August 03, 2021

Rep. Castro: Gov. Abbott Needs to Accelerate Rental Assistance

Congress allocated nearly $2 billion dollars to help Texans stay in their homes

SAN ANTONIO — Congressman Joaquin Castro (TX-20) calls on Governor Abbott to accelerate the release of rental assistance to families and landlords to help keep Texans in their homes and avoid evictions. Congressman Castro voted to send nearly $2 billion dollars to the State of Texas through the American Rescue Plan, including $1.1 billion for the Texas Rental Relief program, but Governor Abbott has failed to allocate more than $500 million in rental assistance to Texas families in need.

Congressman Castro is also urging President Biden and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to immediately extend the eviction moratorium and supports the Biden Administration’s efforts to encourage cities and states to accelerate the release of rental assistance from Congress to Texans in need.

“In Texas, more than half a million households are behind on rent, disproportionately Black and Latino families. I’m calling on Governor Abbott and the State of Texas to do everything in their power to accelerate the release of rental assistance from Congress to Texans in need,” said Congressman Castro. “Financial assistance needs to reach renters and landlords faster in Texas.”

“Mass evictions would be a public health and economic catastrophe, and it’s entirely avoidable. President Biden and the CDC have the legal authority and a moral responsibility to extend the eviction moratorium,” said Congressman Castro.“With the Delta variant rapidly spreading among the unvaccinated in Texas and across the United States, the last thing we need is families thrown out on the streets and forced to double-up friends and family, risking the spread of COVID.”

Despite the recent expiration of the eviction moratorium, the City of San Antonio (COSA) Emergency Housing Assistance Program continues to help tens of thousands of local renters and landlords with paying rent and utilities. The program was recently recognized as the best performing program in Texas by the affordable advocacy nonprofit “Texas Housers.” More information on eligibility, requirements, and assistance can be found here. Bexar County Justice of the Peace Courts can also postpone an eviction for 60 days if a landlord has a pending application for rental assistance from the tenant or if both parties agree to participate.