Would It Be Easier To Bring the ‘High Opportunity’ Areas to the Affordable Housing, Instead?

WOULD IT BE EASIER TO BRING THE ‘HIGH OPPORTUNITY’ AREAS TO THE AFFORDABLE HOUSING, INSTEAD? Proposed Housing Development at 2640 Fountainview Dr., Briargrove, Houston, 77057Yesterday Mayor Turner announced a few more details of a plan to redirect federal and local money toward some of the city’s low-investment areas, starting with Acres Homes, Gulfton, Second Ward, Northside Village and Third Ward, writes Rebecca Elliott for the Chronicle. The “Complete Communities” plan, Elliott notes, was mentioned in the city’s response to the Department of Housing and Urban Development, which sent the city a letter in January finding that the nixing of that Briargrove mixed-income housing project was racially motivated. That letter instructed the city to move forward after all with the cancelled project (or one like it, in a different ‘high opportunity census tract’). A city lawyer wrote back, telling HUD that part of Houston’s plan to address the Department’s concerns is to “transform previously neglected neighborhoods into neighborhoods HUD would define as ‘high opportunity.’” Yesterday’s details didn’t include a price tag or timeline; Turner did mention possible partnerships with private groups and developers.  [Houston Chronicle; previously on SwamplotImage of previously proposed apartments at 2640 Fountainview Dr.: Houston Housing Authority

11 Comment

  • Is bringing “high opportunity” to affordable housing just a different name for gentrification?

  • On the one hand, I have to admire Mayor Turner’s “can’t quit, won’t quit” mentality on this project. But, a seasoned politician like him knows there’s only so much political energy he can spend on any given item.
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    I like his “we’ll think of doing it this way but we’re putting NO timetables or price tag on it”. I read between the lines as: “Bring it, trolls.” Complete with The Matrix’s Neo’s “come get it” hand gesture.

  • What a silly suggestion. There wouldn’t be anything to keep the prices rising on the existing housing stock. They would eventually just become affordable. = gentrification

  • @Membag beat me to it.

  • Once they trick voters into eliminating the revenue cap under the guise of fixing the pensions, that’s when they will sink billions into gentrifying these areas. And the schools all over town will still suck.

  • Welcome to Houston ladies and gentlemen, welcome to Houston… :(

  • Any Houston mayor will find themself in a pickle here. They need all those votes from the poor parts of town to get elected, so they have at least give lip service to improving life in those areas. But they can’t be seen as being on the side of “developers” or “gentrifiers,” so they come up with these creative buzz-word programs and promises to placate the masses while effectively changing nothing. These types of headlines will continue in perpetuity, regardless of who is running the city.

  • Affordable housing is a problem every city in this world faces… not just Houston. Turner’s plan will only expedite gentrification of the areas he’s trying to help. Instead, Houston should continue to improve public transit options between low and high opportunity areas via Metro… and I’d even argue provide perks like public wifi to lower opportunity areas. Basically, we need to do everything we can to make life a little easier for those in lower opportunity areas to get around and live (instead of pricing them out of their neighborhoods). I’d even support a program for hiring local youth to the parks dept in order to get them cleaning up and revitalizing their neighborhoods.

  • We need permanent affordable housing units. The Washington Terrace Apartments on Washington Ave are a good example, they were built just before gentrification took off and are know the only affordable place I know of in the area. It is zoned to Crocket Elementary school which is now a really good school. My understanding is the tax credits are for 30 years.
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    This big announcement will probably lead to speculation, but if it is possible to build mixed income developments that will last for decades it might be a good way to keep lower income folks in these neighborhoods as they gentrify.
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    It does not address the issue of housing choice for low income residents who would like to live in a “high-opportunity” areas like the Fountainview project would have been. The schools and amenities in these neighborhoods will hopefully improve but are currently not very great.

  • The Parker administration blew it with all the 380 monies for all the downtown apartments that are starting to lease. They should have required affordable housing in each of those apartment buildings as a requirement for getting the money. In fact, the ordinance the allows the City to do 380’s requires either affordable housing or 25 full time jobs. The City has dropped these requirements for virtually every 380.

    Money for the rich, taxes for the poor!!!