City cuts ribbon on Harvey-damaged apartments, and thousands more are coming

Wednesday, July 28, 2021
City cuts ribbon on Hurricane Harvey-damaged apartments
The 64-unit complex was rebuilt with $3.5 million from the federal Harvey recovery program, and more units are coming.

HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) -- Sweating on a hot Wednesday, but still smiling, Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner cut the ribbon on the newly re-opened Bellfort Park apartments surrounded by some of the families who've moved back home.

The 64-unit complex was damaged in Hurricane Harvey, and rebuilt with $3.5 million from the federal Harvey recovery program.

While the city lost control of the single family rebuilding program, it kept control of the apartment side, which is showing progress.

READ ALSO: Homeowners pause construction while Houston and GLO fight over Hurricane Harvey program

Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner and the Texas General Land Office continue to disagree on how to help residents when rebuilding their homes as part of a billion-dollar disaster recovery program following Harvey.

"Oftentimes, renters are not a priority," Turner said at the event. "We've kind of changed that paradigm, because for these 64 units that have been around for 60 years, this has been your home."

"My kitchen is the bomb," resident Sade Horn said as she bragged about her newly-renovated apartment with expanded closet space for her and her family. "Everything is new!"

According to the city's Housing and Community Development Department, Bellfort Park was the first complex to reach completion, but renovations on six other Harvey-damaged complexes are underway and have started leasing.

All of those complexes will be home to 649 more families, the vast majority paying subsidized "affordable" rents.

The city projects 4,428 units will eventually be completed through the $450 million program.

READ ALSO: Texas rebuilds Kingwood family's home 4 years after Hurricane Harvey: 'It's done'

The family temporarily moved out of their home until repairs could be made, but help never came. Now, they have keys to a new, elevated home.

For updates on this report, follow ABC13 investigative reporter Ted Oberg on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.