Texas Homeless Network

education, resources, and advocacy

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Ways to Get Involved in Texas Homeless Network's Advocacy

Join us for Homelessness Awareness Day

Each legislative session, Texas Homeless Network brings advocates from around the state to educate lawmakers. This year, THN hosted Homelessness Awareness Day at the Capitol on February 22nd, bringing together over 100 advocates from across the state to speak with legislators about ways to make homelessness rare, brief, and non-recurring. While the work continues, we are grateful for all the efforts from every advocate during our favorite day of the legislative session.

While this Homelessness Awareness Day has passed, you still can make a big impact. Email us now to join our advocates’ network to continue advocacy for affordable housing, homeless crisis system response support, and intersectional assistance to those who are most likely to experience homelessness.

We need your help now more than ever to effect change. This is your chance to make our voices heard and to give voice to the 25,000 Texans experiencing homelessness.

Texas State Legislative Session Policy Priorities & Bills We're Following​

THN leads Texas communities to make homelessness rare, brief, and non-recurring. Our vision is that all communities in Texas have a coordinated response system in place to end homelessness. We work on behalf of nearly 1,000 service providers in the state who work day in and day out to end homeless for Texans. 

In 2022 over 93,000 Texans experienced homelessness; on any night, 25,000 to 30,000 are on the street or in shelters. In addition, nearly 6,000 are households with children, over 5,000 are chronically homeless, over 1,700 Veterans, and about 3,300 are victims of domestic violence. We can do better for our fellow Texans. 

Our Policy Priorities

Strengthen Homeless Crisis Response Systems

Homeless Crisis Response Systems, or Continuums of Care, end homelessness through the strategic development of systems based on data-driven solutions. These systems can quickly and efficiently use funding to prevent or divert households from homelessness. Our priorities for strengthening homeless crisis response systems are:

      • HB 2533 (Walle) – Texas Homeless Data Sharing Network (THDSN) Expansion  –  Relating to the implementation of a statewide homeless data sharing network to share real-time data on homelessness. Notes: Passed the full House on 5/3/23 and passed out of Local Government on 5/22/23 and was placed on intent calendar of Senate but stalled at that stage.
      • HB 1917 (Walle) –Texas Tenant Readiness and Landlord Incentive Program –Relating to the establishment and implementation by the Texas Department of Housing and Community Affairs of the Texas Tenant Readiness and Landlord Incentive Pilot Program. Note: Referred to Urban Affairs. Notes: Heard in Urban Affairs on 4/18/23 and voted out on 5/8/23, but stalled at that stage. 
      • HB 2131 (Raymond) – Relating to the administration of the homeless housing and services program by the Texas Department of Housing and Community Affairs. Notes: Passed out of Urban Affairs on 4/4/23 but stalled at that stage. 
      • HB 834 (Campos) – Relating to the establishment by the Texas Department of Housing and Community Affairs of a pilot program to solicit donations made by text message for the benefit of local programs that provide services to homeless individuals and families in certain municipalities. Notes: Passed out of Urban Affairs on 4/17/23 but stalled there. 

SB 1 & HB 1 – Relating to the continuation and expansion of existing funding to the Homeless Housing and Service Program (HHSP)

Also following: SB 912 and HB 833

Expand Affordable, Accessible Housing Opportunities

Ending homelessness requires housing. Texas must support the development and rehabilitation of more affordable housing if we want to end homelessness. 

      • Advocacy on use of remaining ARPA funding: THN and our colleagues support a proposal to provide $750M to replenish the Texas Rent Relief program, $750M for the Development and Preservation of Deeply Affordable Attainable Housing Grant Fund, and $100M Down Payment Assistance Grant Fund. Notes: Advocacy failed to gain traction and ARPA funding was not extended for these uses. 
      • HB 3632 (Goodwin)/SB 1733 (Johnson) –Relating to the establishment of a housing assistance pilot program to assist certain students enrolled in public junior colleges. Notes: Referred to Higher Education.
      • HB 2996 (Zwiener) – Relating to the applicability of prohibitions on municipal or county regulations on the rental or leasing of housing accommodations. Notes: Heard in Urban Affairs but left pending in committee. 
      • SB 199 (Eckhardt) – Relating to requirements for beneficial tax treatment related to a leasehold or other possessory interest in a public facility used to provide multifamily housing. Notes: Heard in Local Government and left pending. 
      • HB 3220 (Garcia) – Relating to an assessment on the use of surplus government property to provide housing to homeless veterans. Notes: Passed out of Defense & Veterans Affairs Committee. The calendars committee should set a date for a hearing in the full House soon.
      • HB 2244 (Campos) – Relating to the establishment of a pilot project to provide supportive housing services through Medicaid to persons experiencing chronic homelessness. Notes: Referred to Human Affairs. 
      • HB 1148 (Rosenthal) – Relating to the repeal of the prohibition against certain municipal or county regulation of the rental or leasing of housing accommodations. Notes: Referred to Urban Affairs. 
      • SB 570 (West) – Relating to the prohibition of housing discrimination on the basis of a person’s source of income and to the enforcement of that prohibition. Note: Referred to Business & Commerce.
      • HB 1193 (Turner) – Relating to prohibiting housing discrimination by a property owners’ association against a residential tenant based on the tenant’s method of payment. Notes: Passed out of Business & Industry committee.  Bill passed the House and Senate and has been sent to the Governor.

Also following: SB 198


Targeted Intersectional Assistance

Recognizing and acting on the disparities particularly affecting people experiencing homelessness/housing insecure folks who are also people of color, LGBTQIA+, immigrants, people with criminal histories, and/or people with disabilities and mental illness. 

      • HB 2858 (Shaw) – Relating to state and local government disaster preparedness. Note: Heard in State Affairs on 4/19/23 and passed unanimously on 5/2/23, but did not move from that stage. 
      • HB 3838 (Zwiener) – Relating to trauma-informed care training for certain state employees developed by the Health and Human Services Commission. Note: Referred to Human Services
      • HB 2968 (Zwiener) – Relating to the interruption of utility service by a residential landlord. Note: Referred to Business and Industry.
      • HB 2516 (Walle) – Relating to certain rights and duties of residential tenants and landlords. Note: Referred to Business and Industry.
      • HB 673 (Collier) – Relating to notice and opportunity to cure that must be given before filing an eviction suit. Note: Heard in Business and Industry on 4/17/23. Voted out of committee on 5/5/23, but stalled at that stage.
      • SB 202 (Eckhardt) – Relating to prohibiting an increase in the rent before the end of a lease term of a tenant residing in a development supported with a low-income housing tax credit allocation. Notes: Referred to Local Government. 
      • HB 1677 (Jetton| Reynold| Collier) – Relating to the issuance of a certified birth record, driver’s license, or personal identification certificate to a homeless individual.  Notes: Passed the House on 4/28/23 and referred to State Affairs on 5/1/23 but stalled at that stage. 
      • HB 2679 (Thierry) – Relating to a study and report on the establishment and implementation of a program that provides financial assistance to property owners who offer housing to Veterans at risk of homelessness. Notes: Referred to Defense & Veterans Affairs. 

Legislation That May Hinder Efforts to End Homelessness

This section was added to educate policymakers and advocates on bills that contain proposed actions that, in THN’s opinion, limit opportunities for communities to address homelessness effectively.

      • HB 2035 (Slawson| 4 others)/SB 986 (Creighton) – Relating to the authority of a local government to regulate evictions. Note: This proposed legislation would remove municipalities’ ability to regulate evictions (This would negatively impact communities’ attempting to prevent homelessness). Notes: HB 2035 was heard in Business & Industry committee on 4/3/23. The bill is still pending a vote. SB 986 passed the full Senate on 4/20/23 and was referred to the Business & Industry but stalled at that stage. 
      • SB 1214 (Schwertner) – Relating to hearing and public notice requirements regarding the conversion by a municipality of certain properties to house homeless individuals. Note: This proposed legislation would establish overly burdensome requirements for municipalities that would be difficult to complete with 100% accuracy, thereby allowing the possibility of a disproportionate penalty preventing the conversion of property for people experiencing homelessness to use. Note: Passed out of the full Senate on 4/27/23 and referred to Urban Affairs where it stalled.
      • HB 4240 (Harrison)/SB 1803 (Springer) – Relating to the effectiveness of state-funded homelessness programs at helping beneficiaries advance toward self-sufficiency. Note: SB 1803 passed out of the full Senate on 5/8/23 and out of the State Affairs committee in the House on 5/21/23 but stalled at that stage. 
      • SB 2018 (Flores) – Relating to prohibitions on camping in a public place. Note: Passed out of the full Senate on 4/18/23 and referred to the House committee State Affairs, where it was heard on 5/18/23 but stalled at that stage. 
Continue checking this page for updated bills and priorities throughout the session.
In addition, be sure to subscribe to our THN advocacy newsletter to stay informed.

THN's Current Advocacy Work

      • Staff continues to participate in state and national calls to advance legislative efforts for affordable housing, decriminalizing homelessness, and funding for wrap-around homeless services in all communities in Texas.
      • THN continues to meet with state and federal elected officials and their offices to advance our policy goals to end homelessness.
      • THN received a grant from the Opportunity Starts at Home (OSAH) campaign to form a multi-sector coalition to advance federal housing and homelessness issues. We are very thankful to receive the funding to continue this intitiative through 2023. Read our 2022 blog post for more information about this initiative.
      • Statewide Initiatives staff is co-leading monthly meetings of the Texas Housing Coalition, a collaborative working group of statewide agencies invested in protecting housing and increasing affordability in our state.
How you can help:

Sign onto the following action letters:

      • Send a message here to urge your members of Congress to ensure any reconciliation package includes robust, affordable housing investments targeted to people with the greatest needs.
      • Add your organization to NLIHC’s HoUSed campaign
        • The HoUSed campaign seeks to provide universal, stable, and affordable housing for the most oppressed and low-income people.

THN Policy Stances & Press Releases

In an effort to create a strong and unified voice, THN has led efforts to create statewide policy stances on issues surrounding homelessness. We invite individuals and communities to use these sample press releases as templates in advocating at a local, state, or federal level. We ask that when you use our language, please let us know when and where you are sharing the message. 

Press Releases

Past Public Statements on HUD Proposed Changes

Housing and Homelessness Advocacy Academy

Do you have lived experience of homelessness or housing insecurity?
Are you passionate about advocacy or want to learn more about advocacy?
The THN Housing and Homelessness Advocacy Academy is a completely free training program for folks with lived experience. Cohort members learn about organizing, systemic barriers, storytelling, and network with members from across the state.

The details:

      • Participants must commit to the full 5-month training cohort. 

      • The monthly time commitment is 5-6 hours with 2 hours of live virtual events.

Applications for the Spring Academy are now closed.
Stay tuned for applications to reopen. 

2020-2021 Federal Advocacy

When COVID-19 hit in March 2020, folks experiencing homelessness and homeless services providers across the country were hit especially hard. While THN continues to push for more holistic funding for communities large and small. The CARES Act and the American Rescue Plan Act provided much-needed resources to communities across the state.

Texas Homeless Network works with a large number of other organizations and individuals to support federal legislation that will expand affordable housing opportunities, fund housing for folks exiting homelessness, wraparound services, and keep folks in their homes as long as possible. These goals strongly align with our organization’s mission to end homelessness. The following are examples on how federal advocacy has impacted people experiencing homelessness and homeless service providers in Texas: CARES Act and American Rescue Plan Act’s impact on Texas:

      • Nearly $2B of emergency rental assistance, $246M in ESG Cares Funding, 4,517 emergency housing vouchers provided to TX Public Housing Agencies (PHAs), $343,537,510 in HOME-ARPA funding.
      • Fought for the CDC Eviction Moratorium which likely prevented thousands of evictions in Texas and reduced COVID-19 transmission (in effect 9/2020-7/2021 and 8/3/2021-8/26/2021).

2021 Homelessness Awareness Day

Zoom screenshot of HAD Participants 1

Thanks to advocates from across the state, we had one of the most successful Homelessness Awareness Days in THN’s history. During the Texas legislative session year, THN hosts Homelessness Awareness Day (HAD) at the Capitol. This year, advocates from around the state met virtually on April 7th for a briefing on legislative priorities, followed by meetings with their legislators.

With over 200 registered participants, we doubled in size from the last Texas legislative session in 2019 and almost tripled in size since 2017’s session. Thanks to the efforts of our participants and staff, we are proud to say we educated over half of Texas Senator’s offices and 60 Texas Representative’s offices.

Read more about Homelessness Awareness Day in our recap blog post.

Over the course of 2020, our country and state experienced unprecedented challenges, resilient successes, and shifts toward a better future. In response to the need for reflection on our past and a look toward our future, THN hosted a live event to bring together voices from around our state.

Watch the recording now to hear from politicians to community advocates, to case managers, as they examine the state of homelessness in Texas and the future ahead.

Speakers included, but are not limited to, Beto O’Rourke, Julie Oliver, Rep. William Hurd, Greg Casar, Officer Kyle Moore, Nan Roman, Robert Salas, Eric Samuels, Mayor Anthony Williams, Dr. David Woody, Diane Yentel, and Kristin Zakoor.

Current COVID-19 Advocacy:

Current COVID-19 Response:

Past COVID-19 Response:

      • Staff, THN Advocates, and community partners participated in a national calling and writing campaign to urge Congress to pass Coronavirus funding bills for homelessness and affordable housing. Through our advocacy, Congress included housing and homelessness funding in both COVID-19 relief packages.
      • THN Statewide Initiatives staff pushed a letter to legislators to urge the cancellation of the 2020 CoC NOFA.
      • THN Statewide Initiatives staff sent a letter requesting a 10% increase in CoC funding in the FY 2021 Congressional Budget.
      • View THN’s COVID-19 page for more information.

Current COVID-19 Racial Equity Advocacy:

Racial Equity During COVID-19:

 What we know: 
Picture of a black woman with braids with an overlay of speech boxes over her face.
Read More about COVID-19 and Racial Equity in our THN Advocacy Newsletter by Clicking the Picture Above
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