rK7zEXfyrTkmQ/viewform

Episode 51: Housers and Allies at the Capitol (Part 1)

This supersized episode of A Little Louder features two special guests to talk about bills affecting low-income households at the 88th session of the Texas Legislature. Eric Samuels, President and CEO of Texas Homeless Network and Tanya Lavelle, Policy Specialist from Disability Rights Texas each have worked in the Texas Legislature (and beside Texas Housers) for many years and both joined the show to talk about the legislation they are championing that will help low-income households, what they are optimistic about following a down 2021 session, and how everyone can get involved in the legislative process.

Follow housing bills on our website: https://texashousers.org/2023-texas-legislature/

Episode 52: From Eviction Courts to the Capitol (Part 2)

A Little Louder is back to talk about the latest in housing from the 88th Session. Texas Housers has been tracking a number of specific bills at the 2023 Texas Legislature that directly impact those who interface with the eviction process. Jessica Vittorio, managing attorney at the Dallas Eviction Advocacy Center, has a unique perspective as someone who both works in Justice of the Peace courts as well as at the Texas Legislature in order to bring balance and equity for tenants in the eviction process. In this episode, we are talking about proposed legislation that could preempt great strides made locally here in Texas as well as other more positive opportunities to give renters in this state rights which are enjoyed almost everywhere else in our country.

Episode 53: Midway Update at the 88th Session

In this halftime report from the 88th Session of the Texas Legislature, or perhaps a little later in the game, Texas Housers’ research director Ben Martin joins A Little Louder to provide updates on bills regarding eviction preemption, funding for renters, and other tenant protections. Also, Ben and communications manager Michael Depland discuss how renters can make themselves seen as equally as homeowners at the State Capitol.

Episode 54: Highway Expansion and Stop TxDOT I-45 in Houston

On this episode of A Little Louder, Michael Depland is joined by former (and forever) Houser Sophie Dulberg, Ally Smither from Stop TxDOT I-45, and Kendra London from Our Afrikan Family to talk about the history of fighting this expansion, where things currently stand, and what the affected neighborhoods want for their communities.

You can learn more about Stop TxDOT I-45 here, Air Alliance Houston here, and Our Afrikan Family here.

Episode 55: 2023 Texas Legislature Mega Wrap Up And What Comes Next

Communications Director Michael Depland and Research Director Ben Martin team up for one last trip to the Texas Legislature. On this supersized episode, they break down the victories, losses, and in between from what happened at the Capitol this year, and what we have to look for on the horizon.

You can read our full report that details Low-Income Housing at the 2023 Texas Legislature on our blog.

Episode 56: Mass evictions at Cabo San Lucas

On this episode of A Little Louder, host Michael Depland is joined by Texas Housers’ community navigator Taylor Laredo, Litigation Director at Lone Star Legal Aid Dana Karni, and Texas Legal Services Center staff attorney William Ritter to discuss a Houston property that had planned to evict more than 100 households at once, with many not receiving the basic documents such as a notice to vacate in a proper manner or – in some cases – at all. 

We explore what we witnessed while visiting the Cabo San Lucas Apartments, what occured at the eviction hearings, and what we must do to prevent these mass evictions in the future.

Episode 57: Six years past Harvey, recovery troubles remain

Hurricane Harvey hit the Texas Coast six years ago this week, back in 2017. And though certain immediate response efforts were swift, the actual recovery has been a long and frustrating process for far too many. Not only are some residents still awaiting funding to make their homes whole again, numerous others have been classified as helped by the Texas General Land Office and have been left behind altogether.

Texas Housers’ Southeast Texas Regional Director Julia Orduña joins the show to talk about her work with households recovering from Harvey, how the State wants to take money away from recovery to fund a different program they already had proper funding for, and what we are doing to fix this in 2023.

Did you experience Hurricane Harvey? Tell us your recovery story!