Mayor's Office Press Release
22 Freedmen’s Town Properties Nominated to be City Protected Landmarks
July 7, 2016 -- The Houston Housing Authority (HHA) has nominated 22 historic houses it owns in Fourth Ward for protected landmark designation. The designation of the properties, all located in Freedmen’s Town, is an initiative by the City and community residents to preserve remnants of a historic African American community. The nomination will be reviewed and voted on by the Houston Archaeological and Historical Commission who will make a recommendation to City Council.
Mayor Sylvester Turner lauded the HHA's efforts. “I applaud the Houston Housing Authority’s nomination to designate these important structures as protected landmarks. They are reflective of a significant neighborhood's history. Many historic homes have been lost in Freedmen's Town and the HHA's effort to preserve the properties that remain is admirable.”
The houses all date from the early twentieth century and are typical of the many homes that originally existed in the Freedman's Town Historic District, which is listed in the National Register of Historic Places. HHA rents the homes as affordable housing through its "Historical Rental Initiative." The properties are clustered in the western portion of the Freedmen's Town Historic District and are near Allen Parkway Village which was built around 1945 as affordable multi-family housing.
“The architectural and historical value of these homes are representative of an important era of our City's history,” said Lance Gilliam, HHA's Board Chairman. “Freedmen's Town was settled after the Civil War by freed slaves. We are proud of our support for this important community and feel the homes deserve to be valued, respected and protected through historic designation.”
The Houston Housing Authority received an award from the Houston Business Journal as “Best Community Impact Award” for preserving the properties and making them available as affordable housing.