City of San Antonio collecting data to understand what’s causing displacement, housing instability

SAN ANTONIO – Officials with the city of San Antonio want to understand what is causing displacement and housing instability in the community.

The Neighborhood and Housing Services Department hosted two meetings this month for residents to share their experiences.

The city is collecting data from the meetings to use as part of its yearly performance report for the risk mitigation policy.

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“Risk mitigation is a fund that was created by the FY19 budget that started with $1 million, and the whole purpose of that risk mitigation fund was to help families that were experiencing displacement,” said Veronica Soto, director of Neighborhood and Housing Services.

Soto said the information will help officials update the policy and the city’s approach with how it helps people.

City officials said the money from the risk mitigation fund can be used to provide housing counseling, mortgage assistance and utility connection or disconnection fees. People displaced for code violations can also receive assistance for a temporary hotel stay, moving trucks, movers, storage, rental deposits and first month’s rent.

“Our commitment in last year’s fiscal budget was that we would go back and evaluate the policy of how we were utilizing the money, if the categories of assistance still make sense and to evaluate, essentially survey, the people who had received assistance,” Soto said.

Soto said the community has shared personal experiences that will help the city determine what to do moving forward.

“They’re telling us what kind of pressures they’re having, that the rent is going up, that they have to sell because they can’t afford to stay in their property if the property taxes are rising. They’re also telling us what neighborhood. So that to us is valuable. They’re telling us what neighborhoods are starting to feel the impact with rent going up,” Soto said.

Since the program started, more than 300 people have been helped, according to the city.

The information collected from the meetings will be presented to the San Antonio Housing Commission and the Planning and Community Development Committee next year.

If you would like to share feedback, email NHSDFairHousingDivision@sanantonio.gov

For assistance, call 210-207-5910.

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