May 1st came and went and with it saw another round of outcries from renters and landlords having to deal with unpaid rent and mortgage payments due to economic hardship caused by the pandemic.
The federal government has been dealing out relief checks to some American’s, however it has been largely left up to State governments to help out renters and landlords with their housing issues. Below are some of the things that are happening in the state of Texas to help out it’s renting and multifamily housing population.
Evictions are Banned by Some Counties
According to the Texas Tribune, “Some cities and counties have opted to ban evictions for even longer than the Texas Supreme Court has ordered. Austin has instituted a 60-day grace period, and the Dallas City Council may follow suit. Earlier this month, Dallas County Judge Clay Jenkins halted evictions through May 18.
Harris County has also banned evictions through May 18.
Rent Relief Economic Packages
In Houston, Mayor Sylvester Turner announced a $15 million rent relief program that will use millions in federal COVID-19 relief money to help Houstonians pay their rent.
If approved, the relief package will be managed by the well-known local non-profit, BakerRipley.
Qualifying Houston renters who could not pay their April and/or May rent will get $1,056 of rental assistance per each month of missed April and May rent according to reports.
The program is supported by the Houston Apartment Association and is expected to help 6,818 renting households in the Houston area.
Other cities are following Houston’s example. San Antonio officials announced a $25 million emergency housing assistance program, and as of Thursday, 4,737 applications have been approved.
The Dallas City Council allocated about $13.7 million in federal money to the rent and mortgage assistance programs. Some households will receive up to $1,500 in aid per month for three months, while others may get assistance for two years.
Apartment Associations are Stepping Up
Officials at the Texas Apartment Association, whose 12,000 members include around 7,500 property owners and operators, said they are unsure if there will be a sudden increase in evictions.
“I can’t predict what’s coming five minutes from now, much less five months from now,” said Chris Newton, executive vice president of the Texas Apartment Association. “But I do think it’s important that all the stakeholders are working together because this is where we are all in uncharted waters. We’re going to have to figure out a way to manage this.”
Newton said association members have been advised to work out deals with residents and that evictions are a last resource for them.
As we move towards June 1st and another rent cycle, we are glad to see that programs are being enacted that will help ease the pain of the multifamily housing industry and the renters that depend on it for their housing needs.