SAN ANTONIO – More than a year into the coronavirus pandemic, San Antonio families are still struggling to pay rent and other bills.
The city’s Emergency Housing Assistance Program has helped thousands of families since last year, and it still has millions of funds available to help more.
San Antonio resident Theresa Williams applied for the program and said it changed her life.
“I had been sick, and I had to have surgery,” Williams said.
She heard about the city’s program through a friend.
“They were able to help me with at least two months’ rent and my utilities,” Williams said.
Williams is not alone. The program has helped more than 42,000 households pay their rent, mortgage and utilities.
The Emergency Housing Assistance Program was recently recognized as the best performing program in Texas by the affordable advocacy nonprofit “Texas Housers.”
“In Texas, we are the fastest at getting the applications and money out the door so that people can stay housed,” said Veronica Soto, the director of the Neighborhood and Housing Services Department.
Soto said the program has more than $50 million available to help people.
“For rent, the most we can help is nine months of assistance, but that’s still a significant amount of money so that people can catch up,” Soto said.
With the Federal Moratorium on Evictions set to expire on July 31, Soto said the time to apply is now.
“We’re urging people to apply to the programs before you get an eviction, but even if you do get an eviction, you can apply not just for city program, but you can also apply to the state (program),” Soto said.
The Texas Supreme Court has extended the state’s Eviction Diversion Program until October 1.
“If you have an eviction, they can help you with up to 15 months of rent. And then the other thing is that an eviction is a legal document or something that goes on your record. So what they do is they seal the record as well,” Soto said.
The city is accepting applications and will be setting up a few events soon to help people apply. Click here for more information.