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[Goal: Highlight Austin as a leader in keeping families housed throughout the pandemic and showcase our historic Investment in rental assistance. Tentative speaker list: Andy Brown Travis County Judge Nicholas Chu Justice of the Peace, Precinct 5 Steve Adler Mayor Gregorio “Greg” Casar City Council member – District 4 Shoshana Krieger Project Director of BASTA\ Pilar Sanchez Vice President of Community Development for HACA Cupid Alexander Assistant Director of the City of Austin Housing and Planning Department]

[00:00:04]

THERE IS AN ORD AREAS, AN ORDER I OH, OH, WHERE ARE THEY? PEOPLE CAN SEE.

YOU'RE A TALL JUDGE.

YOU'VE BEEN IN HERE.

YOUR FAMILY HERE.

OKAY.

GOOD MORNING EVERYONE.

CAN YOU HEAR ME? OKAY.

READY TO GO? OKAY.

GOOD MORNING.

I'M GREG GUS OUT OF COUNCIL MEMBER REPRESENTING DISTRICT FOUR.

AND I REALLY APPRECIATE YOU ALL JOINING US TODAY.

AUSTIN HAS PUT OUR MONEY WHERE OUR MOUTHS ARE AND WE HAVE AVERTED.

THE EVICTION CRISES THAT WE HAVE SEEN ACROSS THE COUNTRY BECAUSE OF THE WORK OF OUR CITY AND COUNTY OFFICIALS AND OUR NONPROFITS, ALL WORKING TOGETHER TO KEEP AUSTINITES HOUSED.

WE HAVE LED THE COUNTRY IN SHOWING THAT WE CAN KEEP PEOPLE HOUSED IN THIS PANDEMIC TO STOP THE CYCLE OF HOMELESSNESS, TO KEEP PEOPLE FROM GETTING COVID-19.

IF THEY'RE THROWN OUT ONTO THE STREET AND TO KEEP PEOPLE HOUSED DURING THIS FINANCIAL CRISIS, DURING THE 2008 FINANCIAL CRISIS, AUSTIN HAD TENS OF THOUSANDS OF EVICTIONS FILED.

AND DURING THIS CRISIS WE'VE SEEN IN CITIES LIKE HOUSTON THAN IN THE LAST TWO WEEKS, THERE'VE BEEN MORE EVICTIONS FILED IN THAT CITY THAN THERE HAVE BEEN IN AUSTIN DURING THE ENTIRE PANDEMIC.

WE AREN'T OUT OF THE WOODS YET.

AND THAT'S WHY WE'RE TAKING A REALLY IMPORTANT VOTE TODAY TO ADD NEARLY $7 MILLION OF ADDITIONAL CITY FUNDS TO OUR RENT ASSISTANCE PROGRAM.

BECAUSE SO FAR WE HAVE HELPED OVER 30,000 PEOPLE AND WE EXPECT TO HELP THOUSANDS MORE SO THAT WE CAN KEEP AUSTINITES HOUSED AND WE'RE GOING TO EXTEND OUR RENTER PROTECTIONS SO THAT PEOPLE HAVE A CHANCE TO PAY.

AND SO THAT WE CAN DELIVER FUNDING TO KEEP TENANTS IN PLACE, BUT ALSO KEEP MOM AND POP LANDLORDS AFLOAT.

WE HAVE HAD REAL STRUGGLES IN THIS COMMUNITY DURING THE PANDEMIC, BUT I'M PROUD OF THIS ACCOMPLISHMENT BETWEEN THE CITY AND THE COUNTY TO MAKE SURE THAT FAMILIES CAN STAY IN THEIR HOMES.

AS RENTS ARE SPIKING AT UNPRECEDENTED RATES, WE KNOW THAT WE NEED TO PRIORITIZE KEEPING PEOPLE IN THEIR HOMES, PRIORITIZE AFFORDABLE HOUSING AND TAKE CARE OF RENTERS IN THIS COMMUNITY.

SO BEFORE I PASS OFF THE MICROPHONE, I JUST REALLY DEEPLY WANT TO THANK THE PEOPLE.

PARTICIPATING HERE, ESPECIALLY OUR MAYOR AND COUNTY JUDGE WHO HAVE STEPPED UP WITH THEIR ORDERS, OUR ENTIRE COUNCIL THAT HAS BEEN ADOPTING OUR CURE ORDINANCE, OUR OPPORTUNITY FOR TENANTS TO PAY LAW AND OUR JUSTICES OF THE PEACE WHO HAVE ALSO ISSUED THEIR ORDERS TO MAKE SURE THAT, UH, RENTERS GET A CHANCE TO PAY.

AND IF THEY CAN'T PAY THAT OUR LOCAL GOVERNMENT, OUR COMMUNITY WILL STEP IN AND HAS BEEN STEPPING IN TO MAKE SURE PEOPLE STAY HOUSED.

SO I'M NOW GOING TO PASS THE MICROPHONE ALONG TO OUR MAYOR, STEVE ALLEN MORNING.

THANKS JUST A SECOND TO UNDERSTAND THE SIGNIFICANCE OF, OF WHAT WE'RE TALKING ABOUT TODAY.

THE MORTALITY RATE ASSOCIATED WITH COVID IN TRAVIS COUNTY IS HALF OF THE STATE AVERAGE HALF OF THE NATIONAL MORTALITY RATE.

IF TEXAS, FOR EXAMPLE, AS A STATE HAD THE SAME MORTALITY RATE THAT WE HAVE IN TRAVIS COUNTY OVER 30,000 TEXANS WOULD STILL BE ALIVE.

NOW, THERE ARE A LOT OF REASONS THAT CONTRIBUTE TO HAVING BEEN ABLE TO MAINTAIN AND CONTINUE TO MAINTAIN A LOW MORTALITY RATE IN TRAVIS COUNTY.

BUT ONE, ONE OF THOSE ELEMENTS, ONE OF THE REALLY IMPORTANT ELEMENTS HAS BEEN OUR ABILITY TO BE ABLE TO KEEP PEOPLE IN THEIR HOMES WHEN THIS VIRUS STARTED AND WE GOT THE CARES FUNDING AND THE COUNCIL AND THE COMMISSIONER'S COURT MOVED INTO ACTION.

WE IMMEDIATELY TRIED TO MAKE SURE THAT EVERYBODY HAD FOOD, THAT NOBODY WAS FACING THE CUTOFFS OF THEIR UTILITIES AND THAT NOBODY WOULD BE EVICTED FROM THEIR HOMES, BUT A LOT OF ATTENTION ON HOMELESSNESS IN THIS CITY OVER THE LAST COUPLE OF YEARS, WE'RE TALKING TODAY ABOUT JUST THE OTHER SIDE OF HOMELESSNESS.

THE NUMBERS ON THIS CHART ARE PRETTY REMARKABLE.

WHEN YOU LOOK AT WHAT WE'VE BEEN ABLE TO ACCOMPLISH IN THIS CITY COMPARED TO CITIES ACROSS THE COUNTRY, IT IS NO WONDER THAT THE MORTALITY RATE IN OUR CITY IS AS LOW AS IT IS WITH THIS AND OTHER ELEMENTS.

UH, THE, UH, ORDERS THAT I ENTERED AND WERE ENTERED BY THE COUNTY JUDGE WERE AMONG THE FIRST, UH,

[00:05:01]

MORATORIUM EVICTION MORATORIUM ORDERS ENTERED, UH, IN THE COUNTRY.

THE COUNCIL STEPPED FORWARD AND THE LEADERSHIP COUNCIL MEMBER COSAR COUNCILMEMBER REMEMBER THIS AND, AND, AND REALLY THE ENTIRE DIETS TO STEP IN AND ADD CITY FUNDS TO THE FEDERAL FUNDS TO GET OUR PROGRAM LAUNCHED INTO PEOPLE IMMEDIATELY QUICKLY, AND TO SO MANY, MANY PEOPLE, YOU KNOW, WE'RE STILL NOT OUT OF THE WOODS YET.

THERE ARE STILL PEOPLE THAT ARE GETTING REINTEGRATED BACK INTO OUR ECONOMY.

QUITE FRANKLY, THAT BLESSING OF, UH, OF HAVING THE LOWEST UNEMPLOYMENT RATE IN THE COUNTRY, UH, IS ALSO THE CHALLENGE ASSOCIATED WITH PEOPLE, YOU KNOW, TRYING TO FIND WORK.

SO IT IS, UH, UH, THE ANNOUNCEMENT TODAY IS TO SAY TO PEOPLE WHO ARE TENANTS RENTERS TO LANDLORDS, WE'RE PUTTING SOME ADDITIONAL MONEY INTO THE, INTO THE KITTY.

IT IS AVAILABLE, PEOPLE SHOULD ACCESS IT.

I ALSO WANT TO THANK THE APARTMENT AUSTIN APARTMENT ASSOCIATION AND THE AUSTIN BOARD OF REALTORS, UM, BECAUSE THEY HAVE BEEN, UM, UH, STAKEHOLDERS THAT WE HAVE WORKED WITH THROUGH THIS ENTIRE PROCESS.

THESE NUMBERS DON'T ONLY REPRESENT GETTING MONEY TO RENTERS AND TENANTS SO THEY CAN STAY IN THEIR HOMES, BUT ALSO TO LANDLORDS SO THAT THEY CAN CONTINUE TO PAY THEIR MORTGAGES.

THIS IS A WIN WIN FOR THE CITY OF AUSTIN.

THANK YOU FOR YOUR LEADERSHIP, UH, COUNTY JUDGE, THANK YOU FOR EVERYTHING THAT TRAVIS COUNTY AND YOU ARE DOING TO, TO LEAD ON THIS MATTER AS WELL.

ALRIGHT, THANKS.

GOOD MORNING, TRAVIS COUNTY, JUDGE ANDY BROWN.

AND JUST WANT TO SAY AGAIN, THANK YOU TO MY PREDECESSOR IN THIS JOB, SENATOR ECKHART FOR LEADING ON THIS EARLY ON THE MAYOR, STEVE ADLER COUNCIL MEMBER, GREG CASAR, AND COUNCIL MEMBER FUENTES FOR BEING SUCH GREAT PARTNERS IN ALL THIS, AND REALLY WANT TO THANK SHERRY FLEMING.

WHO'S THE HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES DIRECTOR AT TRAVIS COUNTY FOR MAKING SURE THAT ALL OF THESE GREAT THINGS THAT I'M TALKING ABOUT WERE ABLE TO HAPPEN OVER THE PAST YEAR AND A HALF AT OUR JOINT, TRAVIS COUNTY AND CITY OF AUSTIN, EVICTION PROTECTIONS HAVE REALLY SAVED COUNTLESS LIVES ACROSS THE COUNTY.

AND AT THE END OF THE DAY, THAT'S WHAT IT'S ALL ABOUT.

KEEPING TRAVIS COUNTY FAMILIES AND OUR ENTIRE COMMUNITY SAFE THROUGHOUT THIS UNPRECEDENTED PANDEMIC THAT WE'RE STILL, FRANKLY, IN THE MIDDLE OF WHETHER IT'S COVID OR A NATURAL DISASTER, KEEPING FAMILIES HOUSED IN SAFE PLACES IS THE BEST WAY TO PROMOTE ECONOMIC STABILITY, SAFETY FOR THEM AND PREVENT THE SPREAD OF COVID HAVING A SAFE, STABLE PLACE TO LIVE, HELPS PEOPLE KEEP THEIR JOBS AND IT HELPS STRENGTHEN OUR ECONOMY THROUGHOUT THE PANDEMIC.

TRAVIS COUNTY HAS CONTINUED TO HAVE THE FEWEST NUMBER OF PANDEMIC RELATED EVICTIONS AND THE LEAST NUMBER OF COVID-19 DEATHS AMONG THE LARGE COUNTIES IN TEXAS.

AND THIS CONTINUES TO BE IN LARGE PART BECAUSE OF THESE PROTECTIONS THAT THIS WHOLE TEAM HAS IMPLEMENTED OVER THE PAST DURING THE PANDEMIC.

AND I JUST WANT TO GIVE YOU A FEW STATISTICS.

IN ADDITION TO OUR EVICTION PROTECTIONS OVER THE PAST FISCAL YEAR, WE'VE BEEN ABLE TO PROVIDE FROM SHERRY FLEMING'S DEPARTMENT OVER 14 MILLION IN RENT AND MORTGAGE ASSISTANCE AT THE COUNTY 5.6 MILLION AND UTILITY ASSISTANCE TO OVER 15,000 PEOPLE IN THE COUNTY.

AND I'M LOOKING FORWARD TO CONTINUING TO WORK ALONGSIDE OUR PARTNERS HERE AT THE CITY OF AUSTIN, TO ENSURE THAT EVERYONE IN OUR COMMUNITY CONTINUES TO HAVE ACCESS TO SAFE STABLE HOUSING.

THANK YOU VERY MUCH.

GOOD MORNING.

MY NAME IS SHOSHANA KRIEGER AND I'M THE PROJECT DIRECTOR OF BOSTON BUILDING AND STRENGTHENING TENANT ACTION.

UM, TODAY'S PROTECTIONS GO A LONG WAY, UH, TO STABILIZING AUSTINITES.

UM, EVICTION IS A VIOLENT ACT THAT UPROOTS AUSTINITES, TRAUMATIZES FAMILIES, DESTABILIZES COMMUNITIES AND STUTZ, CHILDHOOD DEVELOPMENT, EVICTION SCARS, EVERYONE IT TOUCHES.

AND THE MERE THREAT OF EVICTION IS ENOUGH TO THROW MOST PEOPLE INTO A PANIC AND DO WHATEVER THEY CAN DO TO MAKE IT GO AWAY.

THE MERE THREAT OF EVICTION CONVINCES TENANTS, NOT TO DEMAND THE REPAIRS THAT THEY ARE ENTITLED TO.

IT MAKES TENANTS PUT UP WITH HARASSMENT AND IT MAKES HONEY JUST PAY A BOGUS FINE OR A FEE RATHER THAN FIGHTING BACK AGAINST ABUSIVE LANDLORDS BASA AND THE COALITION.

WE ARE A PART OF THE EVICTION SOLIDARITY NETWORK.

HERE'S FROM AUSTINITES FACING EVICTION DAILY, WHO ARE STRUGGLING TO STAY HOUSED TO NAVIGATE RENTAL ASSISTANCE PROGRAMS THAT SEEM TO KEEP ASKING FOR ONE ADDITIONAL PIECE OF DOCUMENTATION TO CONVINCE A JUDGE FOR A CONTINUANCE OF A HEARING.

SO THEY CAN FIND A LAWYER AFTER THEY WERE RELEASED JUST THAT MORNING FROM THE HOSPITAL, BECAUSE THEY HAD A STROKE

[00:10:02]

TO ASK THEIR LANDLORD TO PLEASE STOP PROCEEDING WITH EVICTION BECAUSE THEY HAD TAKEN CARE OF A FRIEND'S PETS WHO WAS UNHOUSED.

AND THEY WERE JUST TRYING TO FIND A STABLE PLACE FOR THEM TO LAND.

AND THESE ARE STORIES WE HAVE HEARD JUST IN THIS LAST WEEK, THESE ARE STORIES THAT WE HAVE HEARD WITH THE CURRENT PROTECTIONS IN PLACE.

SO THESE STORIES ARE MANY, MANY, MANY FEWER THAN WE WOULD HAVE HEARD TWO YEARS AGO.

IN 2019, THERE WERE CLOSE TO 12,000 EVICTION FILINGS IN TRAVIS COUNTY.

THUS FAR THIS YEAR, WE HAVE HAD A LITTLE OVER A THOUSAND, SO LESS THAN 10% OF 2019, OF COURSE, WE KNOW THAT THESE FILINGS NUMBERS ARE NOT THE ACTUAL NUMBER OF EVICTIONS.

MANY EVICTIONS ARE INFORMAL, WHICH MEANS A TENANT IS SCARED OUT BY A THREAT BY A NOTICE.

AND THOSE ARE NEVER CAPTURED IN THE DATA.

BUT WE KNOW THAT THE NUMBER WE HAVE RIGHT NOW IS LOWER THAN WE'VE HAD IN OVER A DECADE.

AND BECAUSE THEY ARE DRASTICALLY LOWER THAN PRE PANDEMIC LIVES, WE KNOW THAT THESE PROTECTIONS HAVE SAVED COUNTLESS LIVES, BOTH FROM COVID-19 AND FROM THE LIFELONG TRAUMA OF WHAT IT IS TO BE EVICTED.

AND AT THIS MOMENT, WE'RE AT A FORK IN THE ROAD, AND WE CAN DECIDE WHETHER WE WANT THIS TO JUST BE A BLIP IN CARING ABOUT HOUSING STABILITY FOR AUSTINITES.

AND WHETHER AS OUR AFFORDABLE HOUSING CRISIS DEEPENS, WE DECIDE AS A COMMUNITY TO REWRITE THE SCRIPT TO SAY THAT 20, 20 AND 2021, WE'RE NOT FLUKE YEARS, WHERE ALL OF A SUDDEN WE DECIDED THAT EVICTIONS WERE NOT THE SOLUTION TO OUR HOUSING PROBLEMS, BUT RATHER BOTH A MANIFESTATION AND A CONTRIBUTOR TO THE SYSTEMIC PROBLEMS, WHICH CAUSE HOUSING INSTABILITY TODAY IS A STEP TO CONTINUE THOSE LOWER NUMBERS.

AND WE HAVE A DECISION AS TO WHETHER WE WANT TO CONTINUE THAT TRAJECTORY.

HOUSING IS A HUMAN RIGHT, AND EVICTION IS NOT A CURE.

THANK YOU.

HI, MY NAME IS CARLA DAVIS.

I'M GOING TO TELL YOU MY STORY.

I WAS AN EMPLOYEE AT THE RESIDENCE AT THE MARRIOTT FOR ALMOST A YEAR.

AND SO I GOT A PHONE CALL ONE DAY THAT I WAS BEING LAID OFF DUE TO COVID-19.

AND SO FROM HERE FROM THEIR OWN THINGS JUST GOT BAD.

SO WE HAD THE WINTER STORM, WHICH CAME IN AND CAUSED A BIG GAS LEAK OVER THERE AT THE, AT THE MOUNT CARMEL APARTMENTS.

SO WE WERE WITHOUT HEAT GAS FOR 40 DAYS.

BOSTON CAME IN AND HELPED US FORM A TENANTS' COUNCIL.

UM, AND THEN THINGS WENT GOING FROM THERE, THE MANAGER, THE OWNER, HE CAME IN AND HE HELPED PLACE US AND APARTMENTS HOTELS.

UM, AND THEN AFTER THAT I WAS RECEIVING UNEMPLOYMENT UNTIL THAT RAN OUT.

THEN I WAS RECEIVING THE PANDEMIC UNEMPLOYMENT BENEFITS.

AND SO WHEN I MOVED BACK IN JULY, I DIDN'T HAVE ANY MORE UNEMPLOYMENT.

SO I NEEDED HELP WITH RENT ASSISTANCE.

I NEEDED HELP TO PURCHASE THINGS LIKE MORE BEDS, MORE FURNITURE, MORE FOOD, THINGS OF THAT NATURE.

AFTER THAT, I APPLIED IN JULY FOR RENT ASSISTANCE AND I JUST RECEIVED THE ASSISTANCE IN SEPTEMBER.

UM, WHEN WE WERE GOING THROUGH THOSE THINGS, YOU KNOW, WE WERE, WE WERE GIVING UP.

WE FELT LIKE THERE WAS NO HOPE, BUT THINGS TURNED AROUND.

AND SO RENT ASSISTANCE IS NECESSARY BECAUSE WE DON'T NEED ANY MORE HOMELESS PEOPLE.

THERE'S ALREADY A LOT.

IF YOU LOOK AROUND, THERE'S ALREADY A LOT.

AND SO IT'S NECESSARY.

THANK YOU.

AS A HOUSING AUTHORITY, THE HOUSING AUTHORITY OF THE CITY OF AUSTIN HAS BEEN HOUSING, VULNERABLE POPULATIONS FOR OVER 80 YEARS, WE HAVE THE EXPERTISE TO PROCESS APPLICATIONS, SCREEN FOR ELIGIBILITY, MAKE MILLIONS OF DOLLARS IN PAYMENTS TO LANDLORDS ON BEHALF OF RENTERS.

SO WHEN THE PANDEMIC CAME AND THE CITY'S HOUSING AND DEPARTMENT ASKED US TO PARTNER WITH THEM TO DISTRIBUTE THESE FUNDS AS QUICKLY AS POSSIBLE, WE JUMPED AT THAT CHALLENGE BECAUSE WE KNEW THAT WAS OUR DUTY.

[00:15:01]

WE WERE ABLE TO MODIFY EXISTING TECHNOLOGIES AND DEPLOY OVER 70 PEOPLE THAT ARE WORKING ON THIS PROJECT ON A DAILY BASIS.

WE'VE BEEN DISTRIBUTING RELIEF FUNDS FOR THE CITY SINCE MAY OF 2020.

AND AT THAT TIME WE MADE $1.2 MILLION IN PAYMENTS.

IN ONE MONTH TODAY WE'RE MAKING OVER $11 MILLION IN PAYMENTS TO LANDLORDS ON BEHALF OF RESIDENTS.

EVERY MONTH, WE KNOW THAT WHEN A FAMILY IS SIGNIFICANTLY BEHIND ON THEIR RENT, THEY'RE NOT ONLY ECONOMICALLY STRESSED.

THEY ARE PSYCHOLOGICALLY AND TRAUMATICALLY STRESSED.

WE KNOW HOW IMPORTANT IT IS THAT THOSE WHO NEED THIS ASSISTANCE THE MOST ARE ACCESSING YET AS QUICKLY AS POSSIBLE.

SO WE WILL CONTINUE TO MAKE THESE PAYMENTS AS QUICKLY AS POSSIBLE TO LANDLORDS ON BEHALF OF RESONANCE.

AND WE WILL CONTINUE TO ASSIST PEOPLE TO ACCESS THIS BENEFIT.

WE WANT TO MAKE SURE THAT ANYBODY THAT NEEDS THIS ASSISTANCE KNOWS ABOUT IT AND CAN ACCESS IT AS QUICKLY AS POSSIBLE.

LIKE I SAID, WE'VE DISTRIBUTED MILLIONS AND MILLIONS OF DOLLARS ON BEHALF OF THE CITY.

WE'RE VERY HAPPY TO BE A PART OF THIS PARTNERSHIP TO BE A PART OF THIS COALITION THAT IS BRINGING FAMILIES TO A BETTER PLACE.

UM, WE HAVE MADE OVER 64,000 MONTHLY RENT PAYMENTS TO LANDLORDS ON BEHALF OF RESIDENTS.

AND WE KNOW THAT THAT HOPEFULLY IS BRINGING MORE RELIEF TO FAMILIES WHO ARE STILL FINDING THEMSELVES IN A STRETCH SITUATION DUE TO THE PANDEMIC.

SO WE WILL CONTINUE TO MAKE THESE PAYMENTS AS QUICKLY AS POSSIBLE AND ENSURE THAT FAMILIES HAVE THE RELIEF THAT THEY NEED.

THANK YOU.

GOOD MORNING.

MY NAME IS CUPID ALEXANDER AND I SERVE AS THE ASSISTANT DIRECTOR OF HOUSING AND PLANNING.

IT'S LUCKY FOR ME TO BE UP HERE AND IT'S EASIER TO HAVE THIS CONVERSATION.

SO I WANT TO SPEAK DIRECTLY TO THE RENTERS.

WE KNOW WE HAVE ALL HAD HARD TIMES RECENTLY AND SOME OF US HARDER THAN OTHERS.

NONE OF US COULD HAVE PLANNED FOR THIS.

WE KNOW THAT MANY AUSTINITES NEED HELP.

AND SO WE'RE HERE TO PROVIDE IT VERY QUICKLY.

OUR EMERGENCY RENT ASSISTANCE PROGRAM CALLED RENT HAS HAD SUCCESSFUL IMPLEMENTATIONS.

WE HAVE GOTTEN A GRADE A IF YOU'RE WORRIED ABOUT THAT, WE HAVE GREAT.

WE'VE PUT THE MONEY OUT AS QUICKLY AS POSSIBLE.

AND WE'VE BEEN DOING THIS SINCE LAST YEAR'S PANDEMIC STARTED, BUT IF YOU'VE BEEN HESITANT, NO, YOU DON'T NEED TO BE.

WE'VE DISPERSED OVER $65 MILLION.

WE HAVE MILLIONS OF DOLLARS REMAINING.

I WANT TO BE SURE THAT YOU GET THIS.

PLEASE VISIT AUSTIN, TEXAS.GOV/RENT.

AGAIN, IT'S AUSTIN, TEXAS.GOV/RENT ON OUR WEBSITE.

YOU CAN SEE THE STORIES OF OTHER INDIVIDUALS WHO HAVE RECEIVED THIS ASSISTANCE.

DON'T JUST TAKE MY WORD FOR IT.

ONCE YOU GET AN APPLICATION IN HELP IS USUALLY AVAILABLE WITHIN A COUPLE OF WEEKS.

WE KNOW HOW IMPORTANT IT IS FOR AUSTIN RENTERS IN DANGER OF LOSING THEIR HOUSING.

AND IT'S A HARD TIME.

SO DON'T FEEL SHAMED ABOUT APPLYING FOR ASSISTANCE.

LET US HELP YOU GET THROUGH THIS TOGETHER SO WE CAN GET THROUGH THIS HEALTHY.

AND I WANTED TO THANK YOU.

AND I WANTED TO THANK THE STAFF AND ALL OF THE PARTNERS UP HERE BECAUSE WITHOUT THEIR HELP TO ASSIST OUR COMMUNITY, WE WOULDN'T BE ABLE TO DO IT.

SO THANK YOU FOR THAT.

AND I'LL HAND IT BACK TO THE COUNCIL MEMBER RIGHT BEFORE WE TAKE QUESTIONS.

I REALLY DO WANT TO THANK BOSTON FOR YOUR WORK REACHING OUT TO TENANTS.

CARLA, THANK YOU FOR SHARING YOUR STORY.

AND WE KNOW THAT IT'S ONE OF 34,000 STORIES OF SO MANY PEOPLE WHO HAVE BEEN ABLE TO BE KEPT IN THEIR HOMES AND REALLY THANK YOU TO THE CITY AND COUNTY STAFF AND HAKA, ESPECIALLY BECAUSE THERE HAVE BEEN CITIES ACROSS THE COUNTRY THAT HAVE NOT BEEN ABLE TO GET HELP OUT TO PEOPLE WHO NEED IT.

AND REALLY YOUR WORK HAS BEEN CRITICAL TO THAT.

AND LASTLY, COUNCIL MARGARET WENT TO THANK YOU FOR BEING THERE WITH US EVERY SINGLE STEP OF THE WAY.

AND SO TODAY THE COUNCIL WILL DEDICATE MILLIONS MORE DOLLARS TO OUR RENTAL ASSISTANCE FUND SO THAT ANYONE'S STRUGGLING WITH RENT AT THIS STAGE IN THE PANDEMIC CAN KNOW THAT THERE IS ASSISTANCE WAITING IF YOU NEED IT.

AND WE WILL BE EXTENDING THE RENTAL PROTECTIONS BY CITY ORDINANCE THROUGH THE END OF THE YEAR BY COUNCIL VOTE.

THIS IS IMPORTANT BECAUSE WE'VE SEEN IT WORKS.

WE HAVE KEPT TENS OF THOUSANDS OF PEOPLE IN THEIR HOMES.

WE HAVE KEPT EVICTION RATES AT THE LOWEST RATES IN THE ENTIRE STATE.

THIS IS A SUCCESS STORY THAT WE'RE GOING TO CONTINUE TO BUILD ON BECAUSE THE DATA SHOWS THAT THIS HAS WORKED.

IT HAS KEPT FAMILIES TOGETHER.

WE'VE KEPT FAMILIES HOUSED, WE HAVE SAVED LIVES, AND WE'RE GOING TO KEEP MAKING SURE THAT WE PRIORITIZE WORKING CLASS PEOPLE IN THIS COMMUNITY.

SO THANK YOU ALL SO MUCH FOR JOINING US AND WE'RE HERE TO ANSWER YOUR QUESTIONS

[00:20:13]

SO THE QUESTION WAS ABOUT THE, UH, ORDER, UH, EXTENSION, UH, I THINK THE COUNTY JUDGE AND I ARE BOTH GOING TO EXTEND THE ORDERS TO MAKE SURE THAT, UM, UH, WE CAN PREVENT EVICTIONS WHILE WE GET, UH, THIS, UH, UH, ADDITIONAL SOME OUT TO, TO THE COMMUNITY.

UH, IT'S GOING TO GET EXTENDED.

I THINK PROBABLY THE ORDER WOULD GET ENTERED TOMORROW.

UH, AND BASICALLY IT'LL, IT'LL CONTAIN A KIND OF A PHASE OUT THROUGH THE END OF THE YEAR, UH, BUT GIVE PEOPLE TIME.

SO IT'LL PROBABLY EXTEND A LITTLE BIT INTO, UH, TO NEXT YEAR.

UH, BUT THE, THE PROGRAM, UH, WILL BE, UH, UH, REMAINING OPEN HERE TO GET THE, THIS LAST, UH, AMOUNT OF MONEY, UH, OUT TO, TO PEOPLE TENANTS INTO, UH, INTO LANDLORDS WE HAVE HAD THAT CONVERSATION AND I THINK IT'S THE RIGHT THING TO PRESS, TO DO, TO HAVE A PERMANENT RENTAL ASSISTANCE PROGRAM THAT GOES YEAR-ROUND IN PAST PROGRAMS HAVE LARGELY BEEN FUNDED BY FEDERAL DOLLARS, BUT TODAY'S VOTE IS ENTIRELY CITY DOLLARS.

AND I THINK THAT GOES TO SHOW THAT AS A CITY, WE CAN STEP UP AND USE OUR DOLLARS.

EVEN WHEN THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT ISN'T THERE TO HAVE A LONG STANDING PROGRAM, BECAUSE WE'VE SHOWN THAT OUR PROGRAM WORKS AT FIRST, IT WAS TAKING SEVERAL WEEKS TO GET PEOPLE MONEY, BUT AS THE STAFF LAID OUT, NOW, THERE ARE PEOPLE WHO CAN GET ASSISTANCE WITHIN A WEEK OR TWO WHO HAVE THEIR DOCUMENTS PREPARED AND NEED THAT HELP.

SO I THINK WE'VE BUILT A GREAT MODEL THAT WE CAN KEEP MOVING ON IN THE FUTURE.

AND I THINK ALSO MAYBE SEVERAL Y'ALL HAVE COVERED THE FEDERAL MORATORIUM THAT HAS, HAS LAPSED, BUT YOU CAN SEE ALSO HOW IMPORTANT THE LOCAL ORDERS AND THE LOCAL ORDINANCE AND RENT ASSISTANCE PROGRAMS HAVE BEEN BECAUSE MANY OF THESE EVICTIONS WERE FILED IN OTHER CITIES, EVEN WITH THE FEDERAL MORATORIUM IN PLACE.

SO IT REALLY HAS TAKEN THOSE LOCAL PROTECTIONS TO MAKE THIS KIND OF CHANGE AGILE UNFORTUNATELY, IN THIS PANDEMIC, WE'VE REALIZED WE HAVE TO GO AT OUR OWN WAY.

WE HAVE TO TAKE CARE OF OURSELVES AND WE CAN'T WAIT ON THE STATE TO PROVIDE PROTECTIONS.

UNFORTUNATELY, OVER THE LAST FEW MONTHS, WE'VE SEEN THE GOVERNOR FOCUS MORE ON MAKING SURE KIDS DON'T HAVE MASKS IN SCHOOLS, THEN DISTRIBUTING THE FEDERAL DOLLARS AVAILABLE TO KEEP PEOPLE IN THEIR HOMES OR TO SAVE SMALL BUSINESSES.

AND SO WE'RE GOING TO KEEP ON STEPPING UP WITH OUR OWN PROTECTIONS AND OUR OWN FUNDS.

AND I HOPE THAT OUR LEGISLATURE CHOOSES TO DEDICATE MONEY, TO GO TO PEOPLE WHO ARE STRUGGLING RATHER THAN JUST FOR EXAMPLE, TAX BREAKS FOR BIG COMPANIES.

AND I DON'T KNOW IF ANYBODY ELSE WANTS TO SPEAK TO THAT.

I THINK COUNCIL, WHERE IF ONE DOES THE SPIRIT OF WANTING TO GIVE HER A CHANCE, BUT ANYBODY ELSE WANT TO TALK TO STATE STUFF? OKAY.

SEE, THE LADDER CUPID WHENEVER YOU WANT TO TAKE IT ON.

UM, WE, WE HAVE A CALL CENTER TAKING CALLS AND TO THOSE VERY QUICKLY, WE ALSO HAVE AN IN-PERSON APPLICATION ASSISTANCE CENTER AT THE HOUSING AUTHORITY HEADQUARTERS IN THE CENTER OF TOWN ON RIVERSIDE.

AND ANYBODY THAT NEEDS ASSISTANCE.

WE CAN, UM, THEY CAN COME IN, WE CAN BE ON THE PHONE WITH THEM.

WE CAN FILL OUT THE APPLICATION FOR THEM.

THEY CAN CALL TO MAKE AN APPOINTMENT AT 5 1 2 4 8 8 1 3 9 7, AND WE'RE HERE TO HELP.

SO, UM, WE ARE NOT SEEING A LAG IN RETURNING CALLS AND WE'RE SEEING A LOT OF PEOPLE COME IN IN PERSON BECAUSE THEY EITHER, UH, CANNOT READ OR MAYBE THEY DON'T HAVE ACCESS TO A COMPUTER OR ACCESS TO AN INTERNET.

AND WE HAVE ALL OF THE RESOURCES.

THEY NEED TO BE ABLE TO FILL OUT AN APPLICATION.

SURE.

CAN YOU TALK ABOUT THE DEMOGRAPHICS WE ARE SEEING THAT THE PLACES MOST HIT BY COVID 19 AND MOST HIT BY UNEMPLOYMENT ARE THE PLACES THAT ARE GETTING THE MOST ASSISTANCE.

UH, THE FOLKS THAT ARE OVERWHELMINGLY GETTING HELP, OUR FAMILIES, 2, 3, 4 PERSON HOUSEHOLDS,

[00:25:02]

UH, HEAVILY, UH, HOUSEHOLDS HEADED BY WOMEN.

THE MAJORITY OF ASSISTANCE IS GOING TO SINGLE MOMS, UH, PEOPLE IN OUR COMMUNITY THAT ARE WORKING HARD, WHO NEED THAT HELP, WHO MAY HAVE LOST A JOB BECAUSE THEY WERE IN THE HOSPITALITY INDUSTRY OR THEY WERE IN THE RESTAURANT INDUSTRY.

UM, YOU KNOW, OUR, IT HAS OVERWHELMINGLY BEEN, UH, THOSE HOUSEHOLDS HEADED BY WOMEN THAT HAVE RECEIVED SUPPORT, ESPECIALLY ON THE EAST SIDE, BECAUSE WE SAW SO MUCH LOSS OF JOBS OF PEOPLE WHO ARE ESSENTIAL WORKERS ON THE EAST SIDE.

AND THAT'S WHERE WE'VE SEEN MOST OF THE SUPPORT.

GREAT.

SHERRY, PLEASE GO AHEAD AND COULD RESPOND TO THAT TO YOU.

GOOD MORNING, SHERRI FLEMING COUNTY EXECUTIVE FOR HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES.

AND THAT IS SIGNIFICANTLY TRUE FOR THE COUNTY AS WELL.

AND THE COUNTY COMMISSIONER'S COURT EARLY IN THE PANDEMIC EXPANDED OUR ELIGIBILITY BECAUSE WE FIND THAT THOSE SINGLE MOM HAD HOUSEHOLDS HAD A LITTLE BIT MORE INCOME, BUT YET NOT QUITE ENOUGH TO HELP MAKE ENDS MEET.

AND SO THOSE CHANGES IN OUR POLICY HAVE MADE IT POSSIBLE FOR MANY OF THOSE HOUSEHOLDS TO RECEIVE ASSISTANCE.

AND PLEASE, AND SHARE IS BEING HUMBLE IN THE, AT LEAST WHEN THE REPORT WAS DONE AFTER THE KIND OF THE FIRST PART OF THIS, I THINK BASED ON NUMBERS THROUGH JULY SHERRY'S PROGRAM IN TRAVIS COUNTY HAD ACTUALLY WAS ONE OF THE HIGHEST PERCENTAGES IN THE STATE OF REACHING OUT TO PEOPLE WHO ARE AFRICAN-AMERICAN HISPANIC AND LATIN X.

SO GOOD JOB, SHERRY.

THANK YOU.

UH, RIGHT NOW WE HAVE ABOUT $9 MILLION LEFT.

SO WE'RE LOOKING FORWARD TO HELPING ALL OF THE FAMILIES THAT NEED THE ASSISTANCE.

I DON'T WANT TO PANIC ANYONE, BUT WE ARE WILLING TO ASSIST ANYONE WHO NEEDS THE ASSISTANCE.

DEFINITELY CHECK OUT THE WEBSITE, BUT AS OF RIGHT NOW, SO ABOUT NINE PLUS THE SUTTON ALMOST SEVEN, WE'RE RUNNING TODAY.

I'M HAPPY TO DO MY I'M HAPPY TO ANSWER.

THAT SOUNDS GOOD.

WE HAVE TO TAKE EXTREMELY SERIOUSLY THE INCREASE IN RENT IN THIS COMMUNITY.

IT'S UNSUSTAINABLE AND IT HURTS THE WORKING FAMILIES WE'RE TRYING TO KEEP HOUSED.

SO I THINK IT'S CRITICAL THAT IN THE COMING MONTHS, THE CITY MAKE SURE THAT WE DEPLOY OUR $300 MILLION ANTI-DISPLACEMENT FUND AND BE KIT BEGIN DEPLOYMENT OF THAT FUND.

THIS MONTH, WE ARE STARTING THE FIRST DEPLOYMENTS OF THE CITY'S ANTI-DISPLACEMENT FUND SO THAT WE CAN KEEP PEOPLE IN THIS COMMUNITY.

AND WHEN THE CITY ACTUALLY INVESTS IN ANTI-DISPLACEMENT HOUSING, WE CAN CONTROL RENTS.

THE STATE OF TEXAS UNFORTUNATELY HAS BANNED CONTROLLING RENTS, BUT WHEN THERE'S CITY FUNDING AVAILABLE OR IN A PROJECT, WE CAN CONTROL THE RENT AND KEEP THAT RENT REASONABLE SO THAT PEOPLE CAN AFFORD IT.

WE ALSO NEED MORE HOUSING SUPPLY.

WE KNOW THAT IN A GROWING CITY WHERE WE'VE SEEN LESS HOUSING GET BUILT, BUT MORE AND MORE PEOPLE BE BORN HERE OR MOVE HERE THAT, THAT HAS TENANTS, UH, COMPETING AGAINST EACH OTHER AND ALMOST UNPRECEDENTED WAY.

WE SEE PEOPLE BIDDING EACH OTHER AGAINST EACH OTHER TO INCREASE RENT WHERE PEOPLE ARE JUST TRYING TO FIND AN APARTMENT.

THAT MEANS WE NEED MORE SUPPLY.

AND THAT MEANS CHANGING OUR LAND DEVELOPMENT RULES SO THAT WE AREN'T JUST BUILDING BIG MCMANSIONS, BUT INSTEAD ADDING MORE AFFORDABLE HOUSING TYPES IN OUR COMMUNITY.

AND THEN FINALLY WE DO NEED TO SOON HAVE AN ELECTION ON AFFORDABLE HOUSING TO BRING THE KINDS OF DOLLARS THAT WE SAW FOR THINGS LIKE TRANSIT DIRECTLY INTO HOUSING SO THAT WE CAN HAVE A WAY MORE SIGNIFICANT AMOUNT OF WORKING CLASS AND MIDDLE CLASS HOUSING IN THE CITY.

THANK YOU GUYS.

* This transcript was compiled from uncorrected Speech-to-Text.