Housing and Community Development Department
Communications and Press Releases
Cleme Manor Rededication Signals More Revitalization of Greater Fifth Ward
December 1, 2014 -- Another breakthrough in the revitalization process of Houston’s Greater Fifth Ward occurred Monday, Dec. 1, when The NHP Foundation and the City of Houston Housing and Community Development Department joined together to celebrate the rededication of Cleme Manor. The rededication ceremony commemorated the recent acquisition of the 284-unit multifamily community by The NHP Foundation (NHPF) and its partnership with the City of Houston, which contributed $4.2 million in federal HUD funds toward the $30 million rehabilitation of the property.
During the event, residents interacted with community leaders and NHP Foundation Senior Vice President, Fred Mitchell and Vice President Neal Drobenare. Residents were assured that as valued members of the community, they are an integral component of the revitalization taking place and will not be displaced, taken advantage of, or disregarded in the process.
Housing and Community Development Director Neal Rackleff expressed his pleasure with the residents saying, “It truly takes a village and today we give thanks for the ability to see great things happen as a result of different individuals coming together and investing their talents and ability.” There was a pervasive theme of community as the stakeholders pledged to work together to achieve a safe, clean, and affordable complex for every child, resident and family.
“It feels good to see investment and redevelopment happen in our community,” said Greater Fifth Ward Stakeholder Partnerships President and lifetime 5th Ward resident Sandra Flowers. “We are just as important as any other community and in spite of what the former reputation for this area may be, we see value and it’s getting better. It’s ours and we love it,” Flowers said.
Houston City Council member Jerry Davis added that a byproduct of the reinvestment in the area has been to stop the closure of Henderson Elementary, which earlier in the year, was removed from the Houston Independent School District’s proposed closure list.
The rehabilitation of Cleme Manor is one of several revitalization projects recently completed or under way in the Greater Fifth Ward. Among the $76 million in recent public investment is neighboring Finnigan Park, newly renovated by Harris County and providing after-school and summer youth programs, as well as the NFL Youth Education Town (YET Center), a chain of educational and recreational centers established by the National Football League. Other completed projects are HISD’s Wheatley High School.
Public/private investments in the works for Greater Fifth Ward, including Cleme Manor, are Deluxe Theater and various single-family and multifamily home developments. Additionally, some $9 million in street and drainage infrastructure improvements are approved by City Council and/or under way.
The NHP Foundation has, for a quarter-century, been operating with both a charitable mission and businesslike financial discipline. This two-pronged approach has enabled The NHP Foundation to make investments, preserving, and creating 62 multifamily properties with approximately 12,000 apartment units. Today, NHPF has a portfolio of over 6,000 units located in Connecticut, District of Columbia, Florida, Louisiana, Maryland, Massachusetts, Missouri, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Texas, and Virginia. The NHP Foundation is driven by the philosophy, "Where you live matters." The NHP Foundation also provides a robust array of services for its residents, programs such as after school education, summer camps, health and wellness and financial literacy.
The City of Houston’s Housing and Community Development Department (HCDD) provides the leadership and financing to make affordable housing and neighborhood revitalization happen in Houston. Currently, the Department administers over $100 million annually in various federal, state and local programs. From investing in neighborhood parks, multifamily communities and economic development, to providing first-time homebuyer assistance and funds to serve the homeless, elderly and disabled, HCDD works to improve the quality of life for Houston’s neighborhoods and families.