Smartie is able of pushing wifi signal 600 feet from the center to families at Cassiano Homes.
The San Antonio Housing Authority announced a continuation of its eviction moratorium until March 1, 2022. Credit: Scott Ball / San Antonio Report

The more than 10,000 residents who live in public or mixed-income housing communities owned by the San Antonio Housing Authority will not face eviction for nonpayment until March 1, 2022, the agency announced on Monday.

This extension continues the moratorium SAHA established in August after the federal eviction moratorium was halted. SAHA was one of the first housing agencies in the U.S. to issue a moratorium at the start of the coronavirus pandemic in March 2020.

“The COVID-19 pandemic has disproportionately impacted economically-disadvantaged families, and at the center are SAHA residents, who have a median household income of approximately $10,000,” Ed Hinojosa Jr., SAHA president and CEO, said in a news release. “Within our communities, families have experienced unemployment, illness and financial loss. Losing their home, the only security they have, would be an [unimaginable] devastation to their livelihood.”

About $3 million in back rent is owed by more than 2,700 SAHA residents, according to the agency. It has requested that Bexar County and the City of San Antonio help pay off that debt with funding from the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA).

Federal law prevents SAHA from forgiving rent and debt can prevent people from qualifying for housing assistance programs.

SAHA has flexible repayment plans and can decrease rent if a tenant’s work or financial situation changes, according to the news release.

The city’s Emergency Housing Assistance Program and the Texas Rent Relief program have allocated millions of dollars to thousands of Bexar County residents, allowing them to stay in their homes. Those programs will continue through at least the end of this year, officials have said.

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Iris Dimmick

Senior Reporter Iris Dimmick covers public policy pertaining to social issues, ranging from affordable housing and economic disparity to policing reform and workforce development. Contact her at