When leaders knocked on renters' doors in flood ravaged apartments near their churches, they heard story after story about eviction threats from landlords. Struggling to find work, and struggling to get to work without their cars, many renters said they just needed three weeks to get on their feet. Together, they initiated meetings with landlords from ten apartment complexes to press for a grace period. Many landlords refused.
Acting on these stories, seventy leaders from ten TMO institutions called on landlords during a Saturday morning press conference to grant a three-week (minimum) grace period for tenants struggling to pay rent. Days later, leaders turned their sights on the Houston City Council, calling on them to protect renters facing flood-related eviction threats.
Leaders argue that if mortgage companies can give lenders 90 days to get back on their feet, surely landlords can give at least 45.
TMO is also calling on Mayor Turner and Judge Emmitt to create a public works strategy that will hire people who are unemployed, due to the flood, so that they can carry out the massive cleanup that required.
For Renters, Harvey Was the First Blow, Followed by Orders to Move, New York Times
Mayor Turner Tells Landlords Not to Evict Flood Victims in Response to Pastors' Pleas, Houston Press
Harvey Wreaks Havoc on Houston's Undocumented, USA Today
Late Fees Add Problems for Tenants Who Missed Out on Work During Harvey, Houston Public Media
Landlords Still Charging Harvey Victims Rent for Destroyed Homes, Death and Taxes
Pleading for Time on Behalf of Renters Behind On Their Rent Because of Hurricane Harvey, Univision
Some Apartment Dwellers Face Post-Harvey Eviction, Houston Chronicle
Storm Woes Make it Tough to Cover the Rent On Time, Houston Chronicle
Renters: Eviction Notices Add to the Misery of Those Living in Damaged Units, Houston Chronicle