Project rebuilds affordable homes for families

August 2, 2010 4:36:00 PM PDT
As part of the Obama Administration's "Recovery Summer" initiative, US Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Secretary Shaun Donovan traveled to Houston to tour Kennedy Place, a new affordable housing redevelopment that is currently under construction using $7.8 million in HUD Recovery Act funds. As construction crews work on building 108 new homes for low-income Houston families, the Houston Housing Authority gave the US Secretary for Housing and Urban Development (HUD) a sneak peek of the progress.

The Houston Housing Authority is rebuilding Kennedy Place at 505 Bayou on 5.5 acres in the heart of historic Fifth Ward, just south of Interstate 10 and east of Highway 59.

Houston Housing Authority Interim President and CEO Timothy Seckinger led HUD Secretary Shaun Donovan, Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee, Congressman Al Green, and others on a tour of Kennedy Place Monday.

More than 100 working families will soon move into their homes under the Houston Housing Authority's $11.5 million plan to rebuild Kennedy Place. Made possible with $7.8 million in federal stimulus funds and other funds, the new development will provide families, elderly and other individuals with affordable and market-rate homes compatible with new housing being constructed in the area.

"As families struggle during the weak economy, affordable housing is needed now more than ever," Seckinger said. "Construction for the new Kennedy Place is on track to provide more than 100 new homes for Houston families thanks to HUD's support."

The Houston Housing Authority razed the old rental units and is replacing them with new homes, complete with central heating and air conditioning, individual garages, wall-to-wall carpeting, washer and dryer connections, energy-efficient appliances, including dishwashers, refrigerators and microwaves, and other amenities.

The community development will also feature an amphitheater and a walking path, a playground and barbecue grills for family get-togethers. Kennedy Place was built in 1982 and had minimal amenities, including linoleum flooring, washer connections only, and a community laundry room.

Construction is expected to be completed in December.

The Houston Housing Authority provides affordable homes to more than 55,000 people throughout Houston. The agency and its affiliates own and operate 25 housing communities with more than 6,500 units for families, elderly and other residents. More information about HHA can be found at www.housingforhouston.com .


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