Today, Mayor Turner began the Council session by mourning the recent loss of HPD Officer Jason Knox, the son of Council Member Mike Knox, and Texas State Representative Al Edwards, a longtime south Houston legislator.
Here were the notable Agenda items passed at Council:
- Item #11 – ORDINANCE approving and authorizing contract between City of Houston and BAKER RIPLEY, INC for administration and related services for the Housing and Community Development Department in connection with the City’s Rental Assistance for low-to-moderate-income individuals who have been affected by COVID-19; providing a maximum contract amount.
- The Chief Procurement Officer and the Director of Housing and Community Development Department are requesting Council approval of an ordinance authorizing a contract between the City of Houston and Baker Ripley, Inc. providing up to $15,000,000.00 from the City’s Cares Act 2020 fund, as authorized by City Council by Ordinances 2020-361 & 2020-362, to provide rental assistance for Houstonians delinquent on April 2020 and May 2020 residential rental payments.
- In order to reduce the spread of COVID-19 by reducing both evictions and the new entries into homeless shelters and provide grants to landlords/small businesses to reimburse the costs of business interruption caused by required COVID-19 closures, Baker Ripley will provide up to $1,056 of rental assistance per month to qualified low-to-moderate income individuals who are delinquent on their monthly rental payment for April 2020 and/or May 2020 rent. This program is anticipated to fund a minimum of approximately 13,636 rental months and assist a minimum of approximately 6,818 households.
- Landlords who participate in the program will agree to the following:
- Waive all late fees, penalties and interest for the two months;
- Allow tenants to enter a payment plan for any rent due in excess of $1,056; and
- Rescind any prior notice to vacate and halt any prior eviction proceedings for the two months.
- In order to qualify, tenants must:
- Reside inside the City of Houston;
- Be late on residential rental payments for either or both of the two months;
- Be current on their rent for all months prior to April 2020;
- Affirm that their inability to pay is due to financial hardship resulting from the economic impact of COVID-19; and
- Have income less than 80 percent of the Area Median Income or qualify for one of the qualifying programs listed in the application (e.g. Medicaid, WIC, SNAP, Head Start, or VA Pension).
- Item #17 – ORDINANCE approving and authorizing substantial amendments to 2018 and 2019 Annual Action Plans submitted to the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development, including the applications and budgets for the Home Investment Partnerships (“HOME”) Program, among others, authorized Pursuant to City of Houston Ordinance No. 2018-430 passed May 23, 2018, as amended, and Ordinance No. 2019-381 passed May 22, 2019, as amended.
- 1.Create a new activity of Tenant-Based Rental Assistance in Program Years 2018 and 2019
- 2. Transfer Multifamily Development funds to the Tenant-Based Rental Assistance activity within the HOME Investment Partnership (HOME) Grant Funds in PY 2018 and PY 2019
- 3. Transfer Multifamily Development funds and CHDO Set-Aside Single-Family Housing Development funds to Planning and Administration within the HOME Grant Funds in PY 2019
- This change is due to the Memorandum sent out by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development on April 10, 2020, granting the availability of Waivers and Suspension of the HOME Program Requirements in response to the COVID-19 Pandemic.
- Item #18 – ORDINANCE approving and authorizing the submission of a substantial amendment to the 2019 Annual Action Plan to the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), which includes an application for the following entitlement grants: 1) Community Development Block Grant Coronavirus (CDBG-CV) in the amount of $14,523,741; 2) Housing Opportunities for Persons with AIDS Grant Coronavirus (HOPWA-CV) in the amount of $1,501,211; and 3) Emergency Solutions Grants Coronavirus (ESG-CV), in the amount of $7,252,552; to accept funds from the aforementioned Grants, if awarded; to amend the City’s Citizen Participation Plan
- The submission of the Amended 2019 Annual Action Plan to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), which includes an application for the following entitlement grants to be received from HUD: Community Development Block Grant Coronavirus (CDBG-CV), the Housing Opportunities for Persons with AIDS Grant Coronavirus (HOPWA-CV), and Emergency Solutions Grants Coronavirus (ESG-CV) program funds and an amendment to the Citizen Participation Plan;
- The execution of the agreements between the City of Houston and HUD for the grants by the Mayor, or the Mayor’s designee; and the execution of related forms and documents for the grants by the Mayor, or the Mayor’s designee. The application estimates a total of $23,277,504.00 in federal funds during HUD Program Year 2019 (July 1, 2019 – June 30, 2020).
- On March 27, 2020 the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act), Public Law-116-136, authorized a special allocation of CDBG-CV, HOPWA-CV, and ESG-CV to states and local jurisdictions to prevent, prepare for, and respond to the coronavirus (COVID-19). HUD has allocated $23,277,504.00 to the City of Houston to prevent and respond to COVID-19 impacts through grant eligible activities in alignment with the Annual Action Plan, which promotes strategies that 1) preserve and expand the supply of affordable housing, 2) expand homeownership opportunities, 3) provide assistance to persons affected by HIV/AIDS, 4) reduce homelessness, 5) improve quality of life, 6) revitalize communities, 7) foster community economic development, and 8) promote fair housing. The format and information presented in the amended 2019 Annual Action Plan are based on federal guidance and requirements. The funding allocated through the CARES Act must be expended by September 30, 2022.
- Item #45 – Garbage Bin Fee – DELAYED FOR ONE WEEK (Council Member Thomas voted to delay the item)