City, Nonprofit Partner To Reduce Crime In Fifth Ward Residence

For many years, residents of the Cleme Manor Apartments say crime has been a major problem. Now, the city and a partner are working to improve living conditions in one of the largest public housing complexes in the Fifth Ward.


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Neal Drobenare
Neal Drobenare of the NHP Foundation speaks to Cleme Manor residents about upcoming renovations at the apartment complex.

The 284-unit apartment building was acquired in August by the NHP Foundation, a nonprofit organization that provides affordable housing. The group is set to begin a $30 million renovation of the property, $4.2 million of which will be funded by the City of Houston.

“We’re really putting in solid management and a top-notch crime prevention program which has just recently got the gangs off of this property and made it a safer place for residents,” says Neal Drobenare of the NHP Foundation.

Built in 1970, Cleme Manor is one of the largest residential properties in the Fifth Ward, but residents say the building has fallen into disrepair.

Neal Rackleff is with the city’s housing department. He says city officials asked residents what they wanted to see.

“One of the concerns we heard from mothers of children residing in the apartment complex is that there has been crime here for years which has been at a level which has been absolutely unacceptable,” Rackleff says. “We’re here to change that.”

Renovations on the building are expected to begin within a year.

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