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A Little Louder
24 minutes | May 6, 2022
Buzz Session 4: Justices of the Peace are ignoring tenant protections
For this Buzz Session episode, John is joined by Texas Housers' Tori Tavormina and Erin Hahn who both are observing eviction court in Houston and San Antonio respectively. What they are seeing there is that while tenant protections exist for those who are receiving rent relief, they are not necessarily observed. We dive deep into what's happening and what needs to come next for eviction court.
24 minutes | Apr 14, 2022
Episode 44: Issues with Texas Rent Relief
On this episode, John explores issues we have heard personally, as well as in the media, regarding the Texas Rent Relief program. While it has been stellar in distributing funds quickly to those who need it, how can they improve accuracy and targeting? And how can we ensure that those seeking help aren't lost in the shuffle and displaced from their homes? We're joined by Texas Housers eviction prevention specialist Tori Tavormina and research analyst Erin Hahn to learn more.
25 minutes | Apr 6, 2022
Episode 43: What could a Tenant Bill of Rights do for San Antonio?
Texas Housers, alongside community members and Texas Organizing Project, have strongly declared together that San Antonio needs a Tenant Bill of Rights. We outlined on our blog what the items in a Tenant Bill of Rights in San Antonio would be, but what does that look like in detail? On this episode of A Little Louder, John is joined by Texas Housers' advocacy director David Wheaton and Texas Organizing Project's Geoffrey Okolo to explain how a Tenant Bill of Rights could effect real, practical change in the city of San Antonio.
11 minutes | Apr 1, 2022
Buzz Session 3: Treasury must clarify plan for recapturing Emergency Rent Assistance funds
In A Little Louder Buzz Session #3, Texas Housers’ Senior Researcher Ben Martin and Research Analyst Erin Hahn discuss the confusion caused by the Treasury Department. They make the case for why it is important to clarify the federal policies on clawing back Emergency Rent Assistance. The US Treasury Department oversees state and local government expenditures of federal Emergency Rent Assistance funds. Texas Housers has discovered inconsistencies in the Treasury Department’s administration of these funds that is causing confusion on when unexpended funds will be taken away from local programs who have not spent all the funds they were allocated. Listen now!
22 minutes | Mar 24, 2022
Buzz Session 2: Lessons to learn from COVID
In our latest Buzz Session from A Little Louder, host John Henneberger sits with Texas Housers' Southeast Texas regional director Julia Orduña, communications manager Michael Depland, and research analyst Erin Hahn to talk about what are the takeaways we've learned as advocates and those fighting for housing justice under this unique crisis. What are the temporary changes that need to become permanent? The group talks about what is happening now, with nearly two years under these circumstances, and what needs to happen next. You can watch the video of 'A Little Louder Video Buzz Session 2: Lessons to learn from COVID' on our website, or you can listen to the audio version wherever you get your podcasts.
22 minutes | Mar 10, 2022
Episode 42: Expanding The Rights of Tenants In Austin with BASTA
On this episode, John is joined by Shoshana Krieger of BASTA Austin who stops by to talk about the fights for tenants' rights happening in both Austin City Council and alongside fellow organizers on the ground. Krieger spoke with us about demanding more protections for tenants in Austin and the hurdles BASTA faces individually as renters as well as a progressive organization in a tenant-hostile state.
14 minutes | Mar 2, 2022
Buzz Session 1: Eviction Surge In Texas
A Little Louder listeners! We have a very special episode today in a new series we call 'Buzz Sessions'. This is our way of quickly reacting to news and topics happening right now. The first 'Buzz Session' we hosted features John Henneberger and Texas Housers senior researcher Ben Martin talking about the urgency of quickly rising eviction numbers in our state with several protections going away, the deadline for rental assistance expiring soon approaching, and what needs to be done to cure both of these issues.
33 minutes | Dec 20, 2021
Episode 41: Houston’s Dangerous Apartment Problem Part 1
A Little Louder is launching a new miniseries on substandard housing in Texas and this episode kicks off the special project with Professor Heather K. Way talking about her in-depth report regarding housing in the Sunnyside area of Houston. In this 2017 presentation to residents and community leaders of Sunnyside, Professor Way talks about the months-long study about the dangerous apartment epidemic in Houston, the City of Houston's role in this epidemic, and what should happen to fix the issue. Spending months pouring through complaints, 311 calls, speaking with residents, and many other data points, the answers to the issue was clear: empower tenants to both address their dangerous living situations and overhaul the city's ability and priority to help these tenants. Listen now for more with Professor Way.
34 minutes | Dec 10, 2021
Episode 40: Demolition Deluge in San Antonio
On this episode of A Little Louder, John is joined by Heather Way, co-director of the Entrepreneurship and Community Development Clinic at the University of Texas School of Law, to talk about the report “Ousted: The City of San Antonio’s Displacement of Residents through Code Enforcement Actions.” This new report from Way and the ECDC details the outsized demolitions happening in San Antonio – specifically located in Black and Latino neighborhoods of the city. There have been hundreds of “orders to vacate” and “orders to demolish” that the City of San Antonio has issued between 2015 – 2020; these numbers far higher than other metropolitan areas in the state like Houston, Austin, and Dallas combined. In addition to Professor Way, A Little Louder also welcomes Texas Housers South Texas Regional Director Mia Loseff to the podcast to talk about how our organization contributed to the report, what the local organizers and community activists are doing to counteract demolitions, and our extensive work in San Antonio.
23 minutes | Nov 22, 2021
Episode 39: Five things that need fixing in the Low-Income Housing Tax Credit program
On this episode of A Little Louder, John sits down with Texas Housers staff attorney Elizabeth Roehm to discuss updates to the Low-Income Housing Tax Credit program in our state. While some things remain the same with the Texas Department of Housing & Community Affairs, 2022 is shaping up to be a time we can effect real change. Elizabeth and John discuss the strategies necessary to create truly affordable housing in higher opportunity areas, and how Texas Housers – alongside a few strong partners – will be fighting for this in the new year.
36 minutes | Nov 5, 2021
Episode 38: The American Rescue Plan Act and Tenants' Rights
On this episode, John is joined by Texas Housers Advocacy Director David Wheaton to give us an update on Texas allocating zero dollars for housing in its American Rescue Plan Act funds and how a coalition of housing organizations are choosing to act now. Texas Housers' Southeast Texas Co-Director Julia Orduña also joins the show to talk about updates with the Texas Rent Relief and Emergency Rental Assistance programs respectively and the urgency to prioritize low-income renters in certain cities and counties.
28 minutes | Sep 7, 2021
Episode 37: ERA and the Eviction Crisis in Texas
John is back in the studio and he is joined by several Housers to talk about rent relief and evictions in Texas. With the CDC moratorium on evictions ending in late August, courtesy of a U.S. Supreme Court ruling, many tenants are in danger of becoming unhoused or doubling up with family or friends, further endangering their safety as well as that of others. The sole measure that can protect renters now is the prompt delivery of rent assistance, so they may pay their back rent. Texas Housers has been tracking how quickly and equitably this rent relief has been reaching tenants, in particular low-income households and households of color, and we have released our most recent findings in the report "Evaluating the Effectiveness of the Emergency Rental Assistance Program in Texas Vol.2". Senior researcher Ben Martin, research analyst and report author Erin Hahn, Southeast Texas regional director Julia Orduña, and community navigator Ally Harris all join John on the podcast to talk about how rent relief and other eviction diversion tactics are playing out in local government and in households across the state.
26 minutes | Jul 14, 2021
Episode 36: Who Can Afford The Rent In Texas?
The National Low Income Housing Coalition has released its Out of Reach report for 2021 and John and Christina are back in studio to discuss how Texas fits into the analysis. Turns out, low-wage workers have a hard time finding affordable housing in Texas, with very little help from state government. The A Little Louder hosts are joined by Texas Housers Senior Research Analyst Ben Martin who helps dissect Out of Reach '21 and what can be done to fix this critical issue for far too many Texans.
35 minutes | Jun 8, 2021
Episode 35: Eviction Courtwatch During COVID-19
John is joined by Texas Housers' Julia Orduña and Ally Harris to talk about their experiences watching eviction court during the COVID-19 pandemic. The CDC moratorium should protect many individuals who appear before a Justice of the Peace due to non-payment of rent. However, far too many defendants and even some judges are not aware of the extent of these protections. Ally and Julia tell A Little Louder about what they have observed, the Houston Eviction Solidarity Network and other volunteer programs like it that are court watching, and what needs to change.
26 minutes | Jan 29, 2021
Episode 34: President Biden's Executive Orders On Housing
It's a new year and a new administration has moved into the White House. On the first day of the Biden presidency, the 46th President of the United States signed several executive orders regarding issues such as the pandemic, criminal justice, the economy, and housing. On this episode of A Little Louder, John and Christina both provide historical context to the power of the Fair Housing Act and talk about restoring the federal government's power to protect low-income households. The two also touch on what the Department of Housing and Urban Development is pursuing under new HUD Secretary nominee Marcia Fudge.
31 minutes | Dec 24, 2020
Episode 33: Relief for renters during a pandemic
In late December, Congress passed a long-overdue stimulus package that provides $25 billion in rental assistance and extends the CDC ban on evictions through Jan. 31, among other provisions. While the critical relief will pull millions of people out of economic despair, a housing crisis is looming if state and local officials do not prepare for an onslaught of evictions this winter. John and Christina bring in Texas Housers policy analyst Eli Barrish to talk about what the federal rental relief will mean for Texans, the state of eviction protections and rental relief, and how Texas Housers is working to keep Texans safe and housed.
28 minutes | Dec 4, 2020
Episode 32: Searching For A Landlord To Take My Voucher
In this episode, John and Christina explore the unnecessarily hard road for voucher holders in Texas. In the Lone Star State, Source of Income discrimination is a major issue for low-income families looking for a place to live. For Samara Nero, she tells us it took a lot of effort, extensions, and months upon months of searching for someone to take her voucher. Thankfully, there are advocates fighting against discriminatory landlords, like Demetria McCain from the Inclusive Communities Project in Dallas who also joins the podcast to talk about her work regarding SOI discrimination. Read the Inclusive Communities Project's recent report on voucher discrimination here.
25 minutes | Nov 6, 2020
Episode 31: Housing Segregation, George Floyd, and Honoring True Housers
For our latest episode of A Little Louder, John and Christina experiment with a unique format. They discuss what they're reading, lift up the work of some great Housers, calling out stuff that "ain't right," and providing brief history lessons in the housing world. We also give a preview of the 2020 Houser Awards on Nov. 10.
24 minutes | Oct 30, 2020
Episode 30: Who is this housing for and where does it go?
Every year, Texas receives millions of dollars in tax credits to help developers build affordable housing. It's big money and a highly competitive process. The formula that decides who gets the federal subsidies in Texas is called the Qualified Allocation Plan, which is drafted by our state housing agency, the Texas Department of Housing and Community Affairs. We speak with Texas Houser Elizabeth Roehm to break down what's new in the 2021 proposed QAP and challenge some new proposed rules that could curb opportunity for Texas tenants.
26 minutes | Oct 9, 2020
Episode 29: The Trouble With PFCs
Hello Housers, We are back for a new season of A Little Louder! This week, John and Christina are joined by University of Texas Law professor Heather Way to learn about how Public Facility Corporations (PFCs) can purport themselves as affordable housing, but have been used as a loophole for big tax breaks while leaving low-income renters in the dust. We also discuss a new addition to the Housers family. Links: Heather Way's report - Public Facility Corporations and the Section 303.042(f) Tax Break for Apartment Developments
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