The coronavirus pandemic caused personal and fiscal hardships for many of us. Fortunately, the City of Houston will avoid a massive budget shortfall thanks to more than $600 million in State & Local Fiscal Recovery Funds from President Biden’s American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA).
But for the dollars being made available by Congress and the President, there would have been major budgetary cuts and layoffs. Without this needed influx of federal funds, the city would have had to close a $201 million budget gap in fiscal year 2021-2022.
The ARPA funds are helping protect the salaries of our first responders, including police, EMS, health, and solid waste workers who continued to work every day and are critical to our struggle with COVID-19. And yes, finally, we were able to give our firefighters an 18 percent raise over the next three years.
The overall budget for this fiscal year will represent a five percent increase over last year. Most of the federal funds will go to replace revenues lost due to COVID-19 and associated drops in sales tax collection in the General Fund, but we expect to have a small amount left over for some priority projects outlined on this website.
Unfortunately, the pandemic still has not run its course. We'll continue to be mindful next year, and the year after next, because we will still be impacted by the coronavirus and there will still be impacts on our tax revenue. The Biden Administration recognizes this as well, so the Fiscal Recovery Funds will be distributed in two tranches. The first tranche of $303.8 million was received in May. The second tranche of $303.8 million will be delivered in May of 2022.
This site will help provide transparency on how, together with City Council, the City of Houston looks to recover. With your help, we will come back from the coronavirus pandemic stronger than ever.
A Texas nonprofit tracked 228 intimate-partner violence homicides in the state last year — the highest number the organization has recorded in the history of its report. The Texas Council on Family Violence’s report — which began publication over 10 years ago — “focused on the stories of women killed by their male intimate partners in Texas” before a 2018 expansion that added same-sex partner killings and male intimate partners killed by women, according to the report. ...
October is National Domestic Violence Awareness Month, and local law enforcements and community leaders teamed up with advocates to shed light on the growing issues in the Houston area. ...
Brittaney and Brandon Becker have always lived close the financial edge — so close that in 2015, with their second child on the way, they gave up their apartment and moved into a small, one-story home on Houston’s East Side that they share with seven family members. ...
The Crisis Intervention Response Team (CIRT) was implemented in 2011. This is a co-responder program pairing a crisis intervention trained deputy with a masters-level crisis clinician from The Harris Center for Mental Health and Intellectual and Developmental Disability (The Harris Center). The Pilot Program was later named the Clinician and Officer Remote Evaluation (CORE) Program. ...