The Tahirih Justice Center is disappointed in today’s decision by the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia to end the nationwide moratorium on evictions, in addition to the Texas Supreme Court’s order to end its state implementation last month. As the economic impact of the pandemic continues to devastate marginalized communities, including immigrant communities and survivors of gender-based violence, thousands of Houston residents remain at risk of losing their homes.
“More than a year into the pandemic, immigrant survivors continue to face housing instability and remain in highly precarious situations,” said Guadalupe Fernández, Tahirih Houston Policy and Advocacy Manager. “Having stable housing is foundational for survivors of violence to access safety. And expired policies have time and time again left survivors without protections to weather the tumultuous impacts of the pandemic. In the absence of federal policies, Harris County officials and other localities must take immediate action to support survivors who are now at risk of losing their homes this month.”
Immigrant survivors of violence have been especially vulnerable during the pandemic. Although the survivors that Tahirih serves are eligible for immigration relief under law, nearly all the families we work with have been excluded from federal emergency aid during the pandemic, further limiting the options for safe housing. Because of the financial impact of the pandemic, our clients who previously had stable housing have considered returning to live with a partner who has been violent. We continue to advise families on their rights as tenants and how to negotiate rent, as well as work with local officials on policy solutions to secure housing.
Guadalupe Fernández is available for comment. Please contact [email protected] for more information on this topic.