May 9, 2012 -- Continuing the positive collaboration between the City of Houston and the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), Mayor Annise Parker, HUD Assistant Secretary Mercedes Márquez, and members of the Texas Organizing Project (TOP) today announced the planned investment of the next round of federal Disaster Recovery funds in targeted neighborhoods throughout the City. The City of Houston is slated to receive $151 million in Hurricane Ike Disaster Recovery Round 2 funds from the State's General Land Office. The funding will provide safe, quality housing for Houstonians still living in properties damaged by Hurricane Ike. Unlike prior use of Disaster Recovery funds, the City will strategically target Round 2 funds in specific "Neighborhoods of Opportunity" to help Houstonians with housing and achieve comprehensive community development in their neighborhoods.
"Too often we spread resources so thin across the City, the true benefits of such resources are never fully realized," said Mayor Parker. "This commonsense, targeted approach to spending housing and community development funds is designed to achieve the maximum impact in Houston neighborhoods with the greatest need for revitalization."
The Neighborhoods of Opportunity were selected by analyzing various factors, including income levels, hurricane damage, and potential for revitalization. In consultation with community stakeholders, the City and TOP agreed on the following Neighborhoods of Opportunity:
- Acres Home
- Independence Heights
- Near North Side / 5th Ward / Denver Harbor / Magnolia Park
- Sunnyside / South Park / South Union
"I commend Mayor Parker for working together with TOP and other housing stakeholders and advocates to advance an initiative reflecting the community's desire for comprehensive, targeted community development," said Assistant Secretary Márquez. "HUD fully supports this historic endeavor to assist families and neighborhoods in need."
As part of the initiative, community stakeholders will engage in a series of in-depth community planning meetings to be held within the coming months. The City is also committed to providing additional future resources to these Neighborhoods of Opportunity.
Mayor Parker thanked Assistant Secretary Márquez for HUD's support, as well as the Local Initiatives Support Corporation and Enterprise Community Partners, Inc. for providing technical support.