Mobile City Hall Will Bring Services To Houston’s Neighborhoods

Dec. 1, 2014Houston Public Media

In a city as spread out as Houston, having to go downtown to take care of city-related business can be a drag.

That’s why the city of Houston is working on taking City Hall to the people.

The “Mobile City Hall” will be a repurposed RV that was formerly used by the Houston Police Department.

Mayor Annise Parker said it would get more people to take advantage of city services and resources.

“Council members have been talking a lot about, ‘Well maybe we should have council meetings at night. Maybe we should do this or that,’” Parker said. “I’ve been here long enough to actually remember when we had council meetings at night and we didn’t have any more people show up. You really need to go where folks are who have needs.”

Last summer, the city solicited input from residents on what they would like to see in a mobile city hall.

Patricia Harrington, an assistant director at the Department of Neighborhoods, said the results are still being evaluated. But the types of services offered will likely depend on the individual neighborhoods the truck visits.

“It’s not going to do any good for us to put the vehicle in a community and try to do things for code enforcement violations when really their issue over there are things like tickets or, like, vaccinations and things that are more health-related,” she said.

Just last week, the nonprofit Neighborhood Centers introduced its mobile community center, where it offers services such as tax preparation and job training.

The plan is to launch the mobile city hall in the spring.