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Housing and Neighborhood Infrastructure
Too many Texas neighborhoods are crumbling! Low income neighborhoods disproportionately suffer for multiple reasons: decades of government neglect and red lining by the banks along with tough, natural climates, make neighborhoods with already decaying infrastructure lead to nearly unlivable neighborhoods.
People are tired of watching their neighborhoods falls down after decades of neglect, only to see entire city blocks in their community, bulldozed to be replaced by high priced, luxury condominium they cannot live in or afford. Taxpayer dollars are too often used to repave high-income neighborhood roads, while families in our neighborhoods rarely see their roads repaved, live everyday with leaks in their roofs, foundations crumbling, severe flooding, children walking in the streets instead of sidewalks and individuals with FEMA tarps two years after the hurricane.
TOP is organizing neighborhood-by-neighborhood to make sure federal funds coming to Texas go to the neighborhoods most in need.
Sadly, people are being denied assistance from the Houston home repair program, based upon where they live—they can be hurricane-related issues or regular housing issues covered under the city's home-repair program.
The flood plane rules in Houston are a problem. For example, in Galveston, people are not denied assistance if they are in a flood plane. In Houston they are.
Members have met with the Houston/Galveston area council on the fed disaster money.
- They have given testimony.
- Attended the area board meeting.
- Met with new mayor.
- Met with new housing director.
The city's policy is that housing dollars be directed towards multifamily dwellings. TOP members have no problem with that, but they know there is a history of abuse. Some landlords are made rich or the multifamily dwellings are not truly affordable. Meanwhile, the living conditions elsewhere are really bad in these neighborhoods.
We know this is going to be a big long-term campaign. We want to work and collaborate with groups across the city. We want to build alliances so that we can change some of the city's policies. We need to save our neighborhoods. TOP is organize communities to increase the voice and influence and making sure their neighborhood are preserved and protected.
Historic amounts of money are coming into our city. Our housing department has never been run well—it has not been functional. This is an on-going problem. We want to be the group that changes the way the city of Houston housing department sends money into neighborhoods of color.