More than 4,000 Families Have Past Due Rent as Eviction Moratorium Deadline Looms
Feb. 22, 2022
The San Antonio Housing Authority (Opportunity Home) is urging more than 4,000 families at risk of losing their homes to seek assistance from the City of San Antonio or make repayment agreements ahead of the eviction moratorium ending on Feb. 28.
Opportunity Home residents collectively owe almost $5 million in past due rent. The City’s Emergency Housing Assistance Program (EHAP) is also expected to close on Feb. 28.
A vast majority of the residents who have a past due balance are residents who are considered extremely low or very low-income and most severely affected by the pandemic. Residents earn an average of $200 a week or less than $10,000 a year.
When the federal eviction moratorium extension ended in June 2021, Opportunity Home extended the moratorium through Feb. 28, 2022, for residents receiving public housing assistance or living at a Opportunity Home-managed community, to give families additional time to find emergency rent resources and to arrange repayment agreements with their property managers.
The city’s Neighborhood and Housing Services Department, and Opportunity Home continue to host in-person emergency rental fairs and visit door-to-door to encourage residents to enroll into assistance programs.
The City’s EHAP offers direct rental assistance while Opportunity Home offers repayment agreements and reduction in rent for those experiencing a loss of income.
“We have done everything possible the last two years to connect residents to available resources,” said Brandee Perez, Opportunity Home’s Chief Operating Officer. “We continue to urge our families to contact the city or their property manager for help before it’s too late.”
City Council District 2 has the largest amount with more than $1.1 million in resident rent arrears followed by District 8 residents owing more than $800,000 in past due rent. See full list by council district.
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 in the future until their debt is cleared.
Opportunity Homeled the country by being one of the first public housing authorities to initiate an eviction moratorium in March 2020 before the federal government. Since then, Opportunity Home extended the eviction moratorium five times in July 2020, December 2020, March 2021, June 2021 and August 2021.