Mayor's Office Press Release

Mayor Turner's Statement on the Stimulus Relief Bill

December 23, 2020 -- Please attribute the following statement and information to Mayor Sylvester Turner.

"While negotiations continue over the stalled COVID-19 stimulus relief bill in Washington D.C., the City of Houston is leading efforts to help individuals who are struggling financially due to the pandemic.

"Earlier this month, I wrote a letter urging the Supreme Court of Texas to reinstate a 90-day suspension of eviction hearings to help contain the current surge of COVID-19 cases. You can review the letter here on the city's government relations office webpage. The Court has extended the eviction-diversion program's deadlines, and this action will help keep hard-working, financially challenged people in their homes during a deadly pandemic.

"And as the U.S. Congress debates whether to increase direct stimulus aid to Americans from $600 to $2,000, the City is putting $1,200 checks of much needed assistance directly into the hands of those who are struggling financially.

On December 2, Houston City Council unanimously approved another round of COVID-19 relief funds in the amount of $20 million. BakerRipley is administering the CARES Act fund program on the City's behalf.

As of Wednesday, December 23, 2020 (today)

    • Direct Assistance
      • 13,230 direct assistance checks ($1,200 each) have been sent out totaling $15,876,000 (CARES Act)
      • 469 direct assistance checks ($1,200 each) have been distributed totaling $ 562,800 (Philanthropic Funds)
    • Rental Assistance
      • 12,125 tenants assisted through $15 million Round 2 of City of Houston Rental Assistance (CARES Act)
      • 11,853 tenants assisted through $15 million Round 1 of City of Houston Rental Assistance (CARES Act)
    • Utility Assistance
      • 3,567 direct utility assistance checks ($400) have been sent totaling $ 1,426,800 (CARES Act)
  • Additional direct assistance and utility assistance checks will go out at end of today, Wednesday, December 23.
  • We are on target to have all $20M ($19M in assistance) paid out by December 30, 2020.
  • Recipients are from the Harris County Direct Assistance waiting list and from other  City of Houston COVID-19 Assistance Programs.  

"The City of Houston is putting critical dollars directly into families' hands and there are no stipulations on how they can use the money. The funds can go to rent, utilities, or other critical needs. People facing financial challenges need to have flexibility ahead of the holidays."