COVID-19 Resources for Texas

THIS IS A RAPIDLY EVOLVING SITUATION SO WE WILL CONTINUALLY UPDATE THIS PAGE WITH NEW INFO AND RESOURCES.

Contact ksheehan@populardemocracy.org to share updates or requests.

The pandemic has put at the forefront the inequities entrenched in our state and has produced a call-to-action to protect our communities and position ourselves towards a just recovery. 

We have compiled these Texas-specific resources to aid Local Progress members in taking bold local action and staying informed of efforts underway across the state. Now, more than ever, is a time for us to learn from each other across communities.  

Please reach out to us if you want support in your local response to the spread of coronavirus. We will continue to update this page with relevant resources, action items, and examples of what Local Progress members are doing in our state. You can see examples from other parts of the country on our main LP coronavirus resource page.


Housing

Local Rent Moratorium

Ensure no one loses their housing because of loss of income.

  • Sample Order: County order halting issuance of notices-to-vacate

  • Sample legislation: City ordinance allowing tenants up to 90 days to cure delinquent rent

  • Sample order: Mayoral order halting issuance of notices-to-vacate and removal of tenant’s property


Rental Assistance Program

Implement rental relief that includes adequate funding, ensures that immigrants have access to the funding, prevents corporate bailout, connects tenant protections to receiving relief and lowers barriers to participation as much as possible. 


Additional Steps

Additional steps that localities could take now and in the long-term to prevent furthering our housing crisis (some of this will require state coordination): 

  • Establish a minimum of a 1 year repayment allowance period after the lease ends.
  • Permit mediation prior to eviction.
  • Create an eviction diversion program.
  • Waive late fees during the pandemic.
  • Prevent illegal lockouts. 
  • Pass laws that say that no landlord can EVER base an eviction on any unpaid rent accrued during the state of emergency and push their states to do something similar.

Supporting Workers

Local Health and Safety Standards

Create local standards that protect essential workforces and builds long term standards to keep workers safe.

  • Sample legislation: Ordinance creating health and safety standards for local businesses that remain open

  • Sample resolution: Local governments can pass resolutions in support of the HEROES Act to put pressure on our federal government to pass another relief package that will provide more funding and protections for workers 

  • Best practices and research: Short term and long term solutions in protecting our local workforce.


Local Control

Navigating Local Control and Pre-emption in Texas

Resources to help local leaders navigate local control in Texas:

  • Guide: How do you know if your local government has the legal authority to adopt a policy in response to the Coronavirus pandemic?

  • Guide: Preemption and the pandemic

  • Take Action: LPTX messaging guide and social toolkit to grant localities local control.