- State Data Overview
Across Texas, there is a shortage of rental homes affordable and available to extremely low income households (ELI), whose incomes are at or below the poverty guideline or 30% of their area median income (AMI). Many of these households are severely cost burdened, spending more than half of their income on housing. Severely cost burdened poor households are more likely than other renters to sacrifice other necessities like healthy food and healthcare to pay the rent, and to experience unstable housing situations like evictions.KeyFacts904,814Or22%Renter households that are extremely low income-674,648Shortage of rental homes affordable and available for extremely low income renters$26,500Maximum income for 4-person extremely low income household (state level)$46,889Annual household income needed to afford a two-bedroom rental home at HUD's Fair Market Rent.79%Percent of extremely low income renter households with severe cost burden
- State Level Partners
NLIHC Housing Advocacy Organizer
202.662.1530 x200 | [email protected]State Partners
Texas Association of CDCs
1910 East Martin Luther King Boulevard
Austin, TX 78702
Matt Hull, Executive Director
Texas Homeless Network
3000 S IH-35, Suite 100
Austin, TX 78704
Eric Samuels, President & CEO
1800 West Sixth St
Austin, TX 78703
John Henneberger, Co-Director
Karen Paup, Co-Director
Become an NLIHC State Partner
NLIHC’s affiliation with our state coalition partners is central to our advocacy efforts. Although our partners' involvement varies, they are all housing and homeless advocacy organizations engaged at the state and federal level. Many are traditional coalitions with a range of members; others are local organizations that serve more informally as NLIHC's point of contact.
Inquire about becoming a state partner by contacting [email protected]
- Housing Trust FundHTF Implementation Information
NLIHC continues working with leaders in each state and the District of Columbia who will mobilize advocates in support of HTF allocation plans that benefit ELI renters to the greatest extent possible. Please contact the point person coordinating with NLIHC in your state (below) to find out about the public participation process and how you can be involved. Email Sidney Betancourt with any questions.Current Year HTF Allocation
$47,375,117HTF State Resources
Draft 2020-2024 Consolidated Plan, HTF-specific on page 337 (PDF)
Fifth Amendment to Annual NOFA (PDF)
Third Amendment to NOFA adds more HTF money (PDF)
Multifamily Direct Loan Special Purpose NOFA (PDF)
Log of Applicants (PDF)
Amended 2019 Multifamily Direct Loan NOFA (PDF)
2018 Multifamily Direct Loan NOFA (PDF)
Annual Action Plan, HTF Allocation Plan page 119 (PDF)
Draft HTF Allocation Plan (PDF)
Draft 2017 Annual Action Plan (PDF)
HUD-Approved HTF Allocation Plan (PDF)
March 1, 2017 final HTF Allocation Plan (PDF)
NLIHC Summary of HTF Allocation Plan Draft (PDF)
Draft HTF Allocation Plan issued by Texas Department of Housing and Community Affairs (PDF)
Allocation Plan recommendations from coalition of Texas advocates and service providers, dated April 29, 2016 (PDF)
Texas-specific model Allocation Plan by NLIHC (PDF)
Recording of NLIHC’s Texas-specific Allocation Plan advocacy webinar dated April 22, 2016 (MP4)
Slides from NLIHC Texas-specific Allocation Plan advocacy webinar dated April, 2016 (PDF)State Designated Entity:
Director of Multifamily ProgramsOfficial Directly Involved with HTF Implementation:
Administrator, Multifamily Loan Programs
Multifamily Direct Loan Policy Research Specialist
State Entity Webpage
Texas Department of Housing & Community Affairs
Multifamily Direct Loan Program
State Housing Profile
State Housing Profile: Texas (PDF) (JPG)
Congressional District Housing Profile
Congressional District Profile: Texas (PDF)
Research and Data
National Housing Preservation Database
The National Housing Preservation Database is an address-level inventory of federally assisted rental housing in the United States.
Out of Reach: The High Cost of Housing
Out of Reach documents the gap between renters’ wages and the cost of rental housing. In Texas and Nationwide
The Gap: A Shortage of Affordable Rental Homes
The Gap represents data on the affordable housing supply and housing cost burdens at the national, state, and metropolitan levels. In Texas and Nationwide
- Take Action
- COVID-19 ResourcesCOVID-19 Resources
NLIHC has estimated a need for no less than $100 billion in emergency rental assistance and broke down the need and cost for each state (download Excel spreadsheet).
In response to COVID-19 and its economic fallout, many cities and states are creating or expanding rental assistance programs to support individuals and families impacted by the pandemic, and NLIHC is tracking in-depth information on these programs.
You can use the interactive map and searchable database to find state and local emergency rental assistance programs near you. You can also see the latest news on rental assistance programs through the state-by-state news tracker. Note that this is not a comprehensive list of all rental assistance programs as we continue to update frequently. If you are aware of a program not included in our database, please contact [email protected].
Across the country, homeless service providers are struggling to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic. In order to follow public health guidelines and help ensure people’s safety, some shelters are being forced to reduce services, restrict admittance, or close entirely. The loss of these critical resources puts people experiencing homelessness at even higher risk of illness. Check NLIHC's cumulative list of shelter closings.
Below is a list of shelters that have had to majorly alter services or completely close:
Haven for Hope in San Antonio stopped accepting new clients but continues to provide shelter to about 1,700 people.
Due to city regulations and safety regulations, Corazon Ministries and other organizations have changed and reduced services at some locations.
State and Local News
Evictions are on the rise across North Texas as skyrocketing rents and inflation squeeze family budgets. According to the Eviction Lab, Texas cities are among those in the nation with the highest number of filings in just the last week. Between Dallas, Houston, and Fort Worth, nearly 3,000 evictions have been filed in the past seven days. The North Texas Eviction Project reports that 86,000 evictions have been filed since January 2021 across Dallas, Tarrant, Denton, and Collin counties. More than 1,110 families were impacted by evictions in the past week. Experts warn that evictions will likely continue to increase as rental assistance aid dwindles and inflation makes it more difficult for households to afford rent.
Updated on June 14, 2022
KHOU 11 reports that eviction filings in Texas are climbing at an alarming rate, and the troubling trend does not seem to be slowing down. Eviction filings in Harris County spiked after the federal eviction moratorium was lifted in August 2021 and have surpassed the number of cases filed before the pandemic.
The City of San Antonio is one of the recipients of a second wave of funding from HUD’s Eviction Protection Grant Program. The grant will fund legal services and representation for families facing eviction and help landlords access emergency rental assistance. According to the San Antonio Express-News, San Antonio tied with Legal Aid Services of Oklahoma, Legal Services of New Jersey, Northern Manhattan Improvement Corporation, and West Tennessee Legal Services for the largest award: $2.4 million.
The Texas Tribune reports that eviction filings in the state’s largest cities have reached their highest point since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. Among the 31 cities tracked by the Eviction Lab, Houston, Dallas, Fort Worth, and Austin ranked among the top 10 cities for new eviction filings in early April. Landlords in Houston, Dallas, and Fort Worth together filed more than 37,000 evictions in the first three months of 2022.
The last of Travis County’s eviction protections ended in March as the number of eviction filings jumped to pre-pandemic levels. Landlords have filed over 2,510 evictions so far in 2022 – more than 50% of Travis County’s pandemic-era total in just three months. Travis County closed its rental assistance program in March – just one week after reopening it – due to high demand.
The number of evictions in Austin has spiked since March, reaching pre-pandemic levels.
An eviction clinic was held in Dallas on April 23 to help families facing eviction apply for emergency rental assistance (ERA). Community organizations, including attorneys from North Texas Legal Aid, provided over 100 families with legal advice and help applying for ERA.
The Texas Tribune interviewed tenants from across the state who were approved for federal emergency rental assistance (ERA) but were evicted anyway. To receive federal rent relief funds, landlords had to sign an agreement that prohibits them from evicting tenants for nonpayment of rent during the period covered by the assistance. Yet housing advocates and legal aid providers say they have routinely seen cases in which Texas landlords have accepted thousands of dollars in ERA yet still evicted tenants. The article highlights a survey by the National Housing Law Project, which found that 86% of 119 lawyers around the country reported seeing cases in which landlords either declined to apply for ERA or accepted the money and then evicted their tenants.
Tarrant County will close its rental assistance program on April 30 to ensure there are sufficient funds for eligible applicants. Residents living outside of Arlington and Fort Worth must apply by April 30.
Fort Worth closed the application portal for its Emergency Rental Assistance Program on March 31 because all available funding has been obligated. There is no longer enough funding to cover rental assistance for everyone who has submitted an application.
The Austin Monitor reports that Travis County is seeing an increase in evictions as housing protections expire. Though the county has not seen the “tsunami” of evictions that was feared, Travis County has still seen a 7% increase in evictions compared to pre-pandemic levels.
Updated on May 23, 2022
Texas Housers is tracking the progress of state and local ERA distribution in Texas. Texas Housers’ ERA dashboarddisplays information on program expenditures and recipient characteristics for state and local ERA programs in Texas.
Staff of the Travis County Commissioners brought forth a roughly $1.6 million plan on January 11 that would allow the county to expand its agreements with the Austin Tenants’ Council, Volunteer Legal Services, and Texas Rio Grande Legal Aid for two years. A significant portion of those funds would go towards hiring lawyers to help tenants navigate the eviction process. Commissioners asked staff to provide a side-by-side comparison of potential funding options, including from the American Rescue Plan or the general fund.
Updated on January 31, 2022
Marketplace reports officials in Montgomery County, Texas, voted in late November to return $7 million in federal emergency rental assistance (ERA) funds – nearly one-third of the county’s allocation. The county had spent less than 2% of its allocation. “We are seeing some states and localities suggest or outright refuse to accept additional funds, saying there is no remaining need when there clearly is,” said NLIHC President and CEO Diane Yentel.
A Travis County justice of the peace extended eviction protections for renters, providing more time for them to seek rental assistance. Precinct 5 Justice of the Peace Nick Chu’s new order will halt eviction trials for nonpayment of rent for 30 days to allow Travis County renters to apply for rental assistance, consult a pro bono attorney through a justice of the peace court program, and negotiate a settlement.
Lone Star Legal Aid says eviction cases in Harris County are rising. Texas Rent Relief applications are closed, with the website reporting 95% of nearly $2 billion in federal rental assistance has been paid out. The Houston-Harris County Emergency Rental Assistance Program says it has limited funds remaining.
Updated on January 30, 2022
The Houston Chronicle editorial board argues Montgomery County Commissioners should not have voted to return $7 million in unspent emergency rental assistance (ERA) funds to the federal government when there remains a significant need for ERA in the county.
Updated on December 13, 2021
Eviction filings are on the rise across Texas after the federal eviction moratorium ended and as rental assistance funds are running out. The Texas Rent Relief Program stopped taking applications, and tenants across the state say their landlords have refused rental assistance funds. Housing advocates say a new law will make evictions even more traumatic for tenants forced from their homes. The legislation (HB900) eliminates all landlord liability for destroying tenants’ possessions during evictions.
The Fort Worth Star-Telegram reports Tarrant County made changes to its rental assistance program to align with Treasury Department guidance on allowing applicants to self-attest if they cannot provide certain documents. Applicants will still need a photo ID and the landlord will still be required to provide a copy of the lease and statement of the amount of back rent owed. Since the Texas Rent Relief Program stopped accepting new applications, the responsibility of keeping tenants housed falls solely on localities.
Updated on November 22, 2021
The Texas Rent Relief Program closed its application portal on November 5 because the program has spent most of the $1.9 billion in emergency rental assistance (ERA) funding. The program had approved more than $1.2 billion to help more than 223,000 households, but it will run out of money soon. While some local governments still have available aid, those funds may soon run out.
Updated on November 15, 2021
Axios Dallas reports eviction filings have been on the rise in North Texas after the end of COVID-19 eviction moratoriums. While more than 500,000 Texans behind on rent report they may be evicted within the next two months, Texas Republicans have proposed using federal COVID-19 aid to send $525 stimulus checks to homeowners. Renters, who make up 38% of Texas households, would not receive the stimulus payments.
Updated on November 8, 2021
Austin Mayor Steve Adler and Travis County Judge Andy Brown announced on October 14 they have extended their eviction protections through December 31, 2021. The orders were set to expire on October 15. The Austin City Council approved an additional $6.6 million in rental assistance. Learn about rental assistance programs in Travis County and Austin.
Evictions are beginning to trend up throughout Harris County after the federal eviction moratorium ended. More than 1,200 cases were filed the week of September 20, which was the highest weekly number since before the pandemic.
The San Antonio Housing Authority (SAHA) announced on October 18 it was extending the eviction moratorium for more than 10,000 residents in its public or mixed-income housing communities through March 1, 2022. SAHA has called on the City of San Antonio and Bexar County to designate funding from the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) to help clear approximately $3 million in debt currently owed by more than 2,700 SAHA residents.
Updated on October 25, 2021
Evictions in Dallas have increased since the federal eviction moratorium was overturned. While federal rental assistance has helped keep many tenants in their homes, advocates fear a wave of evictions may occur when rental aid runs out.
Updated on October 19, 2021
The Texas Supreme Court extended the Texas Eviction Diversion Program through November and expanded renters’ ability to protect their eviction records. The court’s emergency order keeps eviction records of tenants who have pending applications for rental assistance confidential.
Updated on October 13, 2021
According to the Austin Monitor, Travis County will employ two efforts encouraged by the Treasury Department to accelerate the distribution of emergency rental assistance: categorical eligibility and bulk payments.
Updated on October 5, 2021
The Travis County Commissioners Court voted on September 14 to allocate $110 million in American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) Coronavirus State and Local Fiscal Recovery Funds to address housing and homelessness. The ARPA dollars are expected to fund over 2,000 new affordable housing units.
The Tyler Morning Telegraph reports that as COVID-19 cases rise across Texas, evictions in Smith County recently resumed. The article also notes that Governor Greg Abbott’s statewide anti-encampment law is now in effect. HB1925 bans encampments in all public areas; individuals found in violation of the law would be charged with a Class C misdemeanor and a fine of up to $500. Learn more about HB1925 here.
In partnership with the City of Donna, Hidalgo County offered in-person assistance to help tenants apply for the county’s rent relief program on Tuesday, September 14. To apply for aid, tenants can also call 1-800-555-5555 or visit this website.
Updated on September 21, 2021
Texas Housers released its second report on Texas ERA programs, evaluating how funds have been disbursed through July 2021.
Updated on September 14, 2021
Spectrum News reports Texans are still receiving eviction notices despite the new eviction moratorium. Eviction Lab data show evictions are much higher in Texas cities without local eviction protections than those that have moratoriums in place. While Austin does have stricter renter protections, some tenants are still getting eviction notices.
January Advisors reports 2,432 households in Harris County lost their protections when the initial CDC eviction moratorium expired on July 31. Of those, 1,423 households may have faced imminent eviction, and 1,009 delayed cases would have appeared on the docket in the coming weeks. Note: The CDC issued a new eviction moratorium on August 3.
Updated on August 30, 2021
The Texas Supreme Court on July 19 released a new emergency order extending the state’s voluntary eviction diversion program through October 1. The Texas Eviction Diversion Program, which creates an alternative to evictions when both tenants and landlords agree to participate, was set to expire on July 27.
Houston Public Media reports thousands of evictions filed in Houston that have been paused due to the federal eviction moratorium could resume when the moratorium expires at the end of July. Houstonians, unlike renters in New York, Los Angeles, Austin, and other states and localities that have enacted their own protections, will have no protections in place when the CDC eviction moratorium expires.
Updated on July 26, 2021
Texas Housers released a report evaluating the effectiveness of the Emergency Rental Assistance Program in Texas. The report finds there is significant room for improvement in ERA rollout in Texas.
Updated on July 22, 2021
Texas Housers’ Houston Eviction Solidarity Network reports on findings from the observational data it has collected on Harris County eviction courts over the past seven months. Texas Housers outlines several solutions policymakers, administrators, and court officials should adopt to better protect renters.
Updated on July 15, 2021
Marketplace reports that some Houston landlords refuse to participate in rent relief programs, noting that “some landlords would rather evict than deal with delays and red tape.”
Updated on June 14, 2021
Dallas Evictions 2020, a group of pro bono lawyers providing eviction assistance during the pandemic, has helped more than 7,000 tenants avoid eviction. Through donations, the group has helped families pay back rent and hire legal representation.
Lone Star Legal Aid has a fact sheet about accessing COVID-19 FEMA Funeral Benefits. Residents can call Lone Star Legal Aid’s hotline for more information: 1-800-733-8394.
Updated on June 4, 2021
Houston Public Media reports that landlords filed more than 2,000 evictions in Houston and judges continued hearing thousands of cases during a six-week period when Mayor Sylvester Turner claimed evictions were on hold.
The Associated Press shares how a Dallas lawyer, Mark Melton, has taken up a mission to help people facing eviction during the pandemic. Melton has recruited over 175 attorneys who have assisted more than 6,000 people, helping renters under eviction protections and how to access rental assistance. Despite the federal eviction moratorium, landlords continue to evict tenants, and many renters show up in court without legal representation or unaware of their rights. “Without representation, the majority of tenants lose their cases and ultimately are evicted,” said NLIHC President and CEO Diane Yentel.
Updated on May 3, 2021
The Texas Department of Housing and Community Affairs (TDHCA) announced it has made changes to the Texas Rent Relief (TRR) program to streamline the application process. The program announced that subsidized tenants are now eligible for assistance and documentation of past-due rent and unemployment benefits is no longer required. A detailed summary of the program changes is available here.
A Texas House of Representatives Committee on Urban Affairs’ report on the Texas Rent Relief Program outlines several significant problems with the more than $1 billion rent relief program. Out of 72,000 completed actions, only 250 people had actually received rental assistance by the end of March. The Texas Tribune, Dallas Morning News, and Houston Chronicle cover the Texas House committee’s findings.
Texas Housers drafted a brief outline on the issues with Texas’ Rent Relief Program and the steps Texas leadership can take to address these problems. Out of nearly 72,000 applications, Texas’ Rent Relief Program has only successfully assisted to 250 people.
Tarrant County homeless agencies anticipate that homelessness will increase when the federal eviction moratorium is lifted.
Updated on April 28, 2021
NPR reports on the Texas state court system’s decision to no longer enforce the federal eviction moratorium, noting that this decision could allow landlords to proceed with tens of thousands of eviction cases that have been on hold.
Houston Public Media reported that housing courts in Texas are no longer authorized to halt evictions in compliance with the federal eviction moratorium after the Texas Supreme Court failed to extend statewide eviction protections. After the 34th emergency order lapsed, Texas judges were advised to stop enforcing the CDC eviction moratorium. The Texas Justice Court Training Center wrote that the CDC declaration “is not a matter that a justice court can or should enforce in the absence of authority from the Texas Supreme Court,” essentially telling judges to disregard the declaration. Read Texas Housers’ statement on the Texas Supreme Court’s failure to extend its 34th emergency order.
Updated on April 17, 2021
Austin Mayor Steve Adler and Travis County Judge Andy Brown on March 30 issued orders extending eviction moratoriums in the city and county through May 1. Previously, those protections were set to expire on April 1. Earlier in March, Austin opened applications for a revamped rental assistance program. Eviction filings in Travis County continue to increase.
The Texas Rent Relief Program has launched a new application system, making it easier to complete and submit an application, add missing documentation, and track the status of payment requests. Access the application at https://texasrentrelief.com/.
TexasMonthly reports that Harris County Justice of the Peace Lincoln Goodwin’s court has one of the highest eviction caseloads in the country. In his court, only 15% of tenants challenging their evictions have claimed protection under the CDC order, and lawyers with Lone Star Legal Aid have seen landlords circumvent the CDC order.
Updated on March 31, 2021
The Texas Tribune reports on the Federal District Court of Eastern Texas ruling that the CDC eviction moratorium is unconstitutional. The article highlights concerns from NLIHC President and CEO Diane Yentel and Texas Housers Deputy Director Christina Rosales. Rosales hopes the CDC will appeal the ruling to avoid a housing crisis and keep people safely housed amid the ongoing pandemic.
Chief Justice of the Texas Supreme Court Nathan Hecht penned an op-ed in the Austin American-Statesman about the need to prioritize funding for civil legal aid. The Texas Supreme Court has asked the Texas Legislature to provide an additional $3 million per year for basic civil legal services to help Texans impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Texas Department of Housing and Community Affairs (TDHCA), in partnership with the Office of Court Administration, will host a Texas Eviction Diversion Program (TEDP) webinar on Wednesday, March 10 at 1 pm CT. The webinar is designed to provide legal aid organizations, legal service providers, and other interested parties an overview of the program’s requirements and process.
Updated on March 08, 2021
Houston Public Media reports that more than 13,000 evictions have been filed since the CDC eviction moratorium went into effect, and more than 24,000 evictions have been filed in the Houston area since the start of the pandemic. According to a new report from January Advisors, there is a significant gap in how Harris County judges are applying the federal order, including whether or not judges choose to tell renters about their rights under the CDC moratorium.
Texas Housers explains how tenants can apply for assistance from the Texas Rent Relief Program.
Updated on March 01, 2021
Amid the ongoing pandemic, the federal eviction moratorium’s shortcomings are coming into focus. The CDC moratorium does not protect holdover tenants who overstay their leases, leaving some North Texas families with nowhere to go when their leases end. Advocates, including Sandy Rollins of the Texas Tenants’ Union, are calling for local, state, and federal lawmakers to enact broader eviction moratoriums.
The Houston City Council voted on February 17 to approve a grace period ordinance that would extend the amount of time renters have to resolve payment issues before a landlord can pursue an eviction to March 31. Without the grace period ordinance, Texas tenants have only three days to resolve a missed payment before landlords can file an eviction. Jen Rice, a reporter at Houston Public Media, tweeted about the shortcomings of the ordinance.
Updated on February 22, 2021
Texas Governor Greg Abbott on February 9 announced that the Texas Department of Housing and Community Affairs (TDHCA) has launched the Texas Rent Relief Program – the first statewide rent and utility assistance program. TDHCA will begin accepting applications for the $1 billion program on Monday, February 15.
Houston officials are planning to pursue a “grace period” ordinance that would block evictions in the city through the end of March. Mayor Sylvester Turner said he wants to ensure renters are protected while the city and county work to develop a $159 million rent relief program.
Updated on February 17, 2021
The Texas Tribune reports that a statewide $1.3 billion rental assistance program that could help tenants with up to 15 months of rent will launch in two weeks. According to the Texas Department of Housing and Community Affairs (TDHCA), the program should serve around 80,000 households. TDHCA will provide updates on applying for assistance through their website and mailing list.
The Austin City Council voted on January 27 to purchase one hotel and convert it into 60 units of permanent supportive housing for individuals experiencing homelessness. The city will use funds diverted from its police budget to provide wraparound services for individuals who will reside at the hotel. Austin city residents protested outside of the Candlewood Suites hotel, which the city will purchase to provide temporary housing for individuals who are homeless.
Updated on February 08, 2021
The Texas Tribune reports that as Austin officials and unsheltered residents are advocating for better housing solutions, Governor Greg Abbott is working on a legislative ban on encampments. A state-sanctioned encampment in Austin is full and cannot accept new residents. Austin city councilmembers are considering buying two hotels that would house 150 individuals experiencing homelessness.
With federal emergency rental assistance funds on the way, Dallas officials are preparing to distribute $40 million in rental assistance to the people who need it most.
Updated on February 01, 2021
NLIHC President and CEO Diane Yentel spoke to FOX26 Houston about the shortcomings of the federal eviction moratorium. Diane also discussed the $25 billion emergency rental assistance program passed by Congress in December and President Biden’s COVID relief proposal that includes additional emergency rental assistance funds
Updated on January 25, 2021
Houston housing advocates agree that the city must consider two critical issues when distributing the federal emergency rental assistance funds recently enacted in the COVID-19 relief bill: speed and reaching households most in need.
The Dallas City Council approved the purchase of two hotels to convert into emergency shelters for people experiencing homelessness using $10 million in federal Coronavirus Relief Funds. The hotels initially will be used to house individuals experiencing homelessness who contract or are affected by COVID-19, but eventually they will be used as rapid rehousing facilities when the pandemic has subsided.
The University Star examines Texas’ eviction process, highlighting that the state’s laws favor landlords over tenants. The article discusses the movement for the right to legal counsel and the urgent need for emergency rental assistance.
Updated on January 15, 2021
Dallas County health officials are investigating a coronavirus outbreak at a Stemmons Corridor homeless shelter after a shelter employee died from COVID-19 complications. Five employees and 10 residents at Union Gospel Mission Dallas tested positive for the virus as of November 18.
Updated on December 9, 2020
At a city-hosted panel on November 19 to discuss homelessness outreach efforts, Austin homeless advocates shared concerns about the impending eviction crisis and called for more investments in affordable housing
Updated on November 30, 2020
Join Texas Housers’ next COVID-19 response call on November 17 at 1:30 pm ET. This month’s session will address rent relief. The panelists, including NLIHC Senior Research Analyst Rebecca Yae, will discuss what is and is not working with COVID-19 rent relief programs. RSVP for the Facebook Live event here.
Updated on November 17, 2020
Austin Monthly discusses Austin’s looming eviction crisis as the COVID-19 pandemic rages on and residents increasingly struggle to afford food and rent.
Updated on November 10, 2020
DSA North Texas Housing Justice is a political organization working to ensure tenants understand their rights when it comes to eviction laws. DSA works with a group of citizens called “Dallas Stops Evictions” that has been canvassing apartment complexes distributing information on tenants' rights and the CDC eviction moratorium.
The city of Austin has distributed only $1.3 million of approximately $13 million available for tenants struggling to pay rent due to the COVID-19 pandemic. While approximately 5,600 people have applied for assistance, as of October 22, Austin had paid rent for 1,138 households. Administrative challenges and application barriers slow the distribution of much-needed rental assistance.
Updated on November 4, 2020
During the past two weeks, organizers with Building and Strengthening Tenant Action (BASTA) have placed 10,000 plastic signs on the doors of renters living in buildings where landlords have filed evictions in the past several months. The door hangers, translated in English and Spanish, direct tenants to a website where they can learn about tenants’ rights and current eviction protections.
Spectrum News spoke with Willie Hodge, a Dallas resident who was evicted 15 years ago for nonpayment of rent, who shared about the lasting mental health effects eviction has had on his life.
Updated on October 26, 2020
Dallas News reports homeless encampments have increased across the city amid the pandemic. The Dallas City Council has earmarked more money for cleanups, but advocates and officials are struggling to find permanent housing solutions for unsheltered individuals.
Updated on October 19, 2020
The city of Houston and Harris County are each investing $5 million toward the new COVID-19 Homeless Respite and Rehabilitation Center to address the health and housing needs of individuals who are homeless and living with mental illness.
Updated on October 14, 2020
Governor Greg Abbott on September 25 announced the allocation of over $171 million in CARES Act funding for rental assistance and the newly created Texas Eviction Diversion Program.
Updated on October 5, 2020
Houston Public Media reports Houston-area housing court judges are moving forward with evictions despite the heavy flooding from Tropical Storm Beta, the pandemic, and a federal eviction moratorium.
The Texas Supreme Court on September 17 issued an emergency order establishing clearer procedures for how the CDC declaration will be considered in eviction proceedings. Among other provisions, the Supreme Court order requires landlords, in the beginning of the eviction process, to provide tenants a copy of the CDC declaration. Texas Housers has been calling attention to the inconsistent enforcement of the CDC eviction moratorium by Texas judges.
A letter to the editor in the Fort Worth Star-Telegram explains why the CDC eviction moratorium will not solve the looming rental crisis and urges Congress to immediately enact legislation that includes $100 billion in emergency rental assistance.
Updated on September 29, 2020
Houston Public Media reviewed approximately 100 cases heard in Harris County during the first week of the CDC eviction moratorium and found that only one of those cases was halted by the federal order.
An op-ed in the Brownwood Bulletin outlines why the city of Austin cannot alone protect renters from eviction. Federal rent relief is needed to prevent a rise in homelessness when the CDC moratorium expires. The authors urge Austinites to call their senators and tell them to pass the HEROES Act, which includes $100 billion in rental assistance and other critical housing provisions and protections.
Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner announced on September 11 that the city would pull out of a joint COVID-19 housing stability task force and instead rely on the City Council Committee on Housing and Community Affairs to continue its work. News of the task force’s dissolution had not been shared with its members, who were caught off guard by the announcement.
Updated on September 22, 2020
ABC13 shares the story of a Houston couple with seven children who are being forced to leave their homes one day before school starts.
The Austin Monitor released an article informing Central Texas renters about the CDC eviction moratorium.
Updated on September 15, 2020
An episode of TPR’s “The Source” addresses questions about the CDC’s nationwide eviction ban and discusses systemic inequities in housing.
Texas Housers released an article on the CDC’s eviction moratorium, highlighting its shortcomings and the need for robust rental relief.
The Texas Tribune reports that nearly 600,000 Texans will lose access to a state program that prevents electricity shut-offs on October 1.
Updated on September 10, 2020
The Texas Tribune reports that since Governor Greg Abbott declared a public health disaster in March, more than 2,600 evictions have been filed in the Harris County justice of the peace precinct. Evictions are disproportionately impacting neighborhoods with large percentages of low-income immigrant families significantly impacted by unemployment.
Updated on September 2, 2020.
The Courier reports on the millions of renters at risk of eviction in the coming months, including a 61-year-old Dallas resident with a disability who is facing eviction. According to Stout research, without federal intervention, nearly half of renters in Texas are at risk of eviction by the end of the year.
Harris County initially approved $15 million for its rent relief program but has since increased the amount of aid to $25 million due to the overwhelming need for assistance. The city of Houston and Harris County’s rent relief programs are being combined into one portal to streamline the application process. Landlord enrollment began on August 17, and tenant applications will open for a 7-day period beginning August 24.
According to numerous reports, nearly 40% of Houstonians could not pay their rent or mortgage by July 30.
Updated on August 25, 2020.
The Houston Chronicle editorial board urges Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner to reconsider his opposition to an eviction grace period ordinance. The ordinance, supported by the city-county Housing Stability Task Force, would provide tenants additional time to pay their rent. Similar ordinances have been adopted in other large Texas City, but Mayor Turner has stated that a grace period would merely delay and deepen renters’ financial obligation.
Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton advised on August 7 that local Texas governments' attempts to delay evictions for renters grappling with the COVID-19 recession amounted to rewriting state law — something they can't do, he said in nonbinding legal guidance. Advocates are concerned. “A lot of tenants are facing eviction in Texas by zero fault of their own and putting protections that are normal in almost every other state should be allowed in this pandemic,” said Sandy Rollins, executive director of the housing advocacy group Texas Tenants Union.
Updated on August 19, 2020.
Texas Housers interviewed local officials, administrators, and experts in nine major cities and counties across Texas to learn about how local governments have designed and implemented rental assistance programs. The organization released a white paper identifying the successes and failures in rental relief disbursement.
Lone Star Legal Aid, which has seen an increase in people applying for assistance amid the pandemic, encourages tenants to seek help before evictions are filed. The Waco Housing Authority also suggests that tenants work with them on a repayment agreement to prevent evictions from being filed.
Updated on August 11, 2020.
On the day after the federal eviction moratorium expired, Lone Star Legal Aid received 1,358 applications for eviction assistance – a 36% increase from the number of applications received on the same day last year.
Hurricane Hanna weakened to a tropical depression after making landfall as a hurricane along the Texas Gulf Coast on Saturday evening. It brought heavy rains and threats of flooding to parts of Texas already reeling from COVID-19. “Any hurricane is an enormous challenge,” said Governor Greg Abbott. “This challenge is complicated and made even more severe, seeing that it is sweeping through an area that is the most challenged area in the state for COVID-19.”
The Dallas Observer reports that renters in North Texas fear evictions now that the federal eviction moratorium has expired.
Housing advocates in Houston have urged Mayor Sylvester Turner to enact an eviction grace period, but he refuses to put the ordinance on the city council agenda. The potential grace period ordinance, drafted by the city-county Housing Stability Task Force, would significantly slow Texas’ speedy eviction process by giving tenants facing eviction more time to work with their landlords and pay their back rent. Mayor Turner has reported being more focused on advocating for rental relief in the next congressional COVID-19 relief package.
Updated on August 4, 2020.
The Wall Street Journal reported that Houston is expected to suffer significantly more evictions than most major cities. This is because Houston has stopped providing protections at the local level after Texas’ eviction moratorium expired in May. Tenant advocates and housing attorneys expect evictions could soon surpass historical averages. The rise in evictions coincides with surging coronavirus cases.
The Texas Tribune examined how lack of access to federal assistance and fear of the legal system have prompted many undocumented immigrations to self-evict. While undocumented tenants have the same rights as anyone else during the eviction process, housing attorneys and immigration advocates say that they are often hesitant to exercise these rights.
The Texas Homeless Network is urging Congress to intervene to prevent low-income renters from being evicted and forced into homelessness. Without emergency rental assistance and an extended and expanded eviction moratorium, the number of people experiencing homelessness in Texas will rise to an estimated 40,000.
The Houston Chronicle highlighted the story of a Houston family that was recently evicted alongside several of their neighbors in the apartment complex.
Updated on July 28, 2020.
Evictions in Harris County continue to rise, with 2,300 eviction cases filed in Harris County just in the past month. Tenants facing eviction in the county have fewer protections than tenants in other cities across the country.
Updated on July 20, 2020.
Megan Kimble, a senior editor of the Texas Observer, joined CBS News to discuss how landlords are filing hundreds of evictions in violation of the CARES Act.
While there is significant concern about a rise in homelessness due to COVID-19, Reform Austin examines how organizations and service providers across Texas have worked to protect people experiencing homelessness amid the pandemic. “I think our homeless crisis response systems have done an amazing job of responding,” said Eric Samuels, CEO of the Texas Homeless Network, an NLIHC state partner.
Harris County and the city of Houston launched on June 30 a $56 million initiative to address homelessness. The Community-wide COVID-19 Housing Program (CCHP) aims to find permanent housing for 5,000 people experiencing homelessness over the next two years to limit the spread of the virus. Houston dedicated $29 million and Harris County allocated $18 million to the initiative using federal funding allocated through the CARES Act. Learn more about the CCHP.
Texas Housers, an NLIHC state partner, released a report that found that Texas rent relief programs are failing to target low-income residents, the population most susceptible to evictions and homelessness.
The Texas Tribune reports that legal groups are expanding their services and establishing special hotlines to assist tenants who are beginning to receive eviction notices. Texas’ legal system is landlord-friendly, meaning that tenants impacted by COVID-19 will have little legal defense.
Updated on July 7, 2020.
Houston is now the largest city in the United States where evictions can resume. The Texas Supreme Court ordered that evictions and debt collection proceedings could resume on May 19, and the number of evictions is expected to skyrocket.
Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner identified homeless shelters as a major hotspot for the coronavirus in his city, and Austin Mayor Steve Adler mentioned that the city plans to vote on acquiring another motel to house people experiencing homelessness during the pandemic.
The Harris County Commissioners Court approved a $30 million COVID-19 rental relief fund. Funds from the Harris County COVID-19 Relief Fund is expected to help between 20,000 to 25,000 families. The program will be managed by the Greater Houston Community Foundation.
More than 1,100 new eviction petitions have been filed in North Texas since March 16. While Texas’ statewide moratorium on evictions began in March, landlords were still able to submit filings for eviction cases.
Housing advocates are concerned that with more than 1.9 million Texans filing for unemployment relief in the past two months, eliminating eviction protections could lead to a sharp increase in homelessness. Texas’ shortage of affordable housing and the fact that renters have been disproportionately impacted by the economic fallout of the pandemic suggest that lifting the eviction moratoriums will adversely impact thousands of households.
The Texas Supreme Court ordered that eviction proceedings can resume on May 26. This does not apply to tenants who are protected through the federal CARES Act, including renters in homes covered by federally backed mortgages.
hristina Rosales of Texas Housers, an NLIHC state partner, expressed concern about low-income Texans and the rise in homelessness that may occur as a result of the coronavirus.
Texas Housers, NLIHC state partners and DHRC partners, drafted a white paper urging local officials to adopt policies and practices that provide resources for low-income renters and prioritize keeping Texans stably housed. Learn more here.
Fort Worth allocated $15.4 million in CARES Act funds to housing-related activities, including funds from the Community Services Block Grant, the Coronavirus Relief Fund, the Community Development Block Grant, the Emergency Solutions Grant, and Housing Opportunities for Persons with AIDS. The Fort Worth Neighborhood Services Department began accepting applications for several programs designed to help residents with housing and other household expenses, including emergency rental assistance.
The San Antonio Housing Authority (SAHA) announced that it will contribute $350,000 to the city’s COVID-19 Emergency Assistance Program. SAHA also announced a 25% rent forgiveness program for the month of June.
Rental assistance programs in Texas are unable to meet the overwhelming demand for financial assistance needed to prevent a wave of evictions and homelessness. Most Texas cities are not offering this support, and for the cities that do, the money is running out quickly.
The Houston City Council approved a proposal introduced by Mayor Sylvester Turner to allocate $15 million for emergency rental assistance. The program, which will use federal relief funding, will be managed by a local nonprofit and is anticipated to help at least 6,818 Houston residents.
Housing advocates in Texas are concerned about a potential surge of evictions and homelessness after the state moratorium on evictions are lifted. While the statewide moratorium halts trials, hearings, and eviction procedures, it does not suspend payments or late fees.
The city of Dallas began accepting applications for rental and mortgage assistance through an online portal on May 4. Due to high volume, however, many people reported difficulties in accessing the online rental and mortgage assistance website.
Chow Train, a food truck and nonprofit founded in 2011, has cooked nearly 45,000 meals for people experiencing homelessness in San Antonio.
A new hotline was established to connect Houston residents experiencing homelessness with free COVID-19 testing provided through Healthcare for the Homeless Houston.
Forty-one residents of the Dallas Life shelter in the Cedars tested positive for the coronavirus, and another 150 were likely exposed and are in quarantine. In wake of this outbreak, Dallas shelters are instituting more forceful protective measures.
The University of Texas School of Law created a website that tracks local and state housing policy responses in Texas. The website is being updated frequently and will include policy best practices to increase Texans’ housing stability.
The Houston Health Department is expanding COVID-19 testing to vulnerable communities through partnerships with community organizations and new mobile testing units.
The Texas Supreme Court extended the moratorium on eviction procedures until May 18. Texas Housers, an NLIHC state partner, expressed concerns about the long-term safety of low-income Texans, highlighting the need for emergency rental assistance when the moratorium is lifted and back-rent is due.
The Austin City Council voted to accept $2.35 million from the Department of Housing and Urban Development to help people experiencing homelessness or at risk of becoming homeless during the coronavirus pandemic. Council members also accepted a $272,065 Coronavirus Relief grant for Housing Opportunities for People with Aids.
City, county, nonprofit, and faith-based partners in Austin created “Eating Apart Together,” a coordinated food delivery system for people experiencing homelessness in Austin. The city also established a contract to provide 1,000 refrigerated ready-to-eat meals per day for people experiencing homelessness.
DHRC-member Texas Housers called on Texas Governor Greg Abbott to take additional measures to ensure Texans keep their homes amid the COVID-19 pandemic. The governor recently unlocked $11 million in tenant assistance.
Workers at the Austin Resource Center for the Homeless are wearing bandannas to protect against COVID-19.
In San Antonio, here are nearly 3,000 individuals who are homeless, and the COVID crisis is causing that number to quickly increase. San Antonio Mayor Ron Nirenberg is working to provide appropriate social distancing options and housing to support the homeless population.
The city of Amarillo is working to protect people experiencing homelessness during the pandemic by moving people out of shelters and into non-congregate settings. The Salvation Army is currently the primary short-term shelter in Amarillo, but it has become overcrowded, increasing the risk of infection. Amarillo’s Director of Community Development reported that the city has moved approximately 25 families and some individuals out of the Salvation Army shelter and into apartments.
The Austin City Council unanimously approved almost $24 million in rental assistance. Last month, city leaders allocated $1.2 million for emergency rental assistance.
Updated on June 12, 2020.
The Bryan City Council allocated an additional $148,459 from the CARES Act to provide direct relief services to low- and moderate-income households. The city also reallocated $75,000 in Home Investment Partnership Program funds to the Tenant-Based Rental Assistance program to help tenants impacted by the pandemic.
Updated on June 12, 2020.
The Dallas City Council approved on June 24 an additional $10 million in federal funds to expand its rental and mortgage assistance program. The council also approved a $7.1 million program to help people experiencing homelessness find permanent housing.
The Dallas Observer reported that 44% of the $13.7 million that Dallas has distributed through its COVID-19 rental assistance program has gone to residents in some of the city’s wealthiest districts.
Updated on June 29, 2020.
The San Antonio City Council approved a $191 million COVID-19 recovery plan that will allocate $50.5 million to increase housing security, including rental assistance, fair housing counseling, homeless shelters, domestic violence prevention, and other strategies. Funding will stem from $96.3 million of federal funding, primarily through the Coronavirus Relief Fund (CRF), and $94.6 million from the city’s general fund.
Updated on June 12, 2020.
The city of Waco and the Economic Opportunities Advancement Corporation have established a rental assistance program that will provide families impacted by COVID-19 with up to three months of rent or mortgage payments.
Updated on June 12, 2020.
Since Harris County’s ban on evictions ended on May 18, Harris County judges have awarded $637,500 in judgments to landlords in 387 cases filed during the eviction ban. An additional 2,188 hearings are scheduled in the coming weeks.
According to Texas Housers, Harris County has proceeded with eviction hearings behind closed doors during the pandemic. While a handful of cities and counties in Texas issued eviction protections, Harris County did not issue a long-term eviction moratorium.
Of the 3,652 evictions filed in Harris County between March 27 and June 22, at least 368 of those – approximately 10% – appear to be in violation of the CARES Act.
Updated on June 29, 2020.
Harris County distributed the first half of its $30 million Coronavirus Relief Fund dollars to 44 community-based organizations. These organizations will disperse the money to provide housing, utility, food, and childcare assistance to Harris County residents.
Updated on June 22, 2020.
Houston became the largest American city to resume evictions when it did not extend its local moratorium after Texas lifted the statewide moratorium last month. Housing advocates in Houston and across the state are concerned about an increase in evictions and homelessness. Lone Star Legal Aid, a nonprofit that advocates for low-income Texans, has received an influx of calls for assistance from tenants facing eviction or other issues with their landlord, including cut-off utilities.
Updated on June 22, 2020.
State Level Guidance
The Texas Health and Human Services publishes updated communications and media tools for spreading awareness about COVID-19 in Texas. Resources are available in both English and Spanish and are easily shareable.
Updated on June 12, 2020.
Federal, state, and local eviction moratoriums are rapidly expiring and the CARES Act supplemental unemployment benefits will end soon; at that time, millions of low-income renters will be at risk of losing their homes. The NLIHC estimates at least $100 billion in emergency rental assistance is needed to keep low-income renters stably housed during and after the pandemic. This tracker links to news reports of the growing evictions crisis in various cities and states. Check NLIHC's cumulative list of eviction updates.
Hilda Ramírez says she’s never missed paying rent. Even when the pandemic started and she couldn’t work for two months in the kitchen of a Houston restaurant, she managed to cobble together enough money from her siblings to pay for her two-bedroom apartment in Gulfton. Last week, Ramírez got a letter from the management company telling her that she owed more than $2,000, including late fees, and that she had to leave. On Thursday, staff from the building came to her apartment. In Harris County’s Precinct 5, about 100 people last week protested the evictions in the court of Justice of the Peace Russ Ridgway, who is one of two judges for the judicial district. Ridgway’s court has more evictions scheduled and handles cases for immigrant neighborhoods like Gulfton. According to numerous reports, nearly 40% of Houstonians could not pay their rent or mortgage by July 30. By June, Harris County began eviction proceedings for nearly $29 million worth of unpaid rent. Justices of the Peace enforce eviction proceedings in Harris County, and according to local news reports, offices have been accepting filings, processing them, and granting the evictions. According to January Advisors’ Harris County, TX Eviction Tracker, from June 1-August 18, there have been 5,454 eviction cases filed for $10,453,562 worth of unpaid rent. Only 3.14% of the defendants were assisted by attorneys. There was a significant spike in eviction filings in Harris County on August 10. 41 evictions were filed on 8/7, 117 were filed on 8/10, 201 on 8/11, and 120 on 8/17. There have been more than 400 evictions filed in Travis County, TX since March. According to the Travis County Eviction Solidarity Database, since March 13, there have been 464 evictions filed, 107 judgments issued, and 9 hearings are scheduled. According to the database, it seems that eviction filings have plateaued since June.
Updated: August 28
Since March, there has been more than 400 evictions filed in Travis County, and Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton says local governments should not stop or delay evictions due to the pandemic.
Updated: August 12
Allowed eviction proceedings to resume May 19; warnings and writs may be issued beginning May 26. Local discretion allowed. Eviction hearings are being conducted remotely and in person.
Updated: July 31
According to a weekly survey conducted by the Census, in the third week of July Texas had the highest rate of housing insecurity of any state in the nation. 35.7% of adults in Texas reported they had missed their previous housing payment and/or had little confidence they would make their next one. In the same survey, 1,514,791 renters reported they had not paid their previous rental payment.
More than 5,100 evictions have been filed since the beginning of the pandemic in March. Harris County has seen a 500% increase in COVID cases since its eviction moratorium expired May 18. On July 25, when the federal eviction moratorium expired, one legal aid clinic in Houston received 1,358 eviction applications, a 36% increase from the same day last year. 40% of Houstonians currently cannot pay rent due to COVID-19.
July 28 Dallas
A legal aid lawyer in Dallas recently commented that they were “Trying to avoid a mass homelessness event here in Dallas. The situation is pretty dire.”
Updated: July 29
According to a weekly survey by the Census, 1 in 3 adults in the state either missed their last housing payment or have little/no confidence of being able to make next month’s housing payment.
In Houston, a $15 million rent relief fund was depleted within 90 minutes of opening. About 40% of renters in Houston doubt they can make July’s rent. 2,300 evictions were filed in Harris County in June. An estimated 7.5% of evictions filed in Harris County last month violated the CARES Act by not having an affidavit on file.
July 8 Dallas
About 23% of renters in Dallas doubt they can make July’s rent.
Updated: July 16COVID-19 Resources Other
What to Know About Housing and Rent During the COVID-19 Emergency? https://tinyurl.com/y74ox85d
Arbor Realty Trust launched an innovative $2 million rental assistance program to help thousands of tenants and families significantly impacted by the COVID-19 outbreak. Arbor is contributing $1 million to the program and participating borrowers will match Arbor's advances to its tenants in need to help fill the rent gap during the hard-hit months of May and June. Together, the partnership program will provide $2 million in relief. https://tinyurl.com/y9r6x9vb