Ousted: The City of San Antonio’s Displacement of Residents through Code Enforcement Actions
This report examines the City of San Antonio’s displacement of residents from their homes for code violations, with a focus on single-family residences. From 2015-2020, the City issued close to 1,000 orders to vacate and orders to demolish single-family homes, including at least 626 orders for occupied homes. Residents who are displaced from their homes by these blunt code enforcement tools are among the city’s most vulnerable residents. With the loss of their homes and lack of access to relocation assistance, these residents face a perilous future, including a high risk of homelessness.
In our research, we sought to better understand the City’s process for issuing these orders to vacate and demolish and how this process compares to other large cities in Texas. We also analyzed the locations of these orders and whether certain communities have been disproportionately impacted. And finally, we examined the types of city resources available to help residents receiving these orders. The report offers a series of recommendations for the City of San Antonio in structuring programs and policies that seeks to address substandard conditions in occupied residences.