City Continues Abatement and “HERO” Programs to Ensure Resident Safety

PRESS RELEASE

showimagePearland has always been a notably “clean” place to live. With a relatively “young” overall housing stock, most of the homes and commercial properties in the City are well maintained. However, like any community, there are exceptions.

As a part of efforts to clean up areas that may suffer from dilapidation or homes in disrepair, the City has developed and implemented two programs designed to improve Pearland. The Substandard and Vacant Building Abatement Program aims to remove or improve dilapidated and unsafe properties and the City’s Housing Enforcement & Rehabilitation Opportunities (HERO) initiative uses Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) funds to make eligible repairs to owner-occupied homes belonging to low to moderate income residents in Pearland.

Through the Substandard and Vacant Building Abatement Program, which adopts its standards from the International Building and Property Maintenance codes, a structure can be considered for abatement if it meets a variety of specifications. Those can range from any building in danger of falling and injuring the person or property of another to any building with roof, ceiling, floors, sills or foundations rotted, decayed and falling apart that are uninhabitable and tenantable due to the deterioration. Additionally, any building that can foster disease and sickness and any building that is considered unfit for human occupancy is subject to abatement.

However, because the City recognizes that at times, circumstances could challenge the financial strength of a household and greatly affect the resident’s ability to maintain the structural and/or mechanical condition of their home, the City entered into an agreement with a non-profit to complete eligible housing repairs for low to moderate income Pearland residents through the CDBG program.

Appropriately named HERO, the Housing Enforcement & Rehabilitation Opportunities initiative was approved to use CDBG funds to make eligible repairs to owner-occupied homes belonging to low to moderate income residents in the City. The initiative is jointly managed by the Code Enforcement Division of the Fire Department and the Grants Division of the Finance Department. The two divisions work together to identify and assist those who qualify for the aid that HERO supplies.

Since the program began, 10 households have been repaired through the City’s allocation of HUD funding. These households all fall within the levels of low to moderate income required for participation in the HERO program, with 40 percent falling below that level down into the very low or extremely low income categories. Fifty percent were female-led households, three were requests involving the disabled and four had occupants age 65 or older.

All of the projects completed in FY 2016 addressed situations that improved the safety and/or health of the inhabitants, reduced the home’s exposure to additional damage from failure to make repairs to existing conditions, or made a major improvement to the stabilization factors for the surrounding neighbors.

The City will continue adding derelict properties through staff reports or resident complaints in an effort to increase awareness of property maintenance and to remove or remedy properties posing a threat to the safety of others, causing a negative impact to the City and property values.

To report a substandard property in your area, use the Connect2Pearland app found in App Store or Google Play. You can also report issues online at pearlandtx.gov/c2p. If you are a low to moderate income owner and occupant of a single-family residential home within the City limits and wish to apply for assistance with home repairs, you can download an application for the HERO program here.

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