District K Residents,
How are you? Your District K Team misses you and we hope you are all safe and healthy. Although we are apart please know we are still collectively thinking of you and working on your behalf. As a reminder, all city sponsored, produced and permitted events continue to be cancelled through the month of May. Do not hesitate to contact us in the District K office if you need to. The staff is still working, answering email and phone calls each day.
I want to send a special “thanks” to our District K HOT Team and both management districts’ (Brays Oaks and 5 Corners) maintenance crews for continuing to keep our district clean. We are grateful for the work they do each day to combat illegal dumping and bandit signs in our community.
It’s hurricane preparedness week. After 5 major flooding events since 2015 it’s important to familiarize the entire family with a hurricane plan. In the last century, we have not experienced a hurricane season and a pandemic at the same time. Are your emergency kit and hurricane season plan ready yet? To sign up to receive alerts click here.
Also visit ReadyHarris website
for disaster checklists.
While we are slowly getting back to some of our daily activities we must continue to be responsible for our health and that of our families. Continue practicing social distancing, wearing your face coverings and washing your hands. Stay encouraged, continue to take care of your mental health, eat well, sleep well, get some exercise and watch out for each other. COVID-19 will not break our community spirit. In spite of it all, we still have so much to be grateful for.
Climate Action Plan
In honor of the 50th anniversary of Earth Day, the Houston Climate Action Plan was released last month.
The 97 page plan is a strategy identifying four areas to target emission reductions: transportation, energy transition, building optimization and materials management.
District K Blood Drive
On Sunday, May 17th the District K office, the Fountain of Praise Church and the Gulf Coast Regional Blood Center will host a much needed blood drive in our community. Did you know that every time you donate blood you are saving 3 lives? Blood donations remain essential as there is no substitute for blood. Community members who want to donate, schedule your life-saving appointment at tfop.org/giveblood.
See you there. I’ve booked my appointment already.
COVID-19 Testing in Fort Bend Houston
Have you been tested? I know we are all ready to start moving around again together, however we still need to scale up our testing and contact tracing–to protect the progress we’ve made, as well as the most vulnerable among us. Make a plan to be at Stimley-Blue Ridge Neighborhood Library, May 11-13th.
This is an opportunity for everyone to get tested. No appointment needed. Walk-up and drive thru service will be available. If testing site is not reaching capacity, it will be moved. If we have an overwhelming response there may be an opportunity to remain longer. I was tested last week at Butler Stadium and the actual test is not as uncomfortable as I thought it would be. I was thrilled to receive my “NEGATIVE” result. Encourage your family and friends to get tested. The city of Houston continues to offer free testing to anyone who would like to be tested. Visit HoustonEmergency.org/covid19
for more information on testing. Stay healthy and safe!
Budget Workshops Continue in COH
Our city budget is one of the most important policy instruments of our local government. We will continue our budget presentations as scheduled. Each budget presentation is aired on HTV and public comments are welcome. Feel free to submit any budget concerns and questions to our office for consideration and I am happy to share or ask your question during the presentations. No action is taken during the workshops.
The City of Houston’s proposed FY21 operating budget will be released this week, and the Finance Department will provide an overview to City Council at a special called Budget & Fiscal Affairs Committee on Wednesday, May 13th at 1 p.m. There is no doubt that tough decisions lie ahead as we determine how the coronavirus pandemic will affect the city’s two largest streams of income, property and sales taxes.
Rent Relief Available to Houstonians
The Houston City Council approved a $15 million rent relief fund to help Houstonians make their payments amidst the COVID-19 public health crisis.
The money for the program will come from the federal CARES Act and will be administered by the local nonprofit BakerRipley.
Landlords began enrolling on the program’s website
on Thursday, May 7th. The portal will open to tenants beginning at 10 a.m. on Thursday, May 13.
BakerRipley will provide up to $1,056 of rental assistance per month to qualified low-to-moderate income people who could not pay their April and/or May rent.
The landlords who agree to participate in the program will need to agree to certain terms:
- 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.
- Rescind any prior notice to vacate and halt any prior eviction proceedings for the two months.
Renters must meet the following requirements
- Live inside the city of Houston
- Be late on residential rental payments for either or both the months of April and May
- 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
- Have income less than 80% of the Area Median Income (approximately $40,000 for one person or $60,000 for a family of four) or qualify for one of the programs listed in the application (e.g. Medicaid, WIC, SNAP, Head Start, or VA Pension)
The Houston Apartment Association estimates the rent relief program will help thousands of workers who have been laid off because of business closures.
The program is expected to help at least 6,818 households. It will take all of us working together to get through this pandemic.
Changes at the Southwest HPD Station
This month brought about changes in leadership at our Southwest HPD Station on Nitida. Commander Belinda Null has been promoted to commander in the Homicide division. Commander Null will hold the distinction as the first female commander of this division. We wish her the best in her new role.
Jonathan Halliday, former Lieutenant at the South Gessner Station has been promoted and will serve as the Commander at the Southwest Police Station. Commander Halliday has been with HPD for 18 years, with the majority of his service in patrol. Commander Halliday and I met briefly last week and we are looking forward to building our working relationship and introducing him to our community.
District K Census 2020 Update
The latest Census report shows 5 Houston districts (E, K, C, G and D) have response rates higher than 50%. The City of Houston still lags behind Harris County, TX and the national average, but districts K, E, D, C and G are outperforming the rest of the state. District K improved from 49.2% to 51.3%. Find your census track and see how your neighborhood is performing. To view an interactive version of this map visit: januaryadvisors.com/census-2020-houston-response-rates/
Congratulations Fort Bend Houston Super Neighborhood for exceeding the national average with a response rate of 57.4%. It’s not too late, you can still complete the census today. It has never been easier to respond on your own, whether online, over the phone or by mail- all without having to meet a census taker. The first census count took place in 1790 by horseback and on foot, approximately 650 US marshals and assistants recorded answers on forms made of parchment and animal skins. Today you can respond online, by phone or by mail. Hundreds of thousands of temporary census takers will use smartphones to follow up with households that don’t respond. Say YES to Census 2020. www.my2020census.gov
or call 844-330-2020 to complete over the phone.
Food Distribution in District K
As we navigate the coronavirus pandemic, several organizations have ramped up their food distribution efforts in our community. If you or anyone you know is in need of food, on Mondays and Wednesdays a food distribution is held at the FountainLife Center parking lot, located at 14083 Main St. The Fountain of Praise Church and KIPP Texas Public Schools have partnered together to provide nutritious food and meals during this time, especially as schools are closed and many families are dealing with reduced work hours, and income. The distribution hours are 10:00am to 1:00pm.
The Windsor Village Church Family partners with the City of Houston and Houston Food Bank at The Power Center to deliver fresh produce and to our community in District K. If you know of a family in need, please share.
Tuesday, May 12, 2020
3:00 pm – 6:00 pm
@ The Power Center Parking Lot
12401 S. Post Oak Road
Houston, TX 77085
This distribution site will serve the community weekly through May 30th on Tuesdays & Thursdays from 3:00 pm to 6:00 pm.
Volunteers are needed! If you are available to volunteer sign up here.
The Food Bank has requested volunteers work in one of 2 shifts: sorting (9:00 am – 2:00 pm) and distribution (2:00 pm – 6:00pm).
Abiding Faith United Methodist Church Food Pantry is re-opening on Fridays. You must remain in your vehicle and drive through to receive the food donation. The distribution will take place each Friday.
Friday, May 15th
4:00 pm – 7:00 pm
14300 Almeda School Road
Houston, TX 77047
“No one can do everything,
but everyone can do something!”
Congratulations Class of 2020
Last week Mayor Sylvester Turner joined with several area school superintendents to announce a special ‘first-of-its-kind’ outdoor celebration for high school seniors on Friday, June 5.
Houston Celebrates H.S. Seniors 2020 will take place at each of the school districts’ high schools and will feature special guests, celebrity appearances, and other surprise moments. The mayor and superintendents will work together to create a collective, but personal celebration that salutes the achievement of all graduates and reflects the unity of the city.
Seniors are invited to assemble at their schools, wear their caps, gowns, and facial coverings while adhering to social distancing. Parents, family members, and friends are invited to participate virtually.
We wish all of our seniors a safe and happy graduation celebration. Although their ceremonies may not be traditional, we are rooting on our seniors and recognize their resilience, strength and accomplishments. Way to go Class of 2020!