Opportunity Home extends Eviction Moratorium Deadline to Protect 10,000 Families
October 18, 2021
The San Antonio Housing Authority (Opportunity Home) is taking unprecedented action to extend the eviction moratorium for more than 10,000 residents in its public or mixed-income housing communities through March 1, 2022.
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 U.S. 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 Opportunity Home residents, who have a median household income of approximately $10,000,” said Ed Hinojosa Jr., Opportunity Home 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.”
Opportunity Home is taking extraneous efforts in protecting Opportunity Home residents from eviction and has called on the City of San Antonio and Bexar County to designate funding from the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) to help clear approximately $3 million in debt currently owed by more than 2,700 Opportunity Home residents.
Under regulations by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), 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 assist families avoid eviction, Opportunity Home 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, Opportunity Home 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.
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, Opportunity Home 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 Opportunity Home residents with rent assistance.