This Week at City Hall

Dec. 1, 2017Office of Council Member Ellen Cohen

This Week: Federal Disaster Assistance; Special minimum lot size designations; South Central Division Command.

LAST DAY to Apply for FEMA Assistance

TODAYThursday, November 30th, is the last day for Houston residents who suffered damage due to Hurricane Harvey to apply for Federal Disaster Assistance. Federal assistance includes help for temporary housing, rental assistance, and repair or replacement of damaged homes. In addition, grants may be available to help with other expenses such as medical and dental care, child care, funeral and burial costs, replacing essential household items, moving and storage, vehicle repairs, and some clean-up items. Residents may register:

  • Online at
  • By calling the FEMA Helpline at 800-621-3362 (voice, 711/VRS-Video Relay Service) (TTY: 800-462-7585). Multilingual operators are available (press 2 for Spanish)
  • Via the FEMA app, available for Apple and Android mobile devices. To download
  • By visiting a Disaster Recovery Center (DRC). Find the location of nearby DRCs online

PLEASE NOTE: There have been numerous reports today of people experiencing issues with the online application process at If you have trouble, call 1-800-621-3362. 

Additional recovery information is available at

On the Agenda

Council approved special minimum lot size designations for the following areas:

  • 2000 block of Dryden Rd
  • 2200 block of MacArthur St
  • 2100 block of Southgate Blvd
  • 600 block of Oxford St (a special minimum building line designation was also approved for the west side of this block)

Parcels of land within these boundaries may not be subdivided to smaller than the minimum size described in the ordinance. Petitioned by the Southgate and Lower Heightsneighborhoods, these protections will limit the ability of developers to build new townhomes on those blocks. Communities interested in applying for similar protections may visit thePlanning and Development Department website for more information.

What’s Happening in the Annex

Mayor Pro Tem Cohen met with Houston Police Department Captain Salam Zia, who was recently instated to oversee the South Central Division Command, and Lieutenant Shamara Garner. The South Central Division includes University Place within District C, as well as portions of Districts D, H, and I. Discussion centered on possible solutions to combat speeding, home break-ins and other types of crime, so that these neighborhoods remain safe for residents and businesses.