Kristian Hernández

More States Are Forgoing Extra Federal Food Aid

By: - July 19, 2022

More than 18 million Americans sometimes didn’t have enough to eat last month, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. More than 5 million people often went hungry. Those numbers would have been higher if millions of families hadn’t received extra food aid through a pandemic-related expansion of the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, commonly known as […]

States Band Together to Block Immigration Policy

By: - May 9, 2022

Editor’s note: This story was updated May 9, 2022, to correct Cris Ramón’s title. On the morning of April 28, Texas Republican Attorney General Ken Paxton filed his 11th immigration-related lawsuit against the Biden administration, submitting his paperwork before a U.S. District Court judge in the panhandle city of Amarillo and then issuing a news […]

Rising Construction Costs Stall Affordable Housing Projects

By: - April 25, 2022

To start building an 80-unit affordable housing project in Texas, real estate developer MVAH Partners must find a way to fill a $3 million financing gap due to the rising cost of construction. MVAH Partners received federal tax credits in February of last year to build the apartments. Since then, however, building material and labor […]

Homeless Camping Bans Are Spreading. This Group Shaped the Bills.

By: - April 8, 2022

Georgia state Sen. Carden Summers said he drove around Atlanta before presenting a bill earlier this year that would ban homeless encampments and cut state funding from cities that refuse to enforce the ban. “I made it a point to ride around almost every night and take 30 minutes and just drive a different route […]

Monarch Protections Across States Aim to Prevent Federal Rules

By: - March 28, 2022

Each spring, millions of monarch butterflies leave their overwintering sites in the Sierra Madre mountains of central Mexico and begin their annual migration north across the United States. The exodus and return of the iconic orange and black butterfly is one of the grandest spectacles of the natural world. But that sight is becoming increasingly […]

As Rents Soar, States Take Aim at Local Zoning Rules

By: - March 15, 2022

Caitlyn Mann, 29, moved to the Phoenix metro area from Boston in January 2021 after taking a job as a Maricopa County court clerk. She found a studio apartment downtown and signed a 14-month lease for $1,295 a month. In January, when she tried to renew her contract, the landlord said her rent would be […]

Here’s One Way States Are Boosting Affordable Housing

By: - March 2, 2022

Brian Swanton is the president of Gorman & Company, a development firm that builds and manages low-income housing nationwide, including some 2,000 affordable housing units in Arizona, where he is based. The demand for such apartments greatly exceeds the supply. Every year, Swanton said, managers of his properties turn away thousands of families who want […]

Most Emergency Rental Aid Went to Low-Income Households Last Year

By: - February 25, 2022

Low-income Americans received more than 80% of federal emergency rental assistance money distributed last year, according to data released this week by the U.S. Treasury Department. Some 2.47 million households received $12.6 billion in Emergency Rental Assistance program assistance in 2021, the data shows. Nearly 64% of the aid went to households earning 30% or […]

COVID Underscores Lack of Whistleblower Protections

By: - February 14, 2022

FORT WORTH, Texas — Inside a partially completed Amazon warehouse here, workers last summer walked on conveyor belts four stories high without safety harnesses, welders used plasma torches while surrounded by flammable cardboard boxes, and laborers raised metal racks alongside a moving forklift, putting their feet in danger of being crushed. Contractors and subcontractors who […]

Texas Claws Back Some Rent Relief Aid, Prompting Evictions

By: - February 4, 2022

HOUSTON — More than 300,000 Texans were helped during the pandemic by the state’s .9 billion rental relief program. Even though it had a slow start, the Texas Rent Relief Program was one of the top performing programs in the country when it ran out of money and stopped taking applications in November, according to […]

Evictions Rise to Pre-Pandemic Levels

By: - February 1, 2022

SPRING, Texas — Dionna Jackson, 40, sat on a long wooden bench nervously scrolling through old text messages on her phone while waiting for her eviction case to be called Monday. More than 87 people joined her in Harris County Judge Lincoln Goodwin’s packed courtroom. “I’ve found a place for me and my children to stay,” said Jackson, who has three school-aged children. “I just need a few weeks for my income tax [refund] to come in.”

This City Has a New Way to Fight Homelessness With COVID Aid

By: - January 19, 2022

Read Stateline coverage of the inequities exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic. DALLAS — In March 2020, when the pandemic first hit, Raharish Velu was living on the streets of downtown Dallas. “They rounded us all up and took us to hotels,” Velu said of city officials and case workers. “We were all tested, and I […]