Houston Complete Communities


Complete Communities Updates
News from your City of Houston
Planning & Development Department
City of Houston March 2019

Mayor Appoints First Complete Communities Director

Mayor Sylvester Turner has appointed Shannon Buggs as the first director of the Mayor's Office of Complete Communities. Ms. Buggs is an experienced communicator and administrator, and a native Houstonian and resident of the Third Ward Community. As director, she will develop strong collaborative relationships with neighborhood residents, City of Houston departments, other government agencies and officials, private donors, and non-profit organizations to fulfill the Complete Communities Action Plans. She will ensure projects identified through a public engagement process are implemented, funded and managed efficiently. An important responsibility of the new director will be to secure private and philanthropic investments to help implement the Action Plans. The director position is funded by a grant from the Houston Endowment, Inc. "As a proven leader and doer who has a feel for grassroots people and issues, Shannon Buggs will help us take Complete Communities to the next level of accomplishment and responsiveness by helping to attract private investment into neighborhoods that have been under resourced for decades," Mayor Turner said. "Also, I thank Houston Endowment for funding this important position as an example of how a public/private partnership can work to leverage resources to improve all communities." See Mayor's press release for more information.

Homeownership Down Payment Program       
The NeighborhoodLIFT Program: To support sustainable homeownership and help advance neighborhood stability, the Wells Fargo NeighborhoodLIFT program looks to the future by delivering down payment assistance and financial education to homebuyers in collaboration with NeighborWorks® America and local nonprofit organizations. NeighborhoodLIFT will partner with Avenue CDC, Fifth Ward CRC and Tejano Center for Community Concerns on an upcoming homebuyer event.
Come see if you qualify for a $15,000 down payment assistance grant for home purchases within Houston city limits, available for a limited time. Additional assistance may be provided to qualified active military, veterans, surviving spouses, teachers, firefighters, law enforcement, and emergency medical technicians. The homebuyer event will be held on March 22 and 23, from 10 am to 7 pm on Friday, and from 9 am to 2 pm on Saturday, at Crown Plaza Houston at Reliant Park, in the Grand Ballroom, at 8686 Kirby Drive. Click here for details, including bilingual fliers. 
Community Highlights
Acres Home
Acres Home Super Neighborhood: Acres Homes Super Neighborhood #41 is up and running! For more information, contact acreshomesSNC@gmail.com. 

Bethune Academy: On March 5, a community conversation was held with Aldine ISD to share feedback on the City of Houston's plan to include Bethune Academy as part of the Acres Home Complete Communities plan. For more information contact 281-449-1011 or click here.

Tax Help : Houston Public Library offers free resources for income tax preparation, with the help of dedicated AARP volunteers. Library customers in Acres Home and elsewhere can also use public computers with internet access to access the IRS web site, to obtain the required forms and get more information. Click here for details.
Contact Information: The planner for Acres Home is Christa Stoneham. You can reach her at 832-393-6600 or CC_AcresHome@houstontx.gov. 

Gulfton Super Neighborhood Council: The Gulfton Super Neighborhood Council meetings are held every third Monday of the month. The next meeting is on Monday, March 18, at the Southwest Multi-Service Center, 6400 High Star Drive, from 12 to 1 pm. If you are interested in becoming a member, contact the Gulfton Super Neighborhood at gulftonsnc@gmail.com.

Chat for Change - Tour the Trail: Culture of Health Advancing Together (CHAT) held a tour and unveiling celebration of the Gulfton Story Trail on March 16. Twelve murals, inspired by poetry from students and stories from residents, were created by Houston artists to showcase the diversity and culture of the Gulfton community. Grant funding for the murals was provided by the Mayor's Office of Cultural Affairs and Houston Arts Alliance. Visit the CHAT web site for more information on the murals.
Neighborhood Support Team (NST):  A NST meeting was held on February 27. Members discussed project ideas and provided general suggestions on how best to engage the broader Gulfton community.

Capital Improvement Project Meeting (CIP): The District J CIP meeting will be held on Wednesday, March 27, from 6: 30 to 8 pm at Bayland Community Center, 6400 Bissonnet St. These annual community meetings are hosted by the Mayor and City Council. Click here for details.
Positive Interaction Program (PIP):  The next Police Department PIP meeting will take place on Tuesday, April 16, at the Southwest Multi-Service Center, 6400 High Star Dr., from 12 to 1 pm. PIP features speakers from different Police Department divisions, such as Burglary and Theft, Homicide, K-9, Helicopters, etc., to explain how they operate. This program is offered so people will know what to expect, should they ever need the police. Click here for details. 
Contact Information: The planners for Gulfton are Tonya Sawyer and Abraham Zorrilla. You can reach them at 832-393-6600 or CC_Gulfton@houstontx.gov 

Marshall Middle School Principal Benjamin Hernandez welcoming attendees at public forum 

Sample of tools and equipment that would be available at a maker-space

Maker-Space at Marshall Middle School Public Forum: A public forum was held at Marshall Middle School on March 6 to inform the Near Northside community about a proposed maker space at the school. In partnership with Northside High School, TXRX Labs, Avenue CDC, the City of Houston, and a neighborhood group called TecHub, Marshall is planning to redesign its school library into a maker-space. A maker-space is a place where people can collaborate, explore their own interests, and learn how to use materials and tools. The proposed maker-space will provide afterschool programming opportunities for middle and high school students in the neighborhood. Opportunities to have workforce training and up-skilling classes for the surrounding Near Northside community will be explored. To get opinions on this concept, participants filled out a survey. Also, equipment and tools used at a maker-space were on display by TXRX Labs. Students were also able to try out different tools. Thank you to Council Member Karla Cisneros for attending this public forum. The next step is to have a design workshop sometime in April of this year. More information will be provided soon.
Super Neighborhood Council 51 Meeting: Last month's Super Neighborhood Council #51 (SNC #51) meeting was held on February 28 at the Leonel Castillo Community Center. Reports were made from members of the SNC #51 committees. The meeting attendees also continued to discuss proposed changes to the SNC #51 bylaws. If you are interested in joining one of these committees, you can sign up at a future meeting, or you can contact this Super Neighborhood at snc51houston@gmail.com . A Committee Fair will be held on March 28 at 6 pm at the same location for people to learn about and/or join a committee. Other organizations will provide information on services, programs, and events. 

Quitman Pedestrian Improvement Project Meeting: A community engagement meeting was held by the Greater Northside Management District (GNMD) on February 12 at the Leonel Castillo Community Center. The purpose was to present the proposal for pedestrian improvements along parts of Quitman Street and to collect feedback. GNMD is partnering with a design firm called TBG for this project. If you have any questions regarding this project, please contact GNMD at 713-229-0900 or info@greaternorthsidedistrict.org

Contact Information: The planner for Near Northside is Davonte Caldwell. You can reach him at 832-393-6600 or CC_NearNorthside@houstontx.gov.   


Neighborhood Character Work Group Meeting: Our first meeting of 2019 is planned for Tuesday, March 19, from 6:30-7:30 pm at Settegast Community Center at 3000 Garrow St. The Second Ward Neighborhood Character work group is being convened to discuss the possibility of bringing temporary art at several locations throughout Second Ward. Please join us to share your thoughts on this project. If you want to ensure you receive the latest updates from the Neighborhood Character work group, please send your contact information via email to CC_SecondWard@houstontx.gov .
Have an idea to make Second Ward a Complete Community? Let us know! We are looking for civic-minded residents and organizations willing to collaborate on project ideas in the community.

Contact Information: The planners for Second Ward are David Welch and Eriq Glenn. You can reach them at 832-393-6600 or CC_SecondWard@houstontx.gov 

SN Meeting March 21: Join the Greater Third Ward Super Neighborhood #67 monthly meeting. The agenda will include Judge Brown and Complete Communities updates. The Super Neighborhood meets every third Thursday at the Third Ward Multi-Service Center, 3611 Ennis St., at 6 pm. Email CC_ThirdWard@houstontx.gov for more information. 
Community Emergency Response Teams (CERT): The concept of the CERT
Program began in the mid-1980s when the Los Angeles Fire Department  saw the need, in the event of a large-scale disaster, to train citizens on how to help others without putting themselves in harm's way. FEMA formalized the CERT program in 1993 and the CERT program is now available nationwide. The CERT curriculum is taught from an all-hazards approach and each community emphasizes the disasters, both natural and manmade, to which they are most vulnerable. Although preparedness steps may vary from community to community, the goal remains the same: "to do the most good for the most amount of people" in an emergency, such as in the event of a natural disaster. Classes are March 19 to May 7, every Tuesday, 6:30 to 9:30 pm. To register for the 3rd Ward Ready CERT, click here.

2019 Property Tax Workshops: Harris County Appraisal District and the office of Ann Harris Bennett, Tax Assessor-Collector and Voter Registrar, are hosting Property Tax Workshops around the city. Workshops will cover several topics including: Protest Process, How Property Taxes are Calculated, Property Tax Exemptions, and Payment Options. The following workshops will be held closest to Third Ward: April 22, 10 am, Third Ward Multi-Service Center at 3611 Ennis St., and April 11, 6 pm, Houston Texans YMCA at 5202 Griggs Rd. For more information on the Harris County Appraisal District, visit hcad.org.
Northern Third Ward Neighborhood Implementation Project: The Northern Third Ward Neighborhood Implementation Project identifies critical issues in our neighborhood. Through resident and stakeholder participation, the Project's  plan formulates strategies and specific action steps that will lead to the successful development and enhancement of our community. The Project, funded by The Wells Fargo Foundation, implements community improvements in the areas of: neighborhood building, education, economic development and workforce, housing, and services for children, youth, and families. Click here to visit the website.

Houston Police Positive Interaction Program (PIP): The South Central PIP (Positive Interaction Program) meets monthly on every 3rd Tuesday.  The next meeting is scheduled for Tuesday, March 19, from 7 to 8 pm at the South-Central Police Station located at 2202 St. Emanuel Street. Click here for more information.

Contact Information: The planners for Third Ward are Lynn Henson and Annette Mitchell. You can reach them at 832-393-6600 or CC_ThirdWard@houstontx.gov.
Tips From the Toolbox: Summer and Job Opportunities 

Hire Houston: Hire Houston Youth Program offers youth, from ages 16 to  24, job opportunities with the City of Houston and private sector companies throughout the Houston area. Most positions are from June 10 through August 1, and offer $8.00 an hour in compensation. The application deadline is May, 3. Click here to apply now.

SHIP: Every summer, the Houston Metropolitan Research Center offers an exciting opportunity for dedicated high school students to experience work in an archive, first hand! The Student Historian Internship Program (SHIP) is a four-week long intensive volunteer internship where students learn about archival science and preserving Houston's history. Interns complete three projects related to conservation, archival processing, and oral history, all while learning professional workplace etiquette and building their resume. This one-month intensive internship takes place at the beautiful downtown Julia Ideson Building, Tuesdays through Fridays, in June.  Call 832-393-1662 or email tx.reference@houstontx.gov for more information or an application.
Census Bureau Field Jobs: The Census Bureau conducts continuous surveys to supply the nation with important statistics on people, places and our economy. The Census' regional offices hire and supervise field workers. Per the Census Bureau, local field workers know their communities best, and are instrumental in conducting surveys with residents on a variety of topics. To apply, click here.
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