Fort Worth Updates

The City of Fort Worth Neighborhood Services Department is accepting applications for several programs designed to assist residents with housing and other household expenses resulting from the COVID-19 outbreak.

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Call To Action - September 2020

 Tell Fort Worth City Council to Prioritize Families & the Homeless in CARES Act Funding 

Please send the following message to your City Council Member and to the Mayor (contact info is linked below):

Dear Council Member ___________ and Mayor Price,

I am a member of the Texas Poor People's Campaign. I am writing to you today to express my frustration and disappointment with the decisions made by Fort Worth City Council in regards to CARES Act funding. I am very concerned that the much needed aid to support our most vulnerable families is not being distributed in a timely fashion.  By the end of September the city will have distributed only $2.8 million in federal funds for household support, while small businesses will have received $10.3 million in funds.  This comes at a time when families are struggling to pay rent and utilities. In the week after the CDC issued an order halting evictions nationally there were still 204 evictions filed in Tarrant County.  Furthermore, the CDC's order is only a stopgap measure that puts the entire housing finance system in jeopardy, leaving both tenants and landlords to accumulate debt.  In order to protect families, we respectfully ask that:

 

  • Funding for household support be distributed in a timely manner;

  • There be an increase in the amount of funds budgeted for household support, with that increase coming from the $27 million in reserve miscellaneous funds, and a guarantee that at least half of the $15 million reserve funding currently set aside for both small businesses/nonprofits and household support go to household support;

  • The City of Fort Worth, at minimum, enact an emergency grace period to halt evictions, like Dallas and Austin have put in place.

We are also extremely disappointed that city council decided to abruptly change their previous plans to create permanent housing for 200 people who are both chronically homeless and COVID vulnerable (over the age of 65 and have underlying health conditions).  By cutting the budget for this project in half, you will only be able to house a sixth of our most vulnerable homeless.  All people deserve a safe, private place to live, and shelters do not provide the level of safety needed to combat the spread of an airborne virus.  

I was baffled that the idea to cut this funding was proposed even before city council was presented with the projected benefits of the project.  By implementing the plan in full, you could have saved taxpayers $8 million in the first year alone, which is almost the amount cut from the project's budget.  The savings would have come from deferring the need for services in emergency healthcare, law enforcement, and homeless shelters. We respectfully ask the City to replace the funds taken from this project by taking money from the miscellaneous reserve fund of $27 million from the CARES Act budget.

Sincerely,

_________________

Find your City Council District here.

City Council Contact Info can be found here.