About a dozen brochures spread out across a table at Andrew ‘Doc’ Session Community Center share a common theme — homeownership can come with unexpected expenses, and here’s how the city can help.  

As of 2021, about 56% of houses in Fort Worth were owner-occupied, according to the US Census. The city offers a variety of services that aim to make home ownership less expensive to its lower-income residents. 

Available resources range from jobs programs to utility assistance. All of the programs are open for applications now. 

Accessing these services can be confusing for residents. Before she began working for the Neighborhood Services Department, Shauna Shepherd, now a customer solutions analyst, had no idea some of these resources existed when she was buying her own home. 

“It would have been so helpful,” Shepherd said. 

That’s why Shepard and Ricardo Aguilera, a communications specialist with the Tarrant Appraisal District, are presenting the options available to residents at community centers across the city. The next and final presentation is Wednesday, Feb. 15, at Handley Meadowbrook Community Center. 

If you go: 

You can attend the next and final homeownership workshop from 6 to 7 p.m. Feb. 15 at Handley Meadowbrook Community Center, 6201 Beaty St, Fort Worth, TX 76112. 

Sign up to reserve your spot here

The presentation is made up of two parts. One focuses on services available through the city for things like utility assistance, funding for minor home repairs and other funding sources available to Fort Worth and Tarrant County residents. 

The other half explains the property tax process, including what exemptions are available to residents and how they can contest their property appraisals. 

“Our mission is building strong neighborhoods by empowering residents with housing, community development, and social services,” Shepherd told a crowd of about six residents taking notes. 

Shepherd highlighted nine programs available to residents, mostly for those who meet low-income requirements.

Aguilera gave an overview of the home appraisal process, encouraging residents to take advantage of exemptions – such as the homestead exemption – wherever they can. 

The Feb. 15 presentation will be the final one, for now, Shepherd said. City staff are available to answer questions about eligibility and aid residents through the application process. 

Residents can reach the city online and by phone at 817-392-7540 to learn more. 

Rachel Behrndt is a government accountability reporter for the Fort Worth Report. Contact her at rachel.behrndt@fortworthreport.org or via Twitter. At the Fort Worth Report, news decisions are made independently of our board members and financial supporters. Read more about our editorial independence policy here.

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Rachel BehrndtGovernment Accountability Reporter

Rachel Behrndt is a government accountability reporter for the Fort Worth Report in collaboration with KERA. She is a recent graduate of the University of Missouri where she majored in Journalism and Political...