AUSTIN, Texas - In a closed and socially distanced council meeting on March 26, the Austin City Council voted on and passed a 60-day eviction grace period, allowing renters to catch up on rent payments. Councilmember Kathie Tovo is a co-sponsor alongside Greg Casar.
“This is intended just for individuals who have been impacted by job loss or having their hours cut,” said Tovo.
The grace period will buy renters more time to come up with rent. They will need to prove to their landlord that they were affected by the virus. Currently, evictions in Travis County are already halted until April, according to the Travis County Justice of the Peace website.
This coronavirus is impacting Austin's economy, workforce and its charm. As testing continues, the cases of COVID-19 will rise. Tovo believes, so will Austin.
“Austin is a resilient community and we are going to do our best to work as hard as we can to get through this public health crisis as soon as possible,” she said.
On March 19, Gov. Greg Abbott issued a public health disaster, the first in Texas since 1901. The executive orders, which took effect at midnight Friday, March 20 and goes through midnight on Friday, April 3, brings the state in line with CDC guidelines to help prevent the spread of COVID-19.
The public health disaster orders schools to be closed statewide until at least April 3. The disaster also orders a ban on dine-in eating and gathering in groups of more than 10 as the state ramps up efforts to battle the coronavirus. Abbott's order also will shut down gyms and bars. It also bans visits to nursing and retirement homes unless there is a critical need.
FOX 7 Austin is working to keep you up to date with coronavirus, with both local and national developments. Every weekday we're live at 1 p.m. with a special show reporting the latest news, prevention tips and treatment information.
You can also get the latest COVID-19 news from around the country at coronavirusnow.com.