The Houston City Council passed an ordinance on July 24, 2013, calling for the regulation of boarding homes within the City of Houston (COH). The ordinance amends Chapters 1 and 28 of the Code of Ordinances and regulates unlicensed facilities within the COH.

A boarding home or boarding home facility means an establishment that:

Furnishes, in one or more buildings, lodging to three or more persons with disabilities or elderly persons unrelated to the owner of the establishment by blood or marriage; and
Provides residents with community meals, light housework, meal preparation, transportation, grocery shopping, money management, laundry services, or assistance with self-administration of medication, but does not provide personal care services as defined by Section 247.002 of the Texas Health and Safety Code to those persons.
The ordinance exempts certain facilities that have state licenses. (Sec 28-452)

The ordinance requires registration, fire inspection, records retention, reporting, and criminal background checks of owners and employees. Registration packets will be mailed to boarding home operators in October 2013, and enforcement begins November 25, 2013. Officers with the Houston Police Department’s Mental Health Division are educating the community and boarding homes operators on the recently passed ordinance.

For additional information on the boarding homes ordinance, visit or call 311, the COH helpline.