About the Houston-Galveston Area Council

The Houston-Galveston Area Council (H-GAC) is the regional organization through which local governments consider issues and cooperate in solving area wide problems. Through H-GAC, local governments also initiate efforts in anticipating and preventing problems, saving public funds. The 13-county H-GAC service region is growing, becoming more diverse, and constantly changing. In order to address the needs of citizens and businesses, local governments are providing leadership to guide regional development wisely and manage change constructively.

Mission Statement

H-GAC's mission is to serve as the instrument of local government cooperation, promoting the region's orderly development and the safety and welfare of its citizens.

The foundation for responsible public service in a rapidly changing region is H-GAC’s program of regional planning.  H-GAC provides planning programs in most areas of shared governmental concern.

All H-GAC programs are carried out under the policy direction of H-GAC’s local elected official Board of Directors.  H-GAC is made up of the region's local governments and their elected officials, and works together with public and private sector organizations and a host of volunteers.

The 13 counties in H-GAC's service region are: Austin, Brazoria, Chambers, Colorado, Fort Bend, Galveston, Harris, Liberty, Matagorda, Montgomery, Walker, Waller, and Wharton.  There are more than 100 member cities in the region.

The Houston-Galveston Area Council is committed to assuring non-discrimination in its programs and activities to the effect that no person shall on the grounds of race, color, national origin, sex, age, disability or income status be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be otherwise subjected to discrimination or retaliation under any federally or non-federally funded program or activity administered by the Houston-Galveston Area Council.

Departments

H-GAC's administration departments provide general management direction in implementing H-GAC Board of Directors adopted policies.

The Executive Director's office formulates strategic planning and policy recommendations for consideration by the Board of Directors. The Executive Director also recommends H-GAC's annual budget.

In addition to the Executive Director's office, administration includes financial management, internal auditing, intergovernmental relations and agency-wide general services such as human resources and purchasing. These offices provide services that support the agency's regional planning and service programs.

H-GAC supports a broad spectrum of community and economic development programs, from overseeing federal and state grant programs that deliver waste water and drinking water grants to rural communities and small cities to supporting regional workforce initiatives and partnering on downtown revitalization and community beautification projects.  By partnering with the Gulf Coast Small Business Finance Corporation and the Gulf Coast Economic Development District, H-GAC is able to provide community investment grants, support a rural enterprise revolving loan fund, conduct economic impact assessments, and provide a regional perspective via our monthly economic digest.

H-GAC’s newly formed data analytics and research team focuses on developing robust data models and forecasts for local and regional economic development, transportation planning, air quality, population growth, land use, and flood mitigation. This information is available to local governments in the 13-county region, community partners, institutes of higher learning, state, and federal agencies to use for their planning purposes.

Our team is comprised of the following functional groups: data creation, data visualization, modeling, and information services. The data creation group focuses on collecting and producing data, as well as extracting information from existing sources, while the data visualization group makes information available in a clear and concise manner for easy and meaningful consumption. Both groups apply sophisticated analytic techniques to leverage informational content, to include Geographic Information Systems (GIS) and dashboard applications.

The data modeling group utilizes the latest modeling and forecasting technologies to simulate and predict socioeconomic development in the region, as well as the associated traffic loads and patterns for future regional planning. This group also models air and water quality for compliance with environmental rules and regulations.

The information services group is an external-facing team of experts that coordinates efforts in the areas of contractor/consultant management, intra-and inter-agency collaboration, outreach, and grants.

The data analytics and research team supports the development of data tools and conducting analytic research, which are the backbone of H-GAC’s mission in community planning, building our neighborhoods, supporting our businesses, and helping communities prepare for growth.

The Data Services Department is the information technology and services arm of the Houston-Galveston Area Council, and is comprised of the following groups: Information Technology, Geographic Information Systems, Web Development and Gulf Coast Regional 9-1-1 Emergency Communications District (GCRECD).

The Information Technology group manages H-GAC’s IT infrastructure and services, including computer and system operations, information management and security, network infrastructure, and telecommunications systems. The group also manages the Gulf Coast Workforce Board’s network throughout the 13-county H-GAC region.

The GIS Program group facilitate the sharing of geographic data and information resources for the H-GAC region. This includes current and historical aerial imagery acquisition, providing a platform and workflow for H-GAC GIS professionals to share data and analysis via online services, and supporting the GIS needs of H-GAC users and member agencies. The GIS Program group also facilitates and actively participates in the Geographic Data Workgroup’s (GDW) endeavors, such as coordinating GIS education and training, purchasing geographic data and services, and professional outreach such as the GIS Day event and other geospatial career development activities.

The Web Development group maintains H-GAC’s primary website and develops and supports internal web applications. The Web Development group also provides support for SharePoint, a collaboration platform to facilitate document management and content sharing throughout the agency.

The Gulf Coast Regional 9-1-1- Emergency Communications District (GCRECD) provides administrative support for eight counties (Brazoria, Chambers, Colorado, Liberty, Matagorda, Walker, Waller, and Wharton), 23 public safety answering points (PSAPS), 224 emergency service providers, and numerous telephone companies. The GCRECD staff help coordinate and support the activities of these entities. GCRECD staff provide call-taker training, public education, equipment and network monitoring, database management, and administrative services.

The Finance department of the Council administers all of the financial transactions of the organization.  Here you will find information on our annual report, annual budget plan, and monthly disbursement reports.  H-GAC is dedicated to sharing the information of its fiscal operations to demonstrate our commitment to responsible stewardship of public monies.

The Houston-Galveston Area Council's Human Services Department provides services that support independent living for senior citizensassist employers with finding qualified job candidates, and help individuals find jobs.

The Public Services Department assists local governments in the development, coordination, planning and improvement of criminal justice services, emergency communications, homeland security and cooperative purchasing. Public Safety Program Regional Law Enforcement Training Criminal Justice Planning Homeland Security Planning H-GAC Cooperative Purchasing Program The H-GAC Cooperative Purchasing Program assists local governments in reducing costs through this government-to-government procurement service available nationwide. This program is available to local government entities and qualifying non-profit corporations. To view specifications and bid prices of available capital equipment visit H-GAC Buy. H-GAC Energy Purchasing Corporation The H-GAC Energy Purchasing Corporation provides the benefit of energy aggregation to local governments in a deregulated environment.

H-GAC serves as the Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO) for  transportation planning in the eight-county Houston-Galveston area. This area includes Brazoria, Chambers, Fort Bend, Galveston, Harris, Liberty, Montgomery, and Waller counties. H-GAC's Transportation Policy Council approves the Regional Transportation Plan (RTP) and Transportation Improvement Program (TIP).

Annual Report

Local governments touch the lives of citizens in our region every day, in many ways. The Houston-Galveston Area Council is the regional council of local governments, serving an area of 12,500 square miles and more than 7 million people.

H-GAC helps local governments and their citizens address issues that cross city limits and county lines. This work is important because our region is growing rapidly and we must meet today's needs and prepare for a better future.

The H-GAC Annual Report summarizes the accomplishments of H-GAC’s many programs during the past year.

Celebrating H-GAC's 55th Anniversary

H-GAC celebrated it’s 55th anniversary in October 2021. Visit our 55th Anniversary page to learn more about the celebration of 55 years of service.