Several months ago, the City and County jointly established the Housing Stability Task Force to bridge gaps in housing stability for tenants and landlords impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. The Housing Stability Task Force included many fantastic leaders in our community whose combined experience touched all points of the housing cycle. They have worked tirelessly to develop strategies and recommendations aimed at the prevention of evictions, mitigation of impacts on tenants and landlords, and stabilizing households for the benefit of public health during this crisis. I am happy to say that their work has aided in an extremely successful approach to providing solutions to each of those items.
The work and recommendations of the task force led to an aligned rental assistance program from the City and County. To date, the city has allocated $35 million in rental assistance, and the County approved an additional $25 million, totaling $60 million in rental relief. These programs provided much-needed relief to landlords and tenants at a critical time. Because of this work, tens of thousands of people in the City of Houston and Harris County were able to stay in their homes, protecting their safety and the safety of their families.
The Task Force recommendations also led to additional funding for tenant and landlord education and assistance through Lone Star Legal Aid. This came at a critical time when changing dynamics of the housing situation became difficult for tenants and landlords to navigate. While I am proud and thankful for the work that has been done by the Task Force members, it is now time for the City Council Committee on Housing and Community Affairs to continue this work for the City of Houston.
I want to extend my sincerest appreciation and thanks to all of the Task Force members for their work and dedication to this critical issue during an unprecedented time of public health crisis. I am especially grateful for the leadership of the two Co-Chairs of the Task Force, Ric Campo and Judge Jeremy Brown. The dedication of all Task Force members in the service of their fellow Houstonians is an example for all of us to follow.