Evictions

Jarymar Arana places a sign on the doorknob of a North Austin apartment, letting the tenants know their rights and protections against evictions.
Gabriel C. Pérez / KUT

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Jarymar Arana grips a backpack outside an apartment complex in Pflugerville just after 8 a.m. on a recent Sunday. Arana doesn’t live here, but hundreds of people do, and nearly two dozen of them have had evictions filed against them during the pandemic.

Before a new federal eviction ban went into effect recently, Alice and Jeremy Bumpus were on the verge of getting evicted. They live in a house outside Houston with their three kids, and they both lost their jobs after the pandemic hit. Alice worked at an airport fast food restaurant; Jeremy worked at a warehouse.

"We explained to the judge that due to everything that was going on, we just fell behind on just our one month's rent," Alice says.

A sign in Central Austin says "Stop Evictions Now."
Gabriel C. Pérez / KUT

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The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention published an order last week that could protect renters who’ve lost wages or work hours from eviction until Jan. 1.

Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner speaks during a news conference last month.
Mayor's office via Twitter

The courts are no longer blocking landlords from evicting Texans struggling to pay rent amid the economic instability of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Now, eviction proceedings are moving forward in Houston-area courts, weeks ahead of many other cities.

A for-rent sign in Austin
Gabriel C. Pérez / KUT

More than half of Austin residents are renters. At the beginning of each month, rent is due for tenants with cut hours, cut wages or no wages at all as the COVID-19 pandemic has forced workplaces to close.

Travis County Deputy Theresa Stewart serves an eviction suit to a tenant in Southwest Austin in 2018.
Gabriel C. Pérez / KUT

Eviction hearings in the Austin area will be put on pause until at least April 1, after Travis County justices of the peace issued an order Friday.