The Greensboro City Council will hold a virtual work session on Thursday, July 29 beginning at 2 p.m.

Although the City Council has been holding “hybrid” regular meetings since April, which means most or all of the councilmembers are in the council chamber along with city staff while the public was required to participate virtually.  Beginning at the July 13 meeting a limited number of people have been allowed to attend the meetings in the council chamber and to speak to the council in person.  However, people are still “encouraged” not to come to the council chamber and to speak virtually if possible.

Work sessions, which are less formal meetings of the City Council to hear reports and discuss topics, have continued to be held virtually.  Before COVID-19, work sessions were usually held in the Plaza Level Conference Room with the City Council sitting at a conference table.  By tradition, votes are rarely taken at work sessions, but decisions are sometimes made by consensus.

The agenda for the July 29 virtual work session has two items: “2021-102 Violent Crime Update” and “2021-103 Rental Assistance Efforts.”

There is no report currently posted for the violent crime update.  The practice has been not to post the reports that will be discussed at the work sessions until a few hours before the work session begins. Councilmembers have complained about not receiving the reports in advance, to allow them to prepare for the work sessions, but the complaints so far have not appeared to have much effect.  However, the members of the City Council do receive a detailed public safety update every week which in this case should give them the necessary background information.

The report on the city’s rental assistance efforts, however, has been posted and includes a funding update, emergency rental assistance program, eviction diversion and winter emergency shelter as the main topics.

According to the report, the city has spent $7.7 million on the rental assistance program providing financial assistance for 1,742 households.

Guilford County and Greensboro are now cooperating on this program.  Residents of Greensboro are able to apply to either the Greensboro or the Guilford County program.