SAN ANTONIO – The San Antonio Housing Authority is extending the eviction moratorium for more than 10,000 residents in its public or mixed-income housing communities through March 1, 2022, officials announced Monday.
The March 2022 extension is a continuation of the agency’s extension in August 2021, following the expiration of the federal eviction moratorium over the summer, when the US Supreme Court ruled the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention had exceeded its statutory authority by issuing a nationwide moratorium.
”The COVID-19 pandemic has disproportionately impacted economically-disadvantaged families, and at the center are SAHA residents, who have a median household income of approximately $10,000,” said Ed Hinojosa Jr., SAHA president and CEO. “Within our communities, families have experienced unemployment, illness and financial loss. Losing their home, the only security they have, would be an unimaginable devastation to their livelihood.”
SAHA officials are calling on the City of San Antonio and Bexar County to designate funding from the American Rescue Plan Act to help clear approximately $3 million in debt currently owed by more than 2,700 SAHA residents.
Under regulations by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, public housing authorities are prohibited from forgiving rent or debt. If a resident receiving housing assistance is evicted, not only could that resident become homeless, under federal regulations, they would also become ineligible for housing assistance programs until their debt is cleared.
To help families avoid eviction, SAHA also offers flexible repayment plans and can lower monthly rent if a resident experiences a reduction in work hours or loses a source of income.
At the start of the pandemic, SAHA was one of the first housing organizations in the United States to suspend evictions for its residents in March 2020 before the federal government intervened, a news release said.
Since the pandemic began, the eviction moratorium was extended in March 2020, July 2020, December 2020, March 2021, June 2021 and August 2021.
Last year, SAHA contributed $350,000 to the City of San Antonio’s COVID-19 Emergency Assistance Program, formerly known as the Risk Mitigation Fund, to specifically assist SAHA residents with rent assistance.
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