- Texas Senator Rodney Ellis, District 13
- Texas Organizing Project’s Neighborhoods of Opportunity Workshops During my 22 years in office, I have fought for affordable housing in Senate District 13, and part of that means ensuring that those families affected by disasters receive appropriate compensation to allow them to rebuild and repair their homes. That is why I am proud to partner with the Texas Organizing Project (TOP) to sponsor their Neighborhoods of Opportunity Workshops.
With $151 million in additional funding recently made available to provide quality housing to Houstonians living in homes damaged by Hurricane Ike, the City of Houston named four Neighborhoods of Opportunity in which to strategically target the funds. In response, TOP is hosting a series of workshops in those areas to allow community members the opportunity to discuss how they believe the funding can best be used: 5th Ward/Denver Harbor: Saturday, July 21, from 10 am to 1 pm at the Denver Harbor Multi-Service Center (6402 Market Street). Southside/Sunnyside: Saturday, July 28, from 3 pm to 6 pm at Outreach Baptist Church (5055 Bellfort Avenue).
I encourage you to attend these events to voice your desire for comprehensive community development that meets your needs. For more information, please call TOP at (832) 387-5845.
- Beat the Heat When it comes to saving on your electric bill, there are some simple tips and tools to help you beat the heat: Increase efficiency: If you can, one way to beat the heat is to invest in improving the efficiency of your air conditioning unit. According to experts, having your air conditioner inspected, its coils cleaned and refrigerant adjusted can save enough to pay for the maintenance costs. As summers are getting hotter and longer, doing the little things could help you save energy and money and ensure it works when you need it most. Program your thermostat: Many homes and apartments today have programmable, more efficient thermostats, but too few people take advantage. Check your thermostat and set the temperature higher for when you are not home or when the sun is down. Remember, every degree of cooling below 78 degrees raises energy costs by 4 percent, so if you aren’t home turn it up. Add insulation to your attic: Attics trap heat, and in the middle of the Houston summer your attic can reach 135 degrees or even higher. Keep that from heating up the rest of your house by adding insulation. One large roll of insulation can cost as little as $11 at most major hardware stores. Advice, Tips and Rebates: Websites like the Texas Public Utility Commission and others provide tips and advice on how to save energy, and consumer websites like SaveBigBread.com match customers with contractors and with rebate programs available from manufacturers or governments. Unplug those appliances: You can save electricity and pay less on your electric bill by just unplugging appliances you’re not using. Many of your appliances and gadgets draw a small amount of current on a constant basis, even if they are not actually turned on and in use. Over time, this small but constant use of electricity leads to waste and higher electric bills. Common sense: Remember what your momma told you: close the door and turn out the lights! You’ll be surprised just how much energy you can save by keeping lights off in rooms you are not in and making sure the doors and windows are closed.Houston Cooling Centers Thousands in Houston don’t turn on the air conditioning for fear of high bills, and thousands more do not even have air conditioning and just sweat out the dangerous heat. Thankfully, there is a little relief, as the city has designated 11 cooling centers across town.
Northwest Multi-Service Center, 9720 Spaulding, 713-491-5500
Acres Homes Multi- Service Center, 6719 W. Montgomery Road, 713-694-9274
Southwest Multi-Service Center, 6400 High Star Dr., 713-778-6500
Denver Harbor Multi- Service Center, 402 Market, 713-670-2143
Sunnyside Multi-Service Center, 4605 Wilmington, 713-732-5030
Fifth Ward Multi-Service Center, 4014 Market, 832-393-3800
Third Ward Multi-Service Center, 3611 Ennis, 713-527-4005
Hiram Clarke Multi-Service Center, 3810 West Fuqua, 832-393-4200
West End Multi-Service Center, 170 Heights Blvd., 713-803-1050
Kashmere Multi-Service Center, 4802 Lockwood, 832-393-5503
Magnolia Multi-Service Center, 7037 Capitol, 713-928-9515