Houston woman's story brings hope for others facing evictions

Nick Natario Image
Wednesday, September 9, 2020
Houston woman's story brings hope for others facing evictions
Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee said lawmakers are set to discuss a new bill in Washington next week.

HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) -- As Congress returns to D.C., Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee said rental relief will be a topic of discussion.

Last week, the CDC placed a ban on evictions for those impacted by the pandemic through the end of the year, but the order still requires tenants to pay rent and fees.

Judy Phillips, a tenant who thought she would be evicted, received a notice to leave her home on Labor Day.

After hearing about Phillips' story, Lee presented money to Phillips' landlord from donations that will keep her in her home through the end of the year.

"There's a lot of people in the same shoes I'm in since the COVID-19," Phillips said.

Lee said she has heard from many people who are currently struggling.

Before lawmakers return to D.C. this month, she wanted to send a message to landlords.

"You all have to rise to the occasion of being a good Samaritan. It's not as if you're not getting any money," Lee said. "Your money is on the preservice."

Lee said she believes the Senate will pass a stimulus bill this week. Once approved, the House and Senate will negotiate a new bill.

The congresswoman believes it will include money to help struggling tenants.

"It will include money for cities and states, and it include money for foreclosure evictions moratorium or relief," Lee explained.

There's also help in Houston and Harris County. The city is working with Baker Ripley to update its website to allow tenants to apply without their landlords. This is a move Phillips believes will help her immensely.

"I know God is good, because I was supposed to be out of here yesterday," Phillips said.

RELATED: Everything you need to know about Houston's second Rental Relief Package

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