A short guide to Texas’ eviction policies during the pandemic

by | Aug 11, 2020 | Housing, Policy

The federal moratorium on evictions expired on July 24th and President Trump’s executive order does little to help renters. Around 20 million Americans are now at risk of being evicted from their homes. Like many other issues during the COVID-19 pandemic, the problem is being left to local governments to solve. Here’s a quick guide to the eviction policies of major metropolitan areas in Texas. 


The same day that the federal moratorium expired, Mayor Steve Adler extended a local moratorium on residential evictions until September 30. Travis County Judge Sam Briscoe issued a similar order prohibiting eviction proceedings until September 30. Adler’s order does not forgive rent payments but it does give renters extra time to come up with the money to pay overdue rent.


Dallas’ moratorium has already ended and hundreds of eviction proceedings have already begun. However, there are still protections in place for renters facing eviction due to the pandemic.  Under an ordinance passed in April, landlords are required to give tenants a warning of possible eviction. After the warning, tenants have 21 days to provide documentation of financial hardship due to COVID-19, then another 39 days to reach a payment plan agreement with their landlord. 


Houston has no moratorium and never implemented one. Housing advocates have urged for the city to implement a 60-day grace period on evictions but Mayor Sylvester Turner has refused to put it on the city council agenda. However, Houston has created a rent relief program which it recently added $20 million to. Under the conditions of the program, if a landlord receives funding for just one tenant then they cannot evict any residents through September. Landlords must also waive late fees and interest on late payments, as well as come up with a payment plan for tenants struggling to pay rent. 

San Antonio

Bexar County’s moratorium has expired. Since then, enforcement of evictions in San Antonio has been very unequal. San Antonio does have one of the largest emergency housing fund in Texas, and one of the largest in the country. For every that is approved, the city will pay up to three months of rent and utilities, or up to $5,000, as well as internet costs and up to $300 in cash. Of the $50 million earmarked for rental and mortgage assistance, about $20 million remains. The city also requires that landlords provide tenants with a document informing them of their rights when they seek to evict them.

Photo: Bill Oxford/Getty Images

Editorial Assistant/Staff Writer | + posts

William serves as a staff writer and editorial assistant at the Texas Signal, where he edits and posts articles and writes on topics ranging from national security to Louie Gohmert's plan to alter the orbit of planets. William has worked on Democratic campaigns in Texas, Colorado, and North Carolina and is an internet meme expert.

Are you tired of Texas Republicans pushing big lies and trying to steal your vote? So are we, that’s why we’re fighting back against the right-wing lie machine. Our commitment to ethical, fact-based journalism is vital to our democracy, and we can’t do it without you. Consider donating today to help us stay in this fight.

Continue Reading

Royce Brooks talks Annie’s List and 2022

Royce Brooks talks Annie’s List and 2022

The Signal recently caught up with Royce Brooks, the executive director of Annie's List, an organization that recruits, trains and helps elect progressive women to office.  Brooks spoke about the 2022 midterms, women in Texas, as well as the ongoing work at...

Greg Abbott’s sad, stammering Sunday show appearance

Greg Abbott’s sad, stammering Sunday show appearance

On Sunday, Governor Greg Abbott appeared on the show “Fox News Sunday” with host Chris Wallace. The resulting interview was a blundering mess for the Texas governor, who is up for re-election next year. Though Abbott teed up his Fox appearance as an opportunity to...

Five takeaways from Texas GOP’s congressional maps

Five takeaways from Texas GOP’s congressional maps

Texas lawmakers on Monday released their first proposed draft of the state’s new congressional maps. Here’s a quick look at all the major changes around the state. Austin and Houston get new congressional districts  The state’s capital and its largest city will...