April 2022 | News You Can Use
Affordable Housing Exhibit Opens at Arts Fort Worth
April is Fair Housing Month, a time to celebrate the passage of the federal Fair Housing Act of 1968, which as amended prohibits discrimination based on race, color, religion, sex, national origin, disability, and familial status in the sale or rental of housing.

FWHS is commemorating Fair Housing Month with a free exhibit at Arts Fort Worth, 1300 Gendy St., that shines a light on the evolution of affordable housing in our community.

You are invited to view images that trace our history, the people we serve, communities we have developed and our vision for the future between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. Monday-Saturday throughout April. Visit www.artsfortworth.org for more information about the center.

The exhibit includes several portraits of FWHS residents, including Roy Stidham, pictured here, who found hope for a stable future and a home of his own at Casa de Esperanza. Read about Mr. Stidham’s road to self-sufficiency here.
Stop Six Choice Neighborhood Progress
Site work continues at Cowan Place Senior Living, the 174-unit, mixed-income development under construction at East Rosedale Street and Stalcup Road. Final planning is underway for Hughes House, the mixed-used development to be built south of East Rosedale along Amanda Avenue.

BLOCK Companies, general contractor for Cowan Place and Hughes House, has extended the bid deadline for subcontractor work on the mixed-use Hughes House development to 11 a.m. CST, Friday, April 15, 2022. For more information, email BLOCK at HughesHouse@blockcompanies.com.

BLOCK is also still seeking Cowan Place subcontractors and laborers for several trades. For more information, email Deirdre Barrett at buildingblocks@blockcompanies.com. BLOCK needs laborers for:
  • Concrete and Gypcrete work
  • Framing, electrical, plumbing, HVAC
  • Earthwork/Utilities
  • Landscape and irrigation
  • Cabinets
  • Waterproofing
  • Structural steel welders
  • Masonry work (entry-level project coordinator)
Stop Six Community Hub, Aquatics Center
on May 7 Fort Worth Bond Election Ballot
Fort Worth voters will consider five municipal bond propositions in an election Saturday, May 7, 2022 election. The last day to register to vote in the election is Thursday, April 7.

Five bond propositions are divided into funding for streets and pedestrian mobility infrastructure; park and recreation improvements; public library improvements; police and fire safety improvements; and open space conservation.

Proposition B, the parks and recreation item, totals $124 million. That sum includes $17.5 million for design and construction of a 28,000-square-foot community center to replaces the aging Martin Luther King Jr. Community Center on Truman Drive and $8.2 million for design and construction of an adjacent outdoor aquatics center.

The city has scheduled several community meetings this month to share information about the proposed bond program, including:
  • 6-8 p.m. Monday, April 11, East Regional Library, 6301 Bridge St.
  • 6-8 p.m., Wednesday, April 20, McDonald YMCA, 2701 Moresby St.
  • 10 a.m.-noon, Saturday, April 23, Handley Meadowbrook Community Center, 6201 Beaty St.

Residents may also submit questions and comments via email at FWConnection@fortworthtexas.gov.

Other key dates:
  • April 25-May 3 – Early voting period
  • Saturday, May 7, 2022 – Election Day
Employment Services and Virtual Job Fair
Join FWHS at 11 a.m. each Tuesday for a virtual career workforce about job readiness and career growth. Coming up:

  • 11 a.m. April 5: Elma Kirkwood of the Texas Workforce Commission speaking on “Why You Aren’t Getting the Salary You Want.” Join the session on Zoom at https://tinyurl.com/2p92e63z

  • 11 a.m. April 13: Virtual Job Fair in partnership with Workforce Solutions for Tarrant County. Participating employers include: the City of Arlington, Six Flags Over Texas, Senior Care and more. Register now at https://forms.gle/H5zLtyPMwTs5ayif7
Help FWHS Improve our Customer Service
FWHS is conducting two customer satisfaction surveys this month and asking residents participating in our rental assistance programs and landlords who lease property through our programs to help us improve our customer service.

Fill in the appropriate survey through the links below by Friday, April 15, to enter a drawing for a $100 Walmart gift card. One resident and one landlord representative will be selected at random on April 20. Winners will be notified at the email address they provide in the survey.
Carbon Monoxide Detectors Required in Attached Garages by Dec. 27
Attention landlords: The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development has updated its guidance for where carbon monoxide detectors must be placed in units operated by public housing authorities or those that benefit from federal rental assistance.

As of Dec. 27, 2022, HUD will require that carbon monoxide alarms or detectors be installed not only near gas appliances or fixtures but also in attached car garages to prevent carbon monoxide poisoning.

After Dec. 27, units that do not have working CO alarms or detectors in required areas will be found to be deficient, and FWHS will not pay rent until the unit is brought into compliance. Landlords will have 24 hours to install or repair the alarm or detector before an abatement period begins. Read more here.
Emergency Rental Assistance Program Closes
The City of Fort Worth has closed its Emergency Rental Assistance Program, which since 2020 has used federal funds to help residents who had lost income due to COVID -19 and had fallen behind on rent or utility payments avoid eviction. Fort Worth Housing Solutions was the city’s largest partner in the program and distributed almost $18 million to about 3,700 households.

Program staff are making every effort to serve applicants with pending eviction cases as the program closes. Applicants who have an ERAP number and have remaining questions may email the city at FWERAP@FortWorthTexas.gov or call 817-392-7540 for assistance.

Overall, the Fort Worth Emergency Rental Assistance Program provided $30.8 million to 4,785 households, helping stabilize finances for families and landlords across the city.

Additional resources for rental and utility assistance are available by calling 211, the Texas Health and Human Services helpline. For more information about additional resources please visit www.211texas.org.
FWHS Welcomes Carlos L. Walker to Board of Commissioners
Dr. Carlos L. Walker joined the five-member FWHS Board of Commissioners on March 10, filling the seat of Danny Scarth, a former Fort Worth city councilman who was appointed in June 2017 and served until his death on Nov. 18, 2021.

Walker is the director of Fort Worth ISD’s Family Action Center in southeast Fort Worth, adjacent to Sunrise McMillan Elementary School, and a former principal of Dunbar High School. In his current role, he builds positive relationships with parents, businesses, organizations and community members to increase student achievement and produces a better quality of life for all.

A graduate of O.D. Wyatt High School in Fort Worth, Dr. Walker was class valedictorian and the first Wyatt student to attend the U.S. Naval Academy, where he majored in math. He earned his undergraduate degree in math from The University of Texas at Arlington and Master and Doctor of Education degrees from The University of North Texas.

Please help us welcome Dr. Walker to our board!
FWHS President Nominated as 2022 Business Press
Great Woman of Texas
Mary-Margaret Lemons, FWHS president since 2017, will be honored as one of the 2022 Great Women of Texas by the Fort Worth Business Press during an April 28, 2022 event at Ridglea Country Club in Fort Worth. The event recognizes the professional accomplishments and community service of business, civic and community leaders.

Ms. Lemons served as FWHS general counsel from 2015 to 2017. She is a nationally recognized leader in affordable housing who has guided the evolution of FWHS from a traditional public housing authority to a developer of mixed-income housing opportunities throughout the city and provider of programs designed to help residents achieve self-sufficiency.

Other 2022 Great Women of Texas honorees include former Forth Worth Mayor Betsy Price; Leah King, president and CEO of United Way of Tarrant County and Board president for Tarrant Regional Water District; and Pam Minick, the rodeo personality and community leader who is a part owner of Billy Bob’s Texas. Mental health advocate Ellen Harris, co-chairman of The Jordan Elizabeth Harris Foundation, also will be honored with a special award. Read more here.
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