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San Antonio City Council rejects proposal extending grace period for renters

Councilwoman Shirley Gonzales/Screenshot from COSA VIdeo

SAN ANTONIO (KTSA News) –  By a razor-thin margin, the San Antonio City Council Thursday rejected a “Right to Cure” proposal, which would have given tenants up to 60 days to come up with rent money.  Landlords and the San Antonio Apartment Association argued that the measure would be illegal and would create financial hardships for them. They argued that they have bills to pay and they need money to maintain their properties.

District 5 Councilwoman Shirley Gonzales agreed. She expressed concerns about legal challenges.

Councilman John Courage noted that other major Texas cities have passed similar “Right to Cure” ordinances and they have not been sued.

“This action is preempted by state law,” argued Gonzales. “We don’t have the authority to push this on landlords.  We don’t help our tenants.”

Gonzales suggested a better way to help those who are experiencing financial hardships would be with money from the $25 million Risk Mitigation Fund approved by the city council last month.  She also suggested that money from the CARES Act could be used to help renters affected by the pandemic.

Councilman Roberto Trevino drafted the proposal, which he said would give renters a longer grace period after the moratorium on evictions is lifted May 18.

Councilman Manny Pelaez said the  proposal would result in unpaid rent piling up, which would be disastrous for renters and landlords.

The council voted 6 to 5 against the measure.  Council members Jada Andrews-Sullivan, Rebecca Viagran, Adriana Rocha Garcia,  Clayton Perry, Shirley Gonzales and Manny Pelaez voted against it.

Mayor Ron Nirenberg, Robert Trevino, Melissa Cabello Havrda, Ana Sandoval and John Courage voted for it.

 

 


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