Know your COVID-19 rent and mortgage options
By Debbie Eller, Director of Community Services
The COVID-19 outbreak has caused many College Station residents to lose their jobs or have their work hours reduced. For some, paying their rent or making mortgage payments may be a problem.
If the crisis continues for months, late fees and months of back payments could create additional burdens.
However, a delicate balance exists when considering tenant protections. Landlords have expenses that must be paid, and the lack of rent revenue severely affects their ability to stay in business.
The situation calls for everyone to work together to find mutually beneficial solutions.
If you are unable to pay rent during the existing orders, talk to your landlord to find a reasonable solution. We also encourage you to call 2-1-1 to locate local assistance in addition to programs offered statewide.
Rent and utility assistance programs are available through local non-profit agencies such as The Salvation Army, Catholic Charities, and St. Vincent de Paul. Still, funds are running low due to the extreme need. The City of College Station is working to allocate additional funding through its Community Development Block Grant to programs that provide rent and utility assistance.
If you are unable to pay your monthly mortgage, contact your mortgage holder. Options are available for distressed borrowers impacted by COVID-19, including short- and long-term forbearance options, mortgage modifications, and other mortgage payment relief options based on your circumstances.
The Supreme Court of Texas has banned evictions through June 1, and the U. S. Department of Housing and Urban Development has placed a moratorium on evictions for residents of government-assisted housing until July 24. The Federal Housing Administration has also implemented a foreclosure and eviction moratorium for single-family homeowners with FHA-insured mortgages through May.
Evictions are still allowed for posing an imminent threat of physical harm or engaging in criminal activity.
For more information, go to the Texas Department of Housing and Community Affairs website at tdhca.state.tx.us/covid19.htm.
About the Blogger
Community Services Coordinator Debbie Eller is in her 21st year with the City of College Station. She has led the Community Services Department since 2010. A native of Fort Worth, Debbie earned a bachelor’s degree in animal science from Texas A&M in 1984.
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