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December 12 , 2007

CitizensNet Newsletter for Specific Houston Hope Neighborhoods
Fifth Ward
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Dear Fifth Ward Residents:

We are proud to bring you the December 2007 monthly update on Houston Hope, through which ­­­14 families have now been able to buy quality affordable homes in re-energized areas of the city.  Houston Hope is Mayor Bill White's initiative to reinvest in several of Houston 's older neighborhoods through a combination of stabilizing activities such as coordination of public safety programs, rehabbing existing homes, providing quality new affordable homes, and improving infrastructure and drainage. As a participant of the Houston Hope initiative, qualified buyers in the targeted areas may receive up to $30,000 in down payment assistance.

Currently, the Land Assemblage Redevelopment Authority (LARA) has purchased 843 properties citywide, with 76 of these in the Fifth Ward area, where 2 families are already in their new homes or will be moving in shortly.

FIFTH WARD

Historical fact: Working-class African Americans in Fifth Ward were primarily employed within walking distance of the ward; many worked for the Southern Pacific Railroad or at the Houston Ship Channel. Other new businesses developed into the 1930s, including printing plants, photography studios, and the Club Matinee, which came to be known as the Cotton Club of the South. Local businessman Grand Duke Crawford organized the Fifth Ward Civic Club.

Fifth Ward Community News: Emmett J. Scott Elementary School in north Fifth Ward was named a "2007 No Child Left Behind-Blue Ribbon School." This recognition is awarded to schools that are academically superior or demonstrate remarkable gains in student achievement to high levels. See link below for full article. http://www.ed.gov/news/pressreleases/2007/10/10022007.html

Pedraza Construction has begun construction of 13 affordable houses, with at least 6 of these sold to qualified buyers.

If you're interested in the Fifth Ward Area, please contact:

Tejano CDC: 713.640.9990 or tejanocenter@sbcglobal.com.

If you would like to learn more about Houston Hope, please call 713.522.HOME or visit www.houstonhopehomes.org. If you are a builder and would like to partner with a HUD Certified Community Development Corporation to build in any of the targeted Houston Hope Neighborhood, please go to www.houstontx.gov/lara.