SAHA Unveils Expanded Rental Assistance Funding for Residents
May 8, 2020
In an effort to expand assistance to San Antonio Housing Authority (SAHA) residents experiencing financial hardship during the pandemic, the agency announced two new funding initiatives 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 specifically assist SAHA residents with rent assistance. SAHA is also providing some of its staff to support the Program’s application review.
The agency 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 portfolio who are experiencing financial hardship. Documentation of the hardship will be required.
Approximately 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.
“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,” said David Nisivoccia, SAHA President and CEO. “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.”
SAHA residents’ median annual household income is approximately $10,000.
In addition to these two rent assistance funding initiatives, SAHA residents always have the ability to reduce their monthly rent through a change of income request as a result 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 submitted requests to reduce their respective monthly rents, which SAHA is currently processing.
In addition, 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.
SAHA is one of the last remaining public housing authorities in the United States to still offer rent repayment plans to its residents.
SAHA took immediate action in early March to protect its residents by suspending evictions, notices to vacate, fees, among other things, 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 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 saha.org.
SAHA residents can also request a change of income using forms which can be found at saha.org.