Texas lawmakers will decide to keep or end tenant eviction rules. During the pandemic, many workers lost their income sources. Unable to pay their rent, the state created measures to protect renters and keep them housed.
But the economy has opened up. People have more opportunities to find jobs. Now, most of the temporary programs have ended. About 40% of Texas renters will feel the effects. The protection policies are also expiring, and lawmakers will vote to keep or stop the special treatment.
The decision could help or worsen residents' situation as rents soared. Homeless shelters say occupancy numbers are back to 2019 levels or higher. Most of the people seeking housing are families.
Officials are re-evaluating a renters' bill. The ruling once made it hard to evict tenants and provided easy access to affordable housing. Analysts note Texas has the country's weakest renter protection systems. And efforts to expand renter's rights failed. But advocates hope representatives will keep the bill.
It is not looking good, though. The Republican-led Legislature is not reviewing tenant policies with urgency. What is up for debate with great attention? The focus is on lowering property taxes. Gov. Greg Abbott wants to use half the state's $32.7 billion surplus to help homeowners.
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