HOUSTON--(BUSINESS WIRE)--In response to the COVID-19 pandemic affecting the financial well-being of a growing number of apartment residents, the Houston Apartment Association (HAA) today is donating $100,000 to the Alliance of Community Assistance Ministries (ACAM), launching their “HAA Renter Assistance Fund.” HAA is also challenging its members, including apartment owners and operators as well as suppliers, to contribute additional funds to the program.
“Many of our residents have lost their jobs or have experienced a reduction in pay,” said Clay Hicks, HAA president. “While many were able to pay their April rent, many others will need help meeting their rent obligations in May and possibly beyond. We hope our contribution is a starting point to meet the immediate need, as we navigate this unprecedented crisis together as a community and we join Mayor Sylvester Turner in asking for more flexibility to allow federal money to be used for renter assistance.”
While both eviction delays and the “HAA Renter Assistance Fund” provide immediate relief, the next step is for elected officials, non-profits and the community at large to explore meaningful, systematic rental assistance resources to help residents remain in their homes. To help those in need and preserve badly needed housing supply, HAA is urgently asking local city and county leaders, civic leaders and community organizations to join the association in lobbying the members of Congress to include short-term rental assistance in the next stimulus bill.
ACAM, a management support organization for a network of 14 area assistance ministries throughout the Greater Houston area, provides short-term emergency assistance and programs to low-income families to lead them on a path to long-term resiliency and self-sufficiency, including short-term rental assistance. Funds from the HAA donation will be distributed to the requesting families’ apartment management companies to cover their monthly rent.
“ACAM is grateful to the HAA for taking the lead to create a way that property owners and managers can support families in need of assistance,” said Sharon Zachary, CEO, Alliance of Community Assistance Ministries. “Our region’s community assistance ministries are strong organizations that continue to help our most vulnerable families during times of crisis. As the region’s safety net, the network serves more people every day -- often in faith that the resources to continue the work will come. It is a sign of generosity when a collaborative of multifamily businesses come together to create the HAA Renter Assistance Fund.”
About the Houston Apartment Association:
The Houston Apartment Association is a professional trade association that serves individuals and businesses involved in the ownership, construction, management, maintenance and operation of apartments and other rental dwellings in the Houston area. See www.haaonline.org for more information.
About Alliance of Community Assistance Ministries
ACAM is a 501(c)(3) public charity with the mission of advancing collaboration to create community-wide solutions for thriving nonprofits, neighborhoods, and families. ACAM’s formal in-network partners include 14 highly engaged faith-based human service organizations, assisting on average 200,000 individuals annually across five Houston-area counties.