Housing and Community Development Department

Press Release

City of Houston Housing and Community Development Teams Up Local Nonprofits on National Grant Initiative

April 12, 2023 -- Houston, Texas -- The City of Houston’s Housing and Community Development Department (HCD) has partnered with three local nonprofit organizations: Houston Land Bank, Fifth Ward Community Redevelopment Corporation, and Bread of Life for the Esri Small Nonprofit Organization Grant Initiative.

Each organization applied for and received grants that will allow for the collection of spatial data and the creation of communicative tools by having Esri licenses for ArcGIS software and applications.

The initiative is intended to assist nonprofit organizations with their missions and introduce Geographical Information Systems (GIS) as a tool to help nonprofits become more data-driven, identify opportunities to connect with donors and volunteers and communicate their mission and success more effectively.

“Thank you for choosing Bread of Life Incorporated for this amazing opportunity,” said Rev. Rudy Rasmus, Executive Director of Bread of Life Inc, Houston. “Esri is the global leader in location intelligence, helping nonprofit organizations advance their missions by providing software and resources that help them achieve measurable impact, engage with communities, and advocate for their causes.”

The grant program opened on August 17, 2022, and recipients were notified in February and March 2023. As part of the application process, HCD offered letters of support and agreed to serve as mentors for each organization to assist with data gathering and interpretation and enhance the nonprofits’ data-driven decision-making.

“Through these partnerships, HCD hopes to identify areas in need to further its mission to create opportunities for all Houstonians to access safe homes that they can afford in communities where they can thrive,” said Alfred Henson, GIS Manager Houston Housing and Community Development.

“Sharing local knowledge with new GIS users could assist with housing and community development decision-making in the communities where the HLB works,” said Christa Stoneham, Houston Land Bank.

Esri will waive the first year’s fees and provide data, software, and resources so these nonprofit organizations can access tangible data to understand social issues better and effectively make changes to improve the lives of Houstonians. This grant supports up to five people in each organization while granting access to various GIS tools and capabilities.

Esri is the global market leader in GIS software, location intelligence, and mapping. Since 1969, Esri has supported customers with geographic science and geospatial analytics. Business and government leaders worldwide apply Esri's technology to understand and address important challenges such as climate change, supply chain resilience, public health, and social equity.

For additional information on the Esri Small Nonprofit Organization Grant Initiative, visit: https://www.esri.com/about/newsroom/arcuser/whats-in-the-esri-small-nonprofit-organization-grant

For additional information on HCD GIS resources, visit: https://houstontx.gov/housing/research.html

The City of Houston Housing and Community Development (HCD) department makes long-term investments to improve the lives of Houston residents by creating opportunities for every Houstonian to have a home they can afford in a community where they can thrive. Our department will invest approximately $450 million in federal, state, and local funds this fiscal year to construct and maintain affordable homes, reduce barriers to homeownership, support the work of social service providers, build public amenities, and facilitate disaster recovery efforts. Learn more about programs and resources for Houstonians at http://houstontx.gov/housing.