More local low-income housing proposed
The proposed construction of four separate low-income apartment complexes in the South Belt community has caused concern among many community leaders.
Proposed developments include Auden Village at the intersection of Fuqua and Monroe (adjacent to the new Dobie ninth-grade center), The Wayfarer on Wayfarer Lane near Windmill Lakes, Kingspoint Manor at the intersection of Hall Road and Kingspoint and the Stonebrook Manor apartments located at the southeast corner of the Gulf Freeway and Kurland Drive near Fuqua.
The four complexes would all be located within 2.5 miles of each other, if approved.
A primary concern is the high concentration of existing low-income apartment complexes already in the area. There are currently at least 10 government-subsidized apartment complexes between Almeda Mall and Dixie Farm Road.
Low-income developments traditionally put an extra strain on local fire departments and law enforcement agencies. According to officials from the Clear Brook City Municipal Utility District, the local Highland Meadow Village apartment complex has roughly five times more annual calls for police and ambulance service than single-family residences in the community.
A second concern is the added burden to area schools. If approved, students living in the proposed complexes would all attend Dobie High School, which is already overcrowded. Despite being recently constructed, the school currently has portable buildings on campus, as it is overcapacity.
“Low-income housing places a burden on police, social services and schools in the community,” Sagemont Civic Club President Kay Barbour said on the homeowner group’s Facebook page. “Low-income housing drives down the median income of the community. Low-income housing has a negative effect on property values. Our schools are overcrowded. Our streets are in dire need of repair. Thousands of additional people will add to the stress of our infrastructure.”
Barbour further feels the subsidized developments need to be more equally distributed throughout the city.
“We already have at least 10,” Barbour said. “Building homes for low income people sounds like a good idea. But if it were such a great idea, why aren’t our wealthy suburban communities doing it instead of paying us to do it for them? The South Belt area has 10 low-income apartment units. How many does Kingwood have?” [Ed. Note: The Leader initially told Barbour there were at least 10 complexes. By Wednesday, the Leader had confirmed 12.]
A Council vote on the proposals is expected to take place in the next two weeks. Barbour is urging concerned residents to contact their City Council members to voice their opposition. She has posted a form letter on the HOA’s Facebook page. Leader publisher Marie Flickinger is also scheduled to meet with City Council Member Dwight Boykins and one of the developers to discuss the issue. The developments, however, do not specifically require Council approval, as tax-credit awards are based on a varied point system.
Two South Belt siblings were killed early Sunday, Feb. 7, in a house fire that took place in the 500 block of Llano near Allen Genoa in Pasadena.
Jesse Walker, 19, and Taylor Walker, 20, were pronounced dead at the scene. Both were Dobie graduates.
A third victim, Cody Holcomb, 25, was transported by Life Flight to Memorial Hermann Southeast Hospital in critical condition after suffering smoke inhalation. He had reportedly been engaged to Taylor Walker.
The cause of the blaze is currently under investigation by the Pasadena Fire Marshal.
A view/visiting is scheduled to take place Sunday, Feb. 14, at Niday Funeral Home, located at 12440 Beamer, from 4 to 6 p.m. The funeral service will be Monday, Feb. 15, at Sagemont Church at 11 a.m. The graveside service will be private.
The Walker family has set up a GoFundMe page to help with funeral costs. Donations may be made at https://www.gofundme.com/bsn qs4ng. Obituaries were unavailable at press time.
E-mail email@example.com with news items of interest.