Houston City Council approves $28 million more in relief money

HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) -- More help is on the way for some Houstonians.

Houston City Council passed an additional $20 million in direct assistance Wednesday morning to help those who qualify.

Up to $1,200 in payments will go to as many as 23,750 people. The money will be received by the end of the year, though the city has not yet determined who is eligible or how they will disburse the funds.

The payments come from the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act, or CARES Act, provided by the federal government. The act was signed into law in March to help provide economic relief during the COVID-19 pandemic in the United States. The city must spend all of the $405 million it received in federal funds by the end of the year or forfeit any unspent money. Mayor Sylvester Turner told ABC13 Tuesday he is confident they will spend all of the money by January 1, 2021.

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Still, it's important to note that some the people who will be receiving the money have already been selected through programs with BakerRipley and Catholic charities. But by the end of the week, BakerRipley will know if additional Houstonians can apply for this help. BakerRipley does also have existing and available funds for both rental relief and utility payments. The rental help could be as much as $1,900 and the utility help as much as $400. Applications can be found on BakerRipley's website

City council also passed an additional $10 million to help small businesses.

Over the last several months, BakerRipley has worked with the city of Houston and Harris County to operate rental assistance programs.

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