The Harris County Commissioners Court recently approved a relief fund of $30 million for struggling residents that have suffered losses as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. The fund was voted on and ultimately passed with a 3-2 vote.
It is expected that the money from the relief fund will be able to help as many as 20,000 to 25,000 families pay for necessities like food, rent, childcare, medical care, and other basic essentials.
Money will be distributed throughout the county in the following manner. $1,200 will go to households of between one and four residents. $1,500 will go to households with five or more people. The relief fund will target the communities that have been hit the hardest. This includes homes below 60% of the Area Median Income, youth that have aged out of foster care, residents in homeless shelters, and victims of domestic violence.
Last month, the commissioners voted to tentatively approve the fund, though in doubling it, they will be able to help more people, according to Precinct One Commissioner Rodney Ellis. Recent votes have also been held to eliminate property tax liabilities for seniors and people that are disabled who own homes valued under $286,250. This part of the plan will go into effect on the 2021 tax bills.
Last week, the city of Houston offered nearly $15 million in rental assistance and the money was gone within two hours. The relief fund couldn’t come at a better time for struggling residents, as eviction proceedings are now being allowed to resume in Texas.
The Greater Houston Community Foundation will manage the relief fund.