Problems in Texas eviction courts
By John Henneberger
May 5, 2022
0:00 / 22:37
Problems in Texas eviction courts
John Henneberger

This is A Little Louder, a podcast for wonks housers, and rabble-rousers where we talk about fair housing, community development and how we can use these issues to build people power and work toward equity and justice. I'm John Henneberger and today's short version of our podcast is a buzz session where we talk about current issues facing Texas affordable homes and neighborhoods.

And once again, today, we're talking about evictions. In some Texas cities, evictions have reached or exceeded the pre pandemic levels, Texas Housers and other tenant rights organizations have been observing eviction proceedings in Texas justice of the peace courts. We're trying to understand how tenants are doing in the proceedings and whether the judges are administrating the eviction proceedings in compliance with the orders of the Texas Supreme Court

. We've seen judges in a number of instances that are not following the process outlined by the Supreme Court, and the result is that tenants are being wrongfully evicted. Two Texas housers who've been observing court will tell us today about what's going on. Tori Travermina from Houston and Erin Hahn from San Antonio.

Erin what's the eviction situation in San Antonio in Bexar county?

Erin Hahn

According to the Texas Housers eviction case dashboard, Bexar county had 2,166 new eviction cases in February, which is the most recent month that we have eviction data for. That's up 11.2% from a month prior and 41.3% from the month before that, We're estimating that one out of every 122 renter households in Bexar county faced a new eviction case in February.

So it's an, the concerningly high rates of Bexar county renter households being evicted and the problem is only getting worse.

John Henneberger

Yep. Getting bad.

Tori. What about Houston and Harris county? What are evictions looking like there?

Tori Tavormina

Yep. Harris county has been in the top five evicting cities in the country for the entire year of 2022 so far, according to the Eviction Lab. Last week, the Houston area actually saw 1,104 new eviction filings in a single week. And according to the Eviction Lab, Houston area, eviction filings have been worse than before the pandemic for all of 2022. So 65% over average in February, 80% over average in March and 45% over average in April.

According to the Texas Housers eviction dashboard, Harris county also has the highest eviction ratio. In February that was one out of every 109 renters facing a new eviction case.