Some landlords got a piece of Texas’ $2 billion in rent relief money — and evicted their struggling tenants anyway
It’s unclear whether landlords face any penalties from state agencies for improperly evicting tenants while receiving rent relief dollars intended to help those tenants stay housed during the COVID-19 pandemic.
A year after feds allocate funds, Texas launches program to help homeowners avoid foreclosure because of COVID-19
Twenty-five states, including California and New York, preceded Texas in getting federally backed programs up and running to help homeowners suffering financial hardship because of COVID-19.
City sets 10-year goal of producing, preserving 28,049 affordable housing units
The Strategic Housing Implementation Plan - or SHIP - was approved unanimously with one abstention and a second councilwoman away from the dais. At its core, the SHIP is about helping 95,000 Bexar County households who are most at risk of housing instability.
City slams ‘Ousted’ report on its code enforcement practices as ‘fundamentally flawed’
The report, “Ousted: The City of San Antonio’s Displacement of Residents through Code Enforcement Actions,” found 626 orders to vacate and orders to demolish occupied San Antonio homes between 2015 and 2020. Meanwhile, Houston, Dallas, Fort Worth, and Austin issued only 16 orders between them.
San Antonians say mental health, housing, and infrastructure among best ways to spend pandemic relief money
In a Thursday presentation to council members, city staff showed the results of the various surveys, town hall meetings, and meetings with the Small Business Advocacy Commission from the previous months.
City expects bump in housing assistance requests as state halts new rent relief applications
The Texas Rent Relief program stopped taking new applications at 5 p.m. Friday, citing more requests than money available. However, the City of San Antonio says its Emergency Housing Assistance Program (EHAP), which pays rent or mortgage, and utility bills for San Antonio residents affected by the pandemic, still has enough money to last through the end of the year.
You paid HOW much over asking? Tell us your wild housing market stories here
We’ve all heard about it by now: Houses are selling like crazy (and they have been for quite some time), interest rates have been at all-time lows, and it seems like everywhere you turn, you learn of another wild real estate story.
Nonprofits, city housing department stretch budgets to create affordable housing as costs for materials rise
Nonprofits and the city of San Antonio are forced to stretch their budget as the price of homes and building materials rise, presenting a challenge in creating affordable housing for low-income communities.
As federal eviction moratorium expires, tenants and rent advocates scramble to obtain state and local rental relief funds
In the first phase of funding from the federal government for emergency rental assistance, Texas received about $2 billion. Now the state has to get those funds in the hands of Texans.
Developers taking city incentives will have to take housing vouchers, too
Landlords don’t generally have to accept housing vouchers, and the people who receive them often spend months trying to find a place that will take them. But the San Antonio City Council unanimously passed an ordinance Thursday that bans property owners who receive city incentives from refusing to rent to someone who wants to use a housing voucher or other federal housing assistance to help pay their rent.
‘It was just a mess’: Texas Rental Relief Program has distributed about 3% of its billion-dollar allotment
“Unfortunately, those delays caused a lot of pain, headaches and heartaches in terms of people just trying to keep a roof over their heads for themselves and their families,” said state Rep. Philip Cortez.
Report: SA new-home sales growth far surpasses Dallas, Austin, Houston
As San Antonio's red hot housing market continues to soar, the city is far outgrowing the nation and its Texas counterparts in new-home sales. SAN ANTONIO – Editor’s note: This story was published through a partnership between the San Antonio Business Journal and KSATAs San Antonio’s red hot housing market continues to soar, the city is far outgrowing the nation and its Texas counterparts in new-home sales. Pending sales of new-construction homes in February grew 61.8% in San Antonio from February 2020 to 2021, according to a new report from Zonda. “It means that the market is way bigger than it was a year ago in housing activity,” said Jack Inselmann, San Antonio regional director for Zonda. Read more of this story at the San Antonio Business Journal.
Rent growth in San Antonio’s pricey neighborhoods slows due to pandemic, Zillow says
SAN ANTONIO – The typical rent in the San Antonio metro is $1,278, and that’s $20, or 1.6%, higher than a year ago. Rents in the highest-priced zip codes have risen 2% on average over the past year, but have risen 3% in the lowest-priced zip codes. Across the country, according to Zillow’s February market report, home values continued their march upward in February, matching record monthly growth from months prior, while home sales and appreciation soared over the course of the pandemic, rent growth slowed, seemingly a boost for rent affordability. According to the San Antonio Business Journal, in Bexar County, some local zip codes saw huge growth in prices over the last year. The lowest increase was in 78230 on the North Side, which saw its median rise 1.4% to $324,500.
City Council adds charter change for bond projects to May 1 ballot
San Antonio – The San Antonio City Council has sent a proposed charter change to voters, which could offer more flexibility in what kind of projects the city can fund with bond money. The city council voted 10-1 Thursday to add the proposal onto the May 1 ballot for voter approval. Ad“There may be still other state laws or federal laws that govern what we can do on specific projects,” City Attorney Andy Segovia said. Perry also criticized the way the proposed amendment was brought to the city council. Amendments added to the ballot by the city council are typically considered by a mayor-appointed charter review commissionAdWhile there was no commission this year, a 2018 Charter Review Commission had previously considered changing the charter language surrounding the use of bond dollars, at Nirenberg’s request.
Some City Council members worry about consequences of proposed charter amendment
SAN ANTONIO – A proposal to amend the city charter in the upcoming May election has some council members worried about unintended consequences. City staff presented a proposed charter amendment during Wednesday’s council meeting that would allow more flexibility in how the city uses bond dollars, including for affordable housing projects. Segovia told council members the proposed amendment would not affect their ability to have input on what bond projects eventually go to the voters. A 2018 Charter Review Commission previously considered changing the charter language surrounding the use of bond dollars, at Nirenberg’s request. AdBecause charter amendment elections may only be held every two years, the May 1 election is the first chance to revise the city charter since the Nov. 6, 2018 election.
San Antonio gets $46.7M from federal government for rental assistance
San Antonio – The City of San Antonio has received $46.7 million dollars from the federal government to bolster its efforts to keep struggling residents in their homes. It appears this could extend the life of the city’s popular Emergency Housing Assistance Program (EHAP) for several months. Excluding the federal money, the total amount allocated to the program, including some $10.1 million on Wednesday, amounts to about $86.8 million. At least 90% of the incoming federal dollars must be used for direct financial assistance, which includes rent, rental arrears, utilities, and home energy costs. If you have been affected by the pandemic and need help with your bills, you can get information on the Emergency Housing Assistance Program HERE.
San Antonio council member calling on city to address termination of Alazan Apache Courts redevelopment project
SAN ANTONIO – San Antonio District 5 Councilwoman Shirley Gonzales is calling on the city to address the termination of the Alazan Apache Courts redevelopment project on the West Side. In a memo to City Manager Erik Walsh, Gonzales said San Antonio Housing Authority interim CEO Ed Hinojosa had reached an agreement to terminate the two-phase project. She said this made the tenants ineligible for leasing redeveloped units under Housing and Urban Development rules. “SAHA is committed to the redevelopment in a method that will not displace our residents and maintain our commitment to maintain and grow public housing to serve the most vulnerable residents of San Antonio. “There are also increasing possibilities under the new Biden administration for new federal funding to increase public housing.
Texas extends rental assistance program designed to avoid evictions until March 15
The Texas Supreme Court has extended its emergency eviction relief program for tenants behind on rent through at least March 15, lengthening the program’s expiration date by a month and a half. The move comes after Congress passed a stimulus bill Monday extending the federal moratorium on evictions through the end of January. The state created the Texas Eviction Diversion Program earlier this fall with the help of $171 million in CARES Act funding, the vast majority designated for rental assistance. But some housing advocates said the extension doesn’t go far enough to address the large number of struggling renters, even as the federal government extended its eviction moratorium. "There could be tens of thousands of evictions on the horizon in Texas later this winter,” said Michael Depland, spokesperson for the advocacy group, Texas Housers.
UTSA report: Affordable housing solution back then, still possible now
They were “the affordable housing solution of the 1920s and 30s,” said Roger Enriquez, Ph.D., executive director of UTSA’s Westside Community Partnerships Initiative. A spokesman for Shirley Gonzalez, who represents District 5 on City Council, said she was instrumental in the effort now underway, to document and preserve the shotgun houses. He said the goal is to preserve “what we already have.”Enriquez said several plans that are in the works including one that would help families rehab their shotgun houses. The initiative is underway even as the San Antonio Housing Authority is planning to demolish the 501 units that make up Alazan Courts, the city’s oldest public housing project, late next year. (Credit: SAHA) (SAHA)RELATED: Virtual San Antonio Housing Authority groundbreaking sparks West Side protest