Councilmember's Senior Assistance Pilot Program Finds Enormous Success

Published on May 20, 2024

Council District 7 Ana E. Sandoval     

SAN ANTONIO (May 20, 2024) – District 7 Councilmember Marina Alderete Gavito released the following statement about the substantial success thus far regarding the Senior Assistance Pilot Program (SAPP).

“Last year, my team and I identified a serious issue regarding how our city addresses compliance issues within our disabled and senior citizen communities,” the District 7 Councilmember said. “I proposed the Senior Assistance Pilot Program because this is about showing the same type of compassion to our older adults that we learned growing up when we’d assist our neighbors down the street. This program also removes hazards from vulnerable adult’s properties which pose life-safety issues to them and their neighbors.

“We’ve all heard time and time again of heartbreaking stories about our older adults and disabled residents not being able to maintain their yards and then being cited for it. Over the past six months, this program has had a tremendous impact on residents throughout the city.”

Introduced in the City of San Antonio Fiscal Year 2024 budget, the SAPP is a program proposed by the District 7 Councilmember to offer direct assistance to seniors aged 65 and older and/or disabled individuals with code violations in the following categories:

  • Overgrown vegetation (lawn or alley maintenance), outside placement, trash, or debris
  • Tree removal or trimming when posing a hazard

The City previously had a $15,000 program offering services citywide. The District 7 Councilmember successfully proposed expanding this program to $100,000, with $10,000 equally allocated to each council district. The property owner or tenant must also have a financial hardship and be on a fixed income and reside in a single-family home. The overall program goal is to help senior citizens and/or disabled residents address these violations before they become citations that accrue fees.

As of May 9, 2024, the results of the SAPP are as follows:

  • Thirty-seven (37) households have received assistance with a City approved contractor abating the applicable code violation rather than being issued citations.
  • An additional eleven (11) homes are approved for assistance and are currently waiting for the city approved contractor to schedule and execute the abatement.
  • Of the total $105,000 budget, the program has spent/committed $69,560 which leaves a remaining available balance of $35,480.
  • The average cost of the forty-eight (48) cases approved for assistance is $1,449.
  • City Council Districts 2, 4 and 5 have exhausted all their allocated share of the funding at this time.