ABOVE: Mrs. Dorothy Kimble at home with a repaired foundation through Missouri City CBDG program
A lifesaver for Senior Citizens and low-to-moderate income residents in Missouri City
That’s the word that both Vesser Mason and Dorothy Kimble use to describe the Missouri City Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) program—a program that has helped them tremendously.
Mason and Kimble share similar life stories. Both bought their homes decades ago, when they were fully employed and healthy. Over time, things changed. Now they are retired, dealing with health issues, and facing costly home repairs.
For Mason—a cancer patient—being approved for the program resulted in a new bathroom with the installation of handicap rails.
“I want you to know how grateful I am for this program that helps senior citizens with home repairs,” Mason expressed during the Public Comments portion at a recent Missouri City council meeting. “The contractors did a wonderful job and cleaned up after themselves. I was blessed to be selected and I truly pray that this program keeps on going because there are people like myself and many more who need it.”
Mason’s son—former Houston City Councilmember Dwight Boykins—also spoke during the Public Comments portion at the Missouri City council meeting to express his thanks to the City of Missouri City for helping his mother and other senior citizens in the area.
“There are a lot of seniors, including my mother, who will benefit from this program. I don’t know how much money you all have allocated for this program, but there are a lot of senior citizens who need that money,” said Boykins. “When I served on the Houston City Council, we used CDBG money to do some of these things, but a lot of times the money was not always directed to where it needed to go. You all in Missouri City are doing it the right way.”
Missouri City’s CDBG program—funded by the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD)—repaired Kimble’s house foundation.
“I’ve lived in Missouri City for 16 years, and I’m grateful for the opportunity for helping me get the repairs needed at my home,” Kimble shared during the Public Comments portion at the Missouri City council meeting. “It’s truly reassuring to know that there are compassionate and caring people at Missouri City working to provide the home improvements in my home and other homes that would have likely gone undone without help.
Through the CDBG program, Kimble’s toilet and outside gutters were also replaced, and additional improvements were made to her plumbing system.
“I have rheumatoid arthritis, and sometimes it is really hard to move around,” said Kimble. “I am on a fixed income, and I have not been able to get the repairs my home needs. I simply could not be more grateful for all the hardworking people who were involved with making my home safe.”
Residents such as Mason and Kimble are the reason that Missouri City employee Marissa Morgan wakes up daily. Both of the residents praised and expressed their gratitude to Morgan and her staff for the work they did to assist them with the much-needed home repairs that they needed done.
Morgan serves as the CDBG Coordinator for the City of Missouri City, and she effectively manages and administers the program.
As part of her role, Morgan personally reviews and assesses each application. Often, she is apologetic when informing applicants that the repairs must serve a life-saving purpose. Applications requesting remodeling or beautification projects are simply not eligible.
“I take the application and make sure the applicants meet the requirements,” said Morgan. “Then I set up a folder, and I start scheduling the inspectors to go and see what they need.”
A decisive factor when approving the applications, says Morgan, is not the applicant’s age, but their household income. The 2023 annual median income for a one-person household needs to fall in the HUD categories of Extremely Low Income ($19,600), Very Low Income ($32,650), or Low Income ($52,500).
To be eligible, the house needs to be within the geographical boundaries of Missouri City.
Morgan says she frequently has to ask applicants to be patient, as many believe they will receive the repair money up front. CDBG is a reimbursement federal program and successful applicants are not responsible for paying the contractors.
“We, in the Department of Development Services/CDBG at Missouri City, have contractors,” said Morgan. “Initially, the contractors put in the work and the capital. We, as the government, monitor the progress and completion of the project, and they get paid by us.”
The CDBG program was authorized under Title I of the Housing and Community Development Act of 1974, as amended, and is a program administered through HUD. Cities that receive funding through the CDBG program are considered Entitlement Cities and are responsible for assuring that all funded eligible activities meet one of three national objectives:
- Aid in the prevention or elimination of slums or blight
- Benefit low to moderate income persons
- Meet an urgent need
The City of Missouri City uses CDBG funds to provide programs geared toward assisting low and moderate-income persons for the provision of decent housing, a suitable living environment and expanding economic opportunity. Programs funded through the city’s CDBG program must meet HUD’s national objectives and criteria to be eligible. The City adopts a 5-year Consolidated Plan; an Annual Action Plan; and a Consolidated Annual Performance Evaluation Review to monitor and evaluate the city’s administration of CDBG funds.
The CDBG program also has an educational component to it—there is a scholarship program designed for low-to-moderate-income students who reside in an eligible household and are enrolled in a community college, university, or vocational program.
Knowing the anguish many low-income residents experience when seeing the deterioration of their homes, Morgan has one message for them: “We are here. We are ready, and we are willing to work with the residents of Missouri City.”
To apply, visit the Missouri City Community Development Block Grant at https://www.missouricitytx.gov/251/CDBG.
If you have questions about the city’s CDBG funding or program activities, please contact the Community Development Division at email@example.com.