Neighbors in Fort Bend County contest plans for women's center

RICHMOND, TX (KTRK) -- Homeowners are coming out for and against a proposed low-income apartment complex for domestic violence victims.

The Fort Bend Women's Center has 20 acres under contract on West Belfort and Skinner Road.

A portion of the property backs up to Long Meadow Farms. Homeowners have started an online petition in opposition to the project.

It already appears to have over 1,600 supporters.

"My concern is not the women but the people they are trying to get away from...," one person wrote.

"I am all for helping the needy but to "pigeonhole" a 104-apt complex on the backside of LMF that has potential for flooding, no transportation, already crowded roadways is a disaster in the making," another person said.

"The biggest concern I think is values of the home," said Fernanda Kannady, who is among those opposed.

Another online petition asks for support of the project.

It so far has 474 supporters.

"We want to build this place where they can feel secure and just move on with their lives and get toward self sufficiency," said FBWC Executive Director Vita Goodell.

Goodell says the plan is to build a 104 unit, low-income apartment complex for victims of domestic violence and sexual assault. She says it would not be emergency housing.

Instead it would be long term, a way for those recovering from abuse to do so in a safe environment once they leave the Fort Bend Women's Center's shelter.

"When they leave our shelter they need a little help paying rent and getting on their feet," said Goodell.

She says also that there are plans to widen West Belfort and add sidewalks. Goodell also tells Eyewitness News that Lamar Consolidated ISD expressed no concerns to her about any influx of children at nearby Adolphus Elementary.

The Texas Department of Housing and Community Affairs is expected to make a final decision on funding for the $15 million project in late July.
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