High Water Bills
Many families are still experiencing challenges due to the winter storm. If you receive an unusually high, water bill caused by a leak, please pay what you paid on your last bill until automatic adjustments can be applied. Payments can be made online, through the automated phone system at 713.371.1265, or with a customer service representative at 713.371.1400. 
Getting Water to Those in Need
Although the winter storm is over, many residents in District J and throughout the city continue to have a need for clean water. Over the last few weeks, our office has partnered with many organizations to get free water to those in need. We want to extend a very special thank you to every city department, organization and volunteer that has helped in this effort.
Rental Assistance
If you are a renter living in Houston or Harris County, you may be eligible for rent and utilities assistance. The City of Houston and Harris County are working together to provide $159 million to families who are at risk of losing their homes due to the COVID-19 pandemic. For more information or to submit an application visit: HoustonHarrisHelp.org.
METRO Offers Free Rides to Vaccination Sites
If you or someone you know needs transportation to get a COVID-19 vaccine, METRO is now providing free rides to anyone traveling to or from a vaccination site within the METRO service area. Riders must present proof of their appointment or a vaccination card upon boarding. Currently, frontline health care workers, residents at long-term care facilities, people over the age of 50, and people over the age of 16 with a health condition that increases their risk of exposed to COVID-19 are eligible to receive the vaccine. As other groups become eligible for the vaccine, they too will be afforded the free ride offer.
Reduced Property Taxes Possible with Exemption
If your property was damaged in the winter storm, you may qualify for a temporary tax exemption. The Texas Tax Code allows a qualified property to receive a temporary exemption of a portion of the appraised value of the property. A qualified property is considered to be at least 15 percent damaged by a disaster in a governor-declared disaster area. Types of property includes real property such as homes and buildings, certain manufactured homes and tangible personal property used for the production of income for a business. If you believe you’re eligible, you can find the form here.
$10,000 Grants for BIPOC Businesses
If you have a small, minority-owned business, you can apply for a $10,000 grant thanks to a partnership between the City of Houston and Comcast RISE Investment Fund. The fund will award $1 million in grants to small business owners who are Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC) in the Houston area (Harris and Fort Bend Counties) to be eligible. The application process begins March 1 and runs through March 14. The fund will award a total of 100 grants in May 2021. For more information, visit https://www.comcastrise.com/apply/.
Lunar New Year Celebration
Council Member Pollard attended the Lunar New Year ceremony. The Lunar New Year is a holiday that marks the first new moon of the lunisolar calendar. This year is considered the Year of the Ox which signifies health, success, and opportunity. A special thank you to the Vietnamese Community of Houston and Vicinities for this opportunity.
Gulfton Food Distribution
Despite freezing temperatures during the winter storm, the District J staff and volunteers held the outdoor walk up of free food distribution for residents in the Gulfton area apartments. We distributed: 3,000 masks, 180 sanitizer bottles, 1,250 boxes of food, 1,500 gallons of milk and 300 rapid COVID tests.
A special thank you to the District J staff, Napoleon Squre, Sewa International USA – HoustonMorehouse Houston, the Houston Police Department, Total Access MD for providing the testing, Tammy Rodriguez and Veronica Hernandez, and the many volunteers and community leaders who helped make this event a success.
Community Meeting Addresses Curb Concerns
When Council Member Pollard attended a previous Braeburn Valley Civic Meeting, residents expressed concerns about the inadequate job done on the new curbs at Nairn St. and Braes Bayou Dr. The District J office went into action to make sure the issue was resolved and the workmanship was improved. The curb and asphalt work are complete, and residents in the area can expect additional sodding and grout filling in the coming weeks.
VIDEO: Affordable Housing
During a recent City Council meeting, Council Member Pollard and his colleagues reviewed concerns for proposed developments and the need for increased, strategic efforts to establish affordable housing within District J. Watch the video below to hear his remarks.
Edward Pollard on Affordable Housing
Sharpstown Day of Service
The District J office partnered with the
Houston Baptist University Athletic Department for a Day of Service initiative. A special thank you to everyone who helped in making a significant transformation for this community. With the combined effort, volunteers completed maintenance and beautification improvements at 12 separate locations across Sharpstown. The projects included:
  • Clean up of Landsdale and Crain Park, abandoned lots, storm drains and Centerpoint Energy easement
  • Neff Elementary gardens
  • Tree planting at Ed White Elementary
  • Home maintenance and heavy trash removal at community residence for the elderly
When we all work together, we can accomplish great things in our community.
Houston’s Black History
Between the Reconstruction era and the enacting of court-ordered city council redistricting in the 1970s, there existed no Black city council members in Houston. Today, there are six Black council members who hold office, which is the most the city has ever elected. In recognition of Black History Month, Council Member Edward Pollard is proud to stand with Council Members Martha Castex-Tatum, Carolyn Evans Shabazz, Tarsha Jackson, Tiffany Thomas and Letitia Plummer, along with Mayor Sylvester Turner, the second Black mayor in the city’s 183-year history.
59 and Fountain View Underpass Clean Up
Council Member Pollard’s office continues to work with the COVID Homeless Cleanup Task Force and TX DOT to address homeless encampments and piling trash. Teams cleaned up a large amount of trash that had accumulated in the underpass at 59 and Fountainview. This underpass and others now have a weekly cleaning and sanitizing schedule. 
As a reminder, the HOT Team assists with picking up scattered debris, removing heavy trash, tree waste and illegal dumping, and handling specific landscaping issues. All requests for assistance from the HOT Team should be submitted via 311.
Hillcroft Sidewalk Program Completed
The sidewalk program on Hillcroft from Rowan to Roos Rd. is now complete. This project encompassed the repairs of sidewalks to address safety concerns for residents and pedestrians in the area.
Tam O Shanter Yard Waste Removal
A resident noted a large amount of heavy trash and debris that was dumped on Tam O Shanter. The HOT Team removed multiple bags from the location.
Sidewalk and Ramp Improvements
Sidewalks and ramps at 9103 Willow Meadow Drive and Silkwood Drive in need of repair were recently updated. Construction teams removed and replaced sidewalks and ramps to help prevent safety hazards for pedestrians and area residents.