07/03/12 1:29pm

COUNTRY LIVING IN THE LOWER FIFTH Nancy Sarnoff surveys the collection of repurposed structures moved from Montrose, River Oaks, and Milby St. cobbled into the 4-block Japhet Community run by landlords Jim Ohmart and Eileen Hatcher near Clinton Dr. and Emile St. in the Lower Fifth Ward, off Japhet Creek just north of the Ship Channel-bound Buffalo Bayou: “The rental application for Ohmart’s properties includes questions like: ‘How would you contribute to the neighborhood to make it better?’ and ‘What skills do you have that you’d be willing to share with everyone?’ About 20 people of various ages live there, including several photographers, a professor, nurse and commercial painter. Some are families. Three babies were born in the community last year. Ohmart says he tries to keep the rents affordable, but the taxes have gone up. The cheapest house is $350 a month and the most expensive — a three-bedroom — rents for $980. . . . Ohmart would like to build more housing on a 4½-acre tract adjacent to the community the couple bought in 2003. He’s considered a multifamily development, perhaps with solar power, where tenants could share common facilities, but no official plans have been made.” [Houston Chronicle] Photo: Megan Parks