Unfair Water Rate Increase Update
Posted by Government Affairs
on Thursday, April 22, 2010
Dear HAA Members:
The Houston Apartment Association was very disappointed that the Houston City Council voted to enact a water and sewer rate increase that appears to unfairly penalize apartment owners and residents at Wednesday’s City Council Meeting.
The vote on the item was 12-3, with Council Members C. O. Bradford (At Large 4), Oliver Pennington (District G) and Mike Sullivan (District E) voting no.
The rate increase adopted this week raised the single family rate, and lowered the multifamily rate, from Mayor Parker’s initial proposal two weeks ago. However, an amendment phases in the single family increases over four years, whereas the multifamily rate increase is immediate (starting June 1, 2010).
The HAA Legislative Committee is holding a special meeting on Monday. We will be discussing our options on this issue, which may include litigation.
As we explore our options for dealing with implementation of this unfair ordinance, we want to thank all of you who have helped us in our efforts. The letters from apartment industry professionals and renters to the City Council and the Mayor helped reduce the impact of this increase in rates. Our fight is not over and we may call upon your help on this issue again in the future. Thank you for your dedication to promoting the interests of the apartment industry.
One question that you may have in relation to this ordinance change is how it will affect your TAA Water/Watewater Submetering addendum and/or your Lease Addendum for Allocating Water/Wastewater Costs. As required by TCEQ rules, both addendums include notification to residents of average monthly bills in the previous year. The numbers are intended to be a snapshot of the previous year’s bills and do not limit you from allocating/submetering water in accordance with new rates. The rest of the paragraph clearly states that changes may occur in the future due to changes in utility company water rates (in this case, the City of Houston would be the utility company).
If you have any questions regarding this matter or any other HAA government affairs activities, please contact email@example.com.
Here is a link to a previous blog post on this matter.