SAN ANTONIO — Another looming deadline has renters and landlords nationwide, including here in Texas, wondering what the next steps are once the eviction moratorium expires at the end of July.
“There’s been a wave of panic every time these protections start to run out,” said Christina Rosales, deputy director of Texas Housers.
The federal government has distributed more than $3 billion to Texas and communities across the state.
The Texas Rent Relief program remains in the process of providing more than a billion dollars to renters in need.
The Texas Eviction Diversion program is another option for seeking up to 15 months of rental relief and utility assistance for eligible applicants.
Tenants who’ve been unable to pay their rent because of the pandemic qualify for protections under the CDC moratorium, which President Joe Biden extended from the end of June to July 31.
Rosales applauds San Antonio and Austin city governments in promoting rental relief programs. But she stressed not everyone is taking advantage of the help made available.
“Rental relief exists, the protections exist but tenants don’t know about their rights, they don’t know how to access that relief and even the landlords aren’t certain about the relief that’s available to them,” Rosales said.
Beyond the information gap, is the moratorium’s impact on the court system.
Attorney Joe Hoelscher said the mounting backlog of eviction cases could spell problems for landlords.
“There is a ton of pressure on the federal government as well as the state government to allow landlords to start clearing out tenants who are not paying them. A small-time landlord who is trying to work their way up the property ladder may be looking at losing everything right now,” Hoelscher said.
As for tenants, there’s the prospect of being kicked out once the moratorium ends. But there also remains the possibility of the ban being extended yet again.
“I just urge tenants to be diligent about checking their mail, reading it and not trying to put off one more problem of the pandemic. They just need to be proactive and make sure they’re showing up to court.”
The CDC Eviction Protection Declaration form shields a landlord from being able to immediately evict tenants.
Click here to access the document.