Local

After Protests, Houston Mayor Takes Back HOA Trash Subsidy Cut

The city of Houston will continue to subsidize civic associations that use private contractors for trash pickup.

Garbage truck
Garbage men pick up the trash from residents’ backdoor twice a week in the Westchester subdivision in west Houston.

The city subsidizes homeowners associations that hire their own waste company rather than use the city’s services.

Mayor Sylvester Turner included scrapping the $6 per home per month subsidy in his proposed budget for next fiscal year.

Turner previously said stopping the subsidies to the 163 associations that take part in the program would save $3.5 million. But there were some unintended consequences.

“What some of the people were indicating is that they were going to utilize city services, which was going to pretty much reduce significantly the cost savings,” Turner said. “And so, it’s not an issue at this time worth fighting about.”

The Westchester Homeowners Association has been part of the program for decades.

Garbage truck
Garbage men pick up the trash from residents’ backdoor twice a week in the Westchester subdivision in west Houston.

It has a contract with Eco Waste and Recycling, which picks up trash twice a week, recycling and heavy trash once a week, and they haul the trash cans from residents’ backdoors.

John DeFilippo, who handles sanitation for the Westchester HOA, wrote to the mayor and all council members telling them his neighborhood would go back to city services if the subsidy was cut.

He’s glad Turner changed his mind.

“The mayor would be better served by having a program to go out and get more neighborhoods to do private trash and only pay them the $6 rather than pick up for $18,” he said.

DeFilippo said homeowners in Westchester spend slightly less on garbage pickup than the $18 the city pays per home per month.

Turner said he will find other places to cut the city’s budget in order to close a large gap.

But he said someone will feel the pain.

Share

Florian Martin

Business Reporter

Florian Martin is currently the News 88.7 business reporter. Florian’s stories can frequently be heard on other public radio stations throughout Texas and on NPR nationwide. Some of them have earned him awards from Texas AP Broadcasters and the Houston Press Club. Florian is a native of Germany. His studies...

More Information