Houston City Council approves additional round of COVID-19 relief funds for residents during pandemic

HOUSTON – Houston City Council unanimously approved Wednesday to bring another round of COVID-19 relief funds for residents during the coronavirus pandemic.

The city has once again partnered with BakerRipley to help support the direct financial assistance program that is already in place.

“This program puts these critical dollars directly into the hands of those families who have already reached out for assistance,” Mayor Sylvester Turner said. “There are no stipulations on how they can use the money, and right now, ahead of the holidays while so many people are hurting, that flexibility is significant.”

BakerRipley is distributing more than $20 million in CARES Act funds by the end of the year before it expires.

The city and BakerRipley are finalizing the eligibility criteria and distribution logistics by the end of the week, according to a release.

The program will provide assistance to households already deemed eligible for the city’s COVID-19 relief programs administered by BakerRipley, but did not receive financial assistance because of lack of program funds, according to the release.

“We’ve worked with the city, the county, and other community organizations on several COVID-19 relief programs. We have applications from thousands of our neighbors who were not able to get assistance in previous rounds of funding,” said BakerRipley president and CEO Claudia Aguirre. “We know there is no silver bullet to meet everyone’s needs, but we are hoping these dollars will bring many families closer to financial stability.”

Those who reside in Houston and applied to the Harris County Direct Financial Assistance Program and did not receive funding from the county will be included in the applicant pool. The county program provided $1,200 per household and the city of Houston program is expected to award the same amount, according to the release.

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