San Antonio City Council on May 4 unanimously approved a resolution supporting tenants’ rights and authorizing revisions to the city’s notice of tenants' rights.

Neighborhood and Housing Services Director Veronica Garcia said the city gathered feedback from stakeholders, including residents from several rental properties, to help them produce the resolution and to create educational material to explain the meaning of the resolution.

According to Garcia, the feedback also prompted the city to revise the notice of tenants’ rights, which outlines protections, responsibilities and financial assistance available to renters.

“While the resolution supporting tenants’ rights consolidates and affirms existing laws and policies in support of tenants’ rights to live in safe and affordable housing, the educational materials and revised notice of tenants’ rights document will promote these protections,” Garcia said in a statement.

Local officials said between February and April, the city’s Neighborhood and Housing Services Department co-hosted Renters’ Rights Power Hour sessions with the Texas RioGrande Legal Aid and Fair Housing Council of Greater San Antonio to share information on renter rights and responsibilities and to provide attendees a chance to give input on the resolution.

City officials said about 95,000 families are at-risk of housing instability in San Antonio, and about 55% of those households are renters.

According to the city, the Strategic Housing Implementation Plan, adopted by council in 2021, demonstrates a need for an awareness campaign to help renters learn about fair housing laws, and to protect neighborhoods through proactive outreach and services related to tenants.

Garcia said the city will keep sharing information on tenants’ rights, responsibilities and resources around town, including promotions at public spaces such as libraries, community, senior centers, municipal courts and school districts.

Local leaders said promoting tenants’ rights and revising the notice of tenants’ rights is part of a larger effort to help protect renters by targeting discrimination, and ensuring tenants have a safe, stable, affordable place to live. Such efforts include a recently approved program where city staff proactively inspect apartment properties.

District 4 Council Member Adriana Rocha Garcia applauded the collaboration among city staff, committees, industry experts, community partners and residents in developing the tenants’ rights resolution.

“This community-driven resolution in support of tenants’ rights is the result of our residents’ determination and the convening of various stakeholders who believe people should have access to and live in safe and quality housing,”

District 5 Council Member Teri Castillo said helping to protect local renters, especially at-risk tenants, also means shining a light on bad actor landlords who fail to properly maintain their rental communities.

“As we continue our work on housing equity, this resolution will empower tenants with the vital information they need to navigate issues concerning notices to vacate, right to counsel, and affirms San Antonio’s commitment toward fair housing for everyone,” Castillo said in a statement.