You may remember it was big news when Houston Mayor Annise Parker led the demolition of a rundown apartment complex in Northwest Houston on West Little York at T.C. Jester. Residents there are now upset at what's about to be built there now. They just found out a company has put a contract on the land and wants to replace the torn down low income apartment complex with yet another affordable housing community.
The Inwood Oaks Apartments were torn down December 2012. The sign that sits on the empty lot says the city has a "commitment to improving neighborhoods" but residents say putting up another low income apartment complex is not an improvement but rather a step backwards. "It's just not a good idea," says Billy Stephens. Stephens has lived in the sub-division behind the apartments for 27-years. Drive the residential roads near Stephens' home and you see $200,000 houses, manicured lawns and neighbors who know one another.
Just behind this sub-division is where the crime riddled complex was torn down. "We had a big party when the demolition went down," says sub-division resident Michael Alexander but apparently the party is over. Residents just found out the vacant land maybe won't be much longer.
RealTex Development Corporation is planning to put affordable housing apartments there on land that is located right next door to yet another low income apartment complex where at least one building burned and has sat as a charred eye sore for some time. "It really is unsightly and it's a blight on the neighborhood. We want to see the area come up and see value for our dollar," Alexander explains. Alexander has lived in the sub-division behind the apartments for fifteen years.
He says adding more low income housing is a step in the wrong direction in what is supposed to be an effort to improve the area. "It's just like too many people in one area. Public safety is an issue," Alexander says.
City Council Member Helena Brown says this isn't a done deal. She says the developer seems to be open to talking. She hopes to convince the company to put up a senior citizen community instead of low income housing.