A Tear Down and A Rebuild in the Historic 5th Ward

There’s a plan to use federal stimulus money to demolish and rebuild an old public housing project in the 5th Ward. Rod Rice reports that the Houston Housing Authority plans to replace 60 worn out units with 108 new homes.

Kennedy Place was built 27 years ago and sits on 5.5 acres at 55 Bayou, just south of I-10 and east of 59.  The housing authority has almost $8-million of stimulus money for the project and only needs approval from Housing and Urban Development to get it rolling. Stephanie Gaston Ballard is president of the Kennedy Place Resident Council and says most residents support the plan.

“We have a lot of issues on property with buildings and everything else.  We just need an upgrade, it’s highly needed.”

She says the new homes will have garages, upgraded amenities and central air conditioning which the current homes don’t have.

Steve Mikelman with the housing authority says current residents will have the first shot at the new Kennedy Place homes.

“They will have the opportunity to return as long as they maintain their eligibility while they are off site.  We’re going to be relocating them into other housing authority owned communities and other housing options in the area as well.”

As far as the timeline for the project…

“Well the intent is to start it before the end of the year, but it is contingent on getting the final approval and we expect construction to take about a year after that.”

Mikelman says the final approval could come in a few weeks.

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