SAN ANTONIO – The St. Mary’s University School of Law has launched a hotline for South Texas residents who are experiencing housing issues due to the novel coronavirus pandemic.
“With the statewide moratorium on evictions ending, South Texans who have lost jobs and income due to the pandemic are at increased risk of displacement, eviction and homelessness,” said Louyse Siegel, a clinical fellow with the St. Mary’s Law Consumer Protection Clinic. “This hotline aims to provide residents with information about their rights and a measure of support in the face of great uncertainty brought about by the pandemic.”
Professor Genevieve Fajardo, director of the Consumer Protection Clinic, said renters are worried about what’s coming next.
“It’s really uncharted territory for people and something where they do need legal assistance," Fajardo said.
“People aren’t even aware that there’s rental assistance available in both the city of San Antonio and in Bexar County to help them get caught back up on their rent. And that’s very concerning because there is rent help,” she said.
Fajardo said many people don’t realize that, for now, if they’re part of a federally subsidized rental program, the moratorium remains in place.
“Maybe one-third to a half of San Antonio properties are still under the moratorium, where they cannot be removed or evicted from their property," she said.
People who need assistance are asked to call the hotline at 210-570-6135 and leave a message with their name, phone number and a brief description of their legal problem.
Officials said those who leave a message will receive a return call, undergo a screening process, and then set up a phone or video call appointment with a legal representative.
The university said legal representatives will be able to share resource information about payment assistance and forms renters can fill out to represent themselves during eviction proceedings.
Housing Hotline Help Now Available! The Housing Legal Advice Hotline is a free legal service of Texas RioGrande Legal...Posted by Center for Legal and Social Justice at St. Mary's University School of Law on Monday, June 1, 2020