Table of Contents
September 18, 2020 - BREAKING NEWS – New Order from the Supreme Court of Texas Orders Acknowledge Federal CDC Eviction Rules
September 17, 2020 - City of Austin’s Notice of Proposed Eviction Requirement Extended Until December 31
September 11, 2020 - We Need You To Tell City Council What is Happening
September 11, 2020 - Rent Relief Programs Available Beyond Austin
September 10, 2020 - Austin-area landlords say new eviction protections aren’t sustainable
September 3, 2020 - NAA Issues Update on CDC Eviction Moratorium
August 20, 2020 - Applications now being accepted for RENT Assistance Program
August 8, 2020 - President Trump Signs Eviction Moratorium Executive Order but Impact Unclear
August 7, 2020 - Texas Attorney General Issues Opinion on Eviction Restrictions
August 7, 2020 - Travis County Justices of the Peace will conduct a Virtual Town Hall Meeting for AAA Members
August 7, 2020 - The CARES Act has expired. Can properties begin charging late fees?
July 30, 2020 - City, County and Courts All Take Action Taken to Prevent Evictions Until After September 30
July 23, 2020 - HUD to abolish Obama-era AFFH fair housing rule
July 10, 2020 - How Does the New City of Austin COVID Transmission Prevention Ordinance Apply to Apartment Communities?
July 9, 2020 - City Council approves new enforcement powers for COVID-19 requirements
July 8, 2020 - PPP Loan Program Extended; Loan Data Released: What Small Businesses Need To Know
July 1, 2020 - New Mortgage Forbearance Options for Enterprise-backed Multifamily Properties
July 1, 2020 - Congress Moves to Reopen PPP Application Process
June 26, 2020 - Gov. Greg Abbott orders Texas bars to close again and restaurants to reduce to 50% occupancy as coronavirus spreads
June 17, 2020 - With Abbott’s OK, Austin Requires Masks at Businesses
June 11, 2020 - Travis County judge extends order to prohibit evictions, notices to vacate due to COVID-19
May 28, 2020 - CORONAVIRUS IN AUSTIN: Questions remain over how city will spend $270 million in virus aid
May 22, 2020 - Council approves $6.9M in agreements for remaining RISE funds
May 18, 2020 - Fraudulent rental applications have spiked during pandemic
May 14, 2020 - Supreme Court Rules No Further Extension of the Statewide Eviction Moratorium
May 8, 2020 - Austin City Council Extends Grace Period Through August 24
May 1, 2020 - Neighborhood Housing Department Issues $1.2M in Rental Assistance To Be Administered by HACA
April 30, 2020 - TAA Tips for Reopening Amenities and Common Areas
April 29, 2020 - Leni Louazna's Interview with Univision
April 23, 2020 - City rolls out bridge loan program to assist businesses impacted by Covid-19
April 23, 2020 - House passes $484B package to help small businesses, bolster hospitals and coronavirus testing
April 17, 2020 - Abbott Eases Some Restrictions In Fight Against The Coronavirus
April 8, 2020 - NMHC Rent Payment Tracker Finds 12% Decrease in Share of Apartment HH that Paid Rent by April 5
April 6, 2020 - Eviction Hold Extended Through April 30; More Free Webinars From TAA
March 27, 2020 - New Resident Notice Requirements Passed By City of Austin Amid COVID-19 Crisis
March 27, 2020 - AAA Joins Business Coalition to Keep Apartment Construction Moving
March 27, 2020 - Congress Passes Third COVID-19 Federal Relief Package
March 27, 2020 - Austin Code Makes Changes to Address Emergency Orders
March 23, 2020 - FHFA Moves to Provide Eviction Suspension Relief for Renters in Multifamily Properties
March 20, 2020 - Texas Supreme Court Temporarily Suspends Most Evictions
March 18, 2020 - White House Directs HUD to Cease Evictions Through April 30
BREAKING NEWS – New Order from the Supreme Court of Texas Orders Acknowledge Federal CDC Eviction Rules
September 18, 2020 - Late on Thursday, September 17, the Supreme Court of Texas (SCOTX) issued an order that addresses the federal Center for Disease Control (CDC) Eviction Moratorium. The Order requires rental property owners to disclose that they have provided information to the resident about the federal CDC order prohibiting evictions until December 31. The SCOTX does allow challenges the CDC Declaration form that residents give to properties to stop an eviction, and if it is proved that a tenant does not meet one or more of the CDC’s criteria established to use the form the property would be allowed to proceed with the eviction. However, there are many factors to consider before challenging the declaration form. Watch for more details, guidance and analysis about this new SCOTX Order in the days ahead.
City of Austin’s Notice of Proposed Eviction Requirement Extended Until December 31
September 17, 2020 - On Thursday, September 17, the Austin City Council added an extension to the ordinance requiring a 60-day “Notice of Proposed Eviction” before an official “Notice to Vacate” can be posted using the normal procedures outlined in the Texas Property Code. The ordinance was set to expire on September 30, but has now been extended to December 31 to coincide with the expiration of the eviction protections included in the recently enacted federal eviction moratorium by the Center for Disease Control (CDC). This was the third time this Austin ordinance has been extended.
As now extended, any rents due between March 26 and December 31 will require a 60-day Notice of Proposed Eviction before a Notice to Vacate (NTV) can be issued for that rent due. The notice requirement does not apply to any evictions necessary for criminal conduct by a resident or their guest.
Before the vote, the Austin Apartment Association (AAA) alerted the membership about the pending action and asked members to tell the city council about how this ordinance, and the related city and county orders preventing the issuance of a Notice to Vacate (NTV), are interfering with timely rent payments and impacting their property and property management operations. Nearly 175 letters were sent to the Mayor and city council members. In addition to the letters sent, AAA staff and several members spoke in opposition the extension. The Mayor and council acknowledged the industry’s input and have directed city staff to identify funds and possible program ideas to help rental property owners mitigate their growing amount of uncollected rent.
Since the ordinance was originally adopted in March, the ordinance was amended to allow the 60-day Proposed Notice of Eviction to be delivered “electronically to an impacted tenant using an email address the landlord uses to communicate with the impacted tenant in the regular course of business activity; or posted on the front door of the impacted tenant’s dwelling unit.”
The ordinance still applies to any “Impacted Tenant” defined as: “A person, or a member of their household, who is authorized by a lease to occupy property to the exclusion of others and loses wages or income during the local disaster”. Properties can ascertain if an impacted resident “has lost wages or income” in the manner they deem necessary including: verification from an employer, paystub verification, unemployment claim documentation or other verification method.
A 60-Day Notice of Proposed Eviction template in .pdf format is available for AAA members on the AAA website under the COVID Resources page. Properties can craft their own 60-day notice form so long as it contains this language in 16pt bold font:
“A NOTICE OF PROPOSED EVICTION AND OPPORTUNITY TO PAY TO AVOID EVICTION – THIS NOTICE DOES NOT EXCUSE YOUR OBLIGATION TO PAY AND YOU CAN BE EVICTED IF YOU FAIL TO PAY BY THE PAYMENT DEADLINE BELOW.”
The AAA will continue to advance the interests of the apartment industry. For more information about the ordinance contact Paul Cauduro, AAA Director of Government relations at email@example.com or call 512-323-2286.
We Need You To Tell City Council What is Happening
September 11, 2020 - The Austin City Council needs to hear from you. The ordinance requiring a 60-day Notice of Proposed Eviction and the Mayor’s Order prohibiting the issuance of a Notice to Vacate (NTV) expire on September 30, and both are likely to be renewed until December 31.
Use to link to send an email to the entire Austin City Council: http://www.austintexas.gov/email/all-council-members
Inform the Council about any issues and problems these city policies have created for your rental property. Let them know about:
In your message also remind the Council that on August 7, the Texas Attorney General stated that “local governments do not have authority under their powers during a declared disaster to independently rewrite state law as it applies to their jurisdiction to prohibit, delay, or restrict the issuance of a notice to vacate.”
Please send your message today. Any and all messages sent will help better inform our elected officials about the real business impacts caused by these housing policies. After you send your message please be sure to send it to the AAA at firstname.lastname@example.org so that your business impacts can be recorded and archived. If you have any questions or comments about this communication effort contact call AAA Executive Vice President Emily Blair at 512-323-0990 ext. 101.
Rent Relief Programs Available Beyond Austin
September 11, 2020 - Apartment residents in the City of Austin needing renal assistance can submit an application to the RENT 2.0 program, but what about residents outside of the City of Austin or in the surrounding area? Fortunately, there are programs available in those areas for residents economically impacted by the pandemic that can provide rent payments and related utility expenses.
All apartment properties are strongly encouraged to direct their residents to these rental assistance programs. In fact, all available rent relief programs have taken on a heightened importance under the new federal rules preventing evictions issued by the Center for Disease Control (CDC) because for residents to claim protection from eviction they must declare that they have “used best efforts to obtain all available government assistance for rent or housing,”
Travis County Family Support Services Division provides rental assistance. Call 211 or 512-854-9020 or visit the Travis County Family Support Services website at https://www.traviscountytx.gov/health-human-services/divisions/family-support-services
Williamson County is working with social service agencies to handle applications for the Wilco Forward Phase III Assistance Program. All residences assisted must be located in Williamson County, but not in city limits of Austin. The assistance can include up to the rent amount based on the lease agreement plus late fees for up to a total of three months and/or up to $1,500 of utility assistance per residence. All applicants must show evidence that the assistance is needed due to issues caused by COVID-19. These agencies will provide the rent and/or utility assistance to a landlord, property management company, or utility company between March 1 through December 30. For a Wilco Forward Phase III Assistance Program brochure in English click HERE. For a brochure in Spanish click HERE.
Round Rock Area Serving Center serving Round Rock, Brushy Creek/Fern Bluff MUD, Hutto areas outside of Georgetown ISD, zip code 78717 that is not in the city limits of Austin Call 512-244-2431 or visit www.rrasc.org
The Caring Place serving Georgetown, Andice, Bartlett, Florence, Granger, Jarrell, Jonah, Schwertner, Walburg, Weir, Hutto areas within Georgetown ISD Call 512-943-0700 or visit www.caringplacetx.org
The Salvation Army serving Cedar Park, Coupland, Leander, Liberty Hill, Taylor, Thrall, and all other areas of Williamson County not served by the other two agencies, zip codes 78729 and 78750 in Williamson County but not in the city limits of Austin http://salvationarmyaustin.org/williamson-county-service-center/ or call 512-943-8421
Community Action Inc. of Central Texas provides utility assistance and some rental assistance in certain situations. https://www.communityaction.com/ or call 512-392-1161
Austin-area landlords say new eviction protections aren’t sustainable
Statesman - September 10, 2020 - The federal government’s recent move to place a nationwide moratorium on residential evictions is being greeted as a welcome, if temporary, lifeline by tenant advocates. But the order also has raised concerns. Landlords are questioning when they’ll be able to collect rent again, while people who work with low-income tenants are worried that a potential tidal wave of evictions might simply be pushed off by a few months. Suggesting that kicking people out of their homes would only lead to further outbreaks of COVID-19, the order from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention provides eviction protection to tenants who cannot come up with rent payments through the end of the year. It expanded on a previous Trump administration order that expired in July. That previous order protected only tenants in rental units backed by federal financing, accounting for about 28% of U.S. renters.
Absent in the new order was any accompanying financial assistance from the federal government, which landlords and tenant advocates say would have gone a long way toward keeping unpaid tenant debts from spiraling out of control while also ensuring that property owners have the means to pay their own mortgages.
“The CDC decision is causing a lot of fear, and everybody I know, including myself, is jumping to action stations,” said Mark Hurley, a rental property owner. “If we have a moratorium extended to December that doesn’t have some sort of rental assistance attached to it, we’re going to have a huge problem for everyone — landlords and renters.”
Hurley until recently was president of the Texas Apartment Association, a nonprofit that provides education and advocacy to rental property owners.
The eviction moratorium does not override existing local orders, such as protections in Austin and Travis County from justices of the peace taking up an eviction case through the end of September. The federal order covers any renter who expects to make no more than $99,000 in income this year or no more than $198,000 if filing a joint tax return. Renters must declare that if evicted they would likely become homeless, need to move into a homeless shelter, or need to move into a new residence shared by other people who live in close quarters — all of which could increase the risk of contracting COVID-19.
The order does not waive fees, and, in fact, requires tenants who desire eviction protections to sign a declaration stating landlords can still require full payment for all unpaid debts when the moratorium ends. It also requires tenants to declare they attempted to obtain government financial assistance.
Fred Fuchs, a housing attorney with Texas RioGrande Legal Aid, said the new federal moratorium will provide relief to tenants facing imminent evictions. But he also said federal financial assistance specifically for rent payments is essential or people will wind up with huge, cumulative bills once the moratorium expires — with eviction and ruined credit the likely outcome for some.
“Folks who have lost their jobs and are having to work part-time or cobble together funds here and there with side gigs while they are waiting to get back to full employment, when Jan. 1 comes there is going to be a huge bill to pay to the piper,” said Fuchs, whose nonprofit organization provides free legal services for low-income people.
“We are pleased that (tenants facing imminent eviction) have this temporary relief,” he said. “But we are concerned and wary about what comes after Jan. 1 if there is no significant rental assistance” from the federal government.
Many landlords agree that federal assistance for rent payments is needed.
Lyndsay Hanes, president of a property management group with 48 units in North Austin, said she was disappointed that there was no new financial assistance tied to the CDC announcement, but Hanes said she is “thankful that there are some provisions within the order that will hold our residents accountable for demonstrating financial impact and requiring them to apply for assistance.”
Leni Louazna, regional manager for Atlantic Pacific, which has properties in Austin and San Marcos, said delaying eviction dates is unsustainable.
“The key to success is providing more rental assistance so residents can stay in their homes, so their kids can stay in schools, so they can keep their jobs,” she said.
San Antonio, which set aside $50 million for rental assistance early in the pandemic, now has about $3 million available. Austin appears to be in a better spot, with city officials projecting there is enough money available to make an average of 2,000 monthly rent payments through January, or until funds are fully committed. The money will come from federal dollars distributed earlier in the pandemic as well as local dollars, totaling $12.9 million.
As of Thursday morning, 3,900 applications for the aid had been submitted in the two weeks since the city began accepting them. That marked a steep drop from the first round of rental assistance in May, when the city received about 10,000 applications — later determining 5,500 as eligible — and disbursed $1.2 million in assistance.
“There appears to be less demand,” said Pilar Sanchez, vice president at the Housing Authority of the City of Austin.
Travis County also has a rental and mortgage assistance program separate from Austin. When it debuted in late June, there was $9.5 million available. As of Monday, the county had doled $1.5 million.
Prior to the CDC eviction moratorium, Austin and Travis County had issued compatible orders that halted evictions through the end of September. It put them at odds with Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton, who issued a nonbinding legal opinion stating that local governments lacked the authority to enforce such measures.
There are exceptions to the local eviction moratorium, including if a tenant poses a threat of physical harm or engages in criminal behavior. But by and large, eviction proceedings will be on hold until the new year, given the nationwide stoppage. Travis County Justice of the Peace Nicholas Chu said it’s difficult to forecast how many will pop up on his docket.
“Obviously, there are a lot of unknowns — how many landlords are holding off on evictions until the moratorium ends?” Chu said. “We’ve been thinking about it. Our job is to prepare the best we can.”
NAA Issues Update on CDC Eviction Moratorium
Washington DC - September 3,2020 - The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), at the direction of the President, filed an order in the Federal Register yesterday to temporarily halt residential evictions to prevent the further spread of COVID-19. National Apartment Association (NAA) members should prepare for the order to go into effect this Friday, September 4. It will bar evictions of renters in residential housing until December 31, 2020.
Here is what you need to know about the order:
The complexity of the language in the CDC’s order will amplify the strain of operating rental housing and sustaining your businesses during these difficult times. NAA is developing operational guidance to assist members in following the requirements of the order.
Click here to access full article in the member portal
Applications now being accepted for RENT Assistance Program
AUSTIN, Texas - August 20, 2020 - Austin tenants affected by COVID-19 and struggling to pay rent are now able to apply for the City of Austin's Relief of Emergency Need for Tenants (RENT) Assistance Program.
People who live within the city limits who are low income may be eligible for help. The program was piloted back in May and has grown to be able to help more people in need.
Vice President of the Housing Authority of Austin Pilar Sanchez says, "Back in May the city had $1.2 million made available to help people with rent, this time we have $12.9 million available from the city. The other biggest difference is that the city will pay a full month's rent as a benefit versus just a portion of the rent that we did in May."
The program will be offered in a lottery-type system for households that make less than 80 percent of the city's median family income. It will cover one month's rent unless the household makes less than 30 percent of the median family income, or about $29,000 for a household of four, then the program will cover three months.
The program is budgeted to last about six months.
You can apply and get more information here.
City of Austin provides details on Emergency Rental Assistance Program
Officials talked about the design and funding of the $17 million rental assistance program for residents impacted by COVID-19.
President Trump Signs Eviction Moratorium Executive Order but Impact Unclear