Things have not been so great for a lot of Texans this year. To put it mildly, there has been a lot of doom and gloom spreading across our airwaves since the middle of March. If you have listened to the radio, a current events podcast, or watched the news at all (and we understand if you have tried to stay away), you know that a major topic that has been discussed at length recently is the deadlock between our government leaders in Washington over the creation of new legislation that will extend certain benefits and provide needed resources to businesses and individuals all across America. Sadly, it appears that progress has been stifled by deeply held convictions over what kind of support is needed, how much should be given, and of course, to whom. As we continue to struggle in our fight to contain the spread of the novel Coronavirus that causes COVID-19, one thing is clear: the world is continuing to move forward, with or without a new stimulus package, and businesses and people in Texas and all across the country are struggling to stay afloat.
Much of the media discussion has focused on the expiration of the Cares Act, which officially ended last week and the ramifications that its conclusion will have for people who are currently receiving unemployment funds (with the $600 bonus included). But it wasn’t only the additional unemployment benefits that expired when the first stimulus program ended. Many protections for renters are also expiring or have expired, and moratoriums on evictions that have been in place since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic started to expire as well. This has created a serious problem for Texans who are out of work, have had their hours or wages slashed, or have been furloughed at their jobs, and are having difficulty paying the rent.
With all the stresses that go with job loss and underemployment, many are now facing the additional threat of having to move and/or the potential of homelessness as well. In these dire times of uncertainty, and with the ever-present threat of a continuing and escalating global pandemic upon us, what is the best option for tenants who need a place to live, and for the landlords who still need to collect rent and earn income on their properties?
In a word, the best and first step is always communication.