On June 12, 2020, Recovery Czars Marvin Odum and Rep. Armando Walle announced the formation of a task force to prevent evictions while bridging gaps in housing stability that have been exposed during the COVID-19 pandemic.

“The magnitude of the economic hardship resulting from the pandemic is still unfolding and disproportionately impacts the lower income households in our community,” said Marvin Odum, City of Houston COVID-19 Relief and Recovery Czar. “It is important that we pull together the relevant stakeholders to help identify near-term solutions while laying a foundation to address the longer-term, systemic need to build a resilient housing ecosystem. At the same time, we must also keep expectations realistic, as there are simply not enough financial resources nor a sufficient supply of affordable housing stock available to avoid an immense amount of pain and difficulty for individuals, families, neighborhoods, and the broader community.”


  • Harris County Justice of the Peace Jeremy Brown
  • Civic leader Ric Campo of Camden Property Trust


  • John Boriack, Veritas Equity Management
  • Mark Thiele, Houston Housing Authority
  • Maria Verdeja, Harris County Community Services Department
  • Dana Karni, Lone Star Legal Aid, Consumer Housing Unit
  • Tom McCasland, Houston Housing and Community Development Department
  • Courtney Johnson Rose, Texas State Affordable Housing Corporation
  • Zoe Middleton, Texas Housers
  • Chrishelle Palay, HOME Coalition
  • Claudia Aguirre, Baker Ripley
  • Alan Watkins, A Way Home and Wells Fargo
  • Celesté Arredondo-Peterson, Texas Organizing Project
  • Marcia Johnson, Thurgood Marshall School of Law
  • Mary Lawler, Avenue CDC
  • Guadalupe Fernandez, Tahirih Justice Center
  • Lori Pampilo Harris, Houston Housing Collaborative
  • Jay Malone, AFL-CIO
  • Jeff Reichman, January Advisors
  • Diana Zarzuelo, Greater Houston Community Foundation
  • Cynthia N. Colbert, Catholic Charities
  • Margaret Oser, United Way
  • Ana Rausch, Coalition for the Homeless
  • Howard Bookstaff, Houston Apartment Association
  • Steven Dow, LISC Houston

The task force will address three pressing needs:

  • Prevent evictions
  • Mitigate impacts on tenants and landlords
  • Stabilize households for the benefit of public health