The City of Houston has officially opened a new senior living community in the Second Ward area in East Downtown on Monday. Scott Street Lofts located at 1320 Scott Street is a $35 million, 123-unit affordable apartment complex for seniors aged 55 and up.
The complex first broke ground in November 2020 when the world was dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic. Mayor Sylvester Turner said although there were challenges faced and supply issues resulting from the pandemic, the complex was completed in October of last year.
"It's just a delight to be here today for the ribbon cutting that will be taking place very soon," said Mayor Sylvester Turner.
The complex features one – and two- bedroom units, on-site amenities, programs and events for residents, a swimming pool, easy access to METRO rails purple line and more. 80% of the units are affordable to seniors whose income is between 30% – 80% of Houston's Average Median Income (AMI). The complex has a few units that are at market rate prices.
Turner said the Second Ward community has been asking for more affordable housing in their area, but it's a challenge everywhere.
"We need affordable housing all over the city of Houston, so it's just not one area, but all over," he said.
The City of Houston contributed over $14.5 million of Community Development Block Grant – Disaster Recovery Funds towards the construction of the complex.
City officials said many seniors want to remain in the communities they've called home for many years, but it's a struggle to find affordable housing.
I'm excited," said Council Member Robert Gallegos. "This is the second development within District I within the last four years,"
Gallegos represents the area where the lofts are located. He said with some seniors living on fixed incomes, they need more affordable housing options.
“That’s why I stress every opportunity I get regarding the census report that there will be more seniors 65 and older than 18 and younger come 2030," he said. "Every opportunity I get to mention that because it's just so important that the city provides tax credits when available – in regards to trying to build more senior housing not just in the East End, but across our city."
Gallegos said if the city doesn't build more affordable senior housing it could lead to a housing crisis for seniors.
"I know how important this is going to be in the near future, to have more housing for seniors, otherwise our city is going to have issues in the near future – where you're going to have seniors with no housing," he said.
Because of the high demand for affordable housing, 73 of the 123 units are already occupied and most of the remaining units are pre-leased, meaning its tenants have signed the lease but are not yet in their units.