San Antonio Housing Authority (SAHA) has launched two new funding initiatives to assist residents facing financial hardship during the COVID-19 crisis as part of efforts to assist more than 19,000 public housing and SAHA owned and managed mixed-income community residents.
SAHA is contributing $350,000 to the City of San Antonio’s COVID-19 Emergency Assistance Program, formerly known as the Risk Mitigation Fund, to help SAHA residents with rent assistance. SAHA will also provide staff to support the program’s application review.
SAHA is also announcing a 25% rent forgiveness program for the month of June for public housing and mixed-income residents in the agency’s Beacon communities for those experiencing financial hardship. Documentation is required.
“We know in normal circumstances our residents — some of the most economically challenged San Antonians — struggle to make ends meet and the current pandemic has exacerbated the plight of our residents,” David Nisivoccia, SAHA President and CEO, said in a press release. “We have been working diligently to find new ways to help our residents, and I’m proud we will continue to be there for them as we navigate these uncharted circumstances.”
About 23% of public housing households in San Antonio are delinquent in rent and about 25% of SAHA’s mixed-income communities are delinquent for a total revenue loss of at least $1 million to SAHA in the month of April alone. SAHA residents’ median annual household income is approximately $10,000, the agency said.
In addition to the two rent assistance programs, SAHA residents can reduce their monthly rent through a change of income request because of a loss of employment or reduced work hours.
Since mid-March, more than 100 public housing households and nearly 500 Housing Choice Voucher, or Section 8, recipients have requested to have their monthly rents reduced. Requests are being processed.
SAHA allows residents to establish repayment plans for late rent. New applications for repayment plans will resume after the mortartirum established by the CARES Act expires in late July.
In early March, SAHA took action to protect its residents by suspending evictions, notices to vacate, and fees before government orders were implemented and before the CARES Act was passed. SAHA residents seeking help from the City’s Emergency Assistance Program should visit www.sanantonio.gov/NHSD/Programs/FairHousing.
SAHA residents interested in applying for the 25% June rent forgiveness program will be provided more information on how to apply later this month at www.saha.org.
SAHA residents can also request a change of income using forms which can be found at saha.org.