HOUSTON - Harris County has halted all evictions for the remainder of March, and County Judge Lina Hidalgo announced she is working on continuing that order for as long as it is needed.
The halt on evictions is one of the county’s steps to keep its residents from becoming homeless amid the new coronavirus-related mandates that are crippling the economy.
“One of the steps we are taking today is around evictions,” said Hidalgo, adding she is prepared to sign an order ending evictions for as long as necessary.
“The justices of the peace will not be conducting eviction hearings through at least the end of March. We’re continuing to work with them to extend this for however long our community needs it. It’s a matter of safety, not just an economic issue, said Hidalgo. “We don’t want people out on the street simply because there are no jobs because of the coronavirus."
The temporary end to evictions is a part of the county’s continued social distancing plan.
“Today my message continues to be simple, and that is: stay home,” said Hidalgo.
This follows President Trump’s announcement Wednesday that for the time being, the Department of Housing and Urban Development will suspend all home foreclosures and evictions through the end of April.
Amid all this, Hidalgo also spoke about keeping the number of COVID-19 cases in perspective.
“If you guys look at the numbers, it’s still very very limited—just over a thousand in all of Texas, when we know just Harris County is larger than many countries.”