CONTACT: Carlos Valenzuela, (210) 207-3919
SAN ANTONIO (May 30, 2019) — City Council today approved allocating $500,000 from the City’s General Fund to support the San Antonio Housing Authority (SAHA) efforts to install A/C window units in approximately 2,500 apartments in 20 public housing communities in San Antonio.
Previously City Council had approved a request to program Community Development Block Grant funds to assist with this initiative, but this request was denied by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). Another council item on today’s agenda reprogrammed $500,000 in CDBG funds that was approved for the A/C Window Unit Project so it may be used for the Owner Occupied Rehabilitation Program. The $500,000 that was approved in the General Fund for the Owner Occupied Rehabilitation will support the A/C Window Unit Project.
The City’s funds will be part of a $1.5 million partnership with the San Antonio Housing Authority’s $500,000 funding, the Gordon Hartman Family Foundation’s $300,000 contribution and the San Antonio Housing Trust Foundation’s $200,000 funding.
“All residents, especially our most vulnerable, need a safe place to live and avoid the potentially deadly summer heat,” said Mayor Ron Nirenberg. “I am glad to see the City taking steps to provide safety and a better quality of life. I also want to thank the Gordon Hartman Family Foundation for supporting the effort.”
Many public housing communities were built in the 1930s and 1940s and did not include air conditioning. To this day, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) does not mandate air conditioning, nor does it provide housing authorities with funding to purchase A/C units.
"Summertime heat in San Antonio can leave many individuals with special needs, the elderly, residents with various ailments and the general public in vulnerable situations,” said Gordon V. Hartman, Founder of The Gordon Family Foundation. “The availability of air conditioning can help alleviate stress-producing complications and lead to a better quality of life. We're proud and pleased to be working with the City of San Antonio and SAHA on this important endeavor.”
The program will also include an education campaign to provide residents with utility rebate offers and ways to reduce their energy bills.
“Generations of San Antonians have lived through scorching summers in ill-equipped, deficient housing,” said District 5 Councilwoman Shirley Gonzales. “Today’s vote begins to correct that problem by providing the decent quality of life that all other residents of our city enjoy. I’m encouraged by today’s action, and I’m sure the families who live in the units with no air conditioning are relieved that help will arrive soon. Poverty does not mean people should live in sub-standard housing.”