During the COVID-19 pandemic, eviction moratoria prevented or delayed many people from experiencing homelessness. But now that the pandemic is over and the short-term eviction protection has ended, the number of evictions and cost of basic needs have increased. Daphne Hernandez, PhD, associate professor in the Department of Research with Cizik School of Nursing at UTHealth Houston, is studying how varying periods of eviction protection that people experienced during the pandemic is associated with psychosocial distress in the post-pandemic period as part of the Health Outcomes Post-Eviction Moratoria (HOPE-M) project.
“Eviction protections varied greatly from state to state and city to city during the pandemic,” said Hernandez, principal investigator of the HOPE-M project and the Lee and Joseph Jamail Distinguished Professor in the School of Nursing. “Compared to Houston, Austin implemented a stronger local moratorium, meaning potential evictions were blocked earlier in the process. We will be recruiting participants from both cities to determine whether tenants who faced less risk of eviction then are experiencing less mental distress in the presence of ongoing disruptions now.”