Mayor's Office

Press Release

Mayor Parker, Council Member Jerry Davis (District B) Celebrate Near Completion of Leland Woods’ First Phase
Affordable Housing Neighborhood in NE Houston Relaunches After Overcoming Economic Downturn

 

 

May 13, 2013 -- Mayor Annise Parker and District B Council Member Jerry Davis today celebrated the near completion of the first phase of Leland Woods, an affordable housing neighborhood located east of Highway 59 off of Little York. Joined by Contempo Builder representatives and various lenders, all congratulated new soon-to-be homeowners and took a tour of the model home that is an example of the houses that will fill the rest of the neighborhood.

 
Leland Woods was stricken by poor economic and lending conditions, halting development for seven years with only 41 completed homes. During Mayor Parker’s tenure, the City of Houston stepped in and created the Leland Woods Redevelopment Authority and TIRZ 22. A request for proposals was issued for a builder able to complete the development.  After four years of negotiations with different companies, the task was awarded to Contempo Builder, a local minority-owned business. As of today, 14 families have now successfully completed credit restoration and will be closing soon on their new homes.


“Today we celebrate this neighborhood’s rebirth,” said Mayor Parker. “After a lot of hard work, Leland Woods now stands as a perfect example of long-term strategic economic planning and community development. For families who are close to closing on their new homes, it will be the American dream.”


As requested by the city, Contempo has completed the beautification process by replacing the fencing along E. Little York and added improvements to the neighborhood, such as a park and an entrance sign. They have also completed a model home and have several homes under construction.


“This a great day for the District B, as we are fulfilling our commitment to the existing homeowners to build a more livable and safe community,” said Council Member Davis.


Many of the potential buyers for Leland Woods have never secured a mortgage. If credit scores are too low, credit reparation is necessary to increase the score enough to be approved for a mortgage. Contempo is aggressively marketing the community, working with a credit restoration agency for buyers to have their credit reviewed by a credit professional. Any problem areas are identified and worked on.  By correcting the problems, buyers are able to increase their credit scores an average of 70 to 90 points, in many cases making them eligible for a mortgage. Out of the 14 approved buyers currently awaiting their new homes, six went through the builder’s credit restoration program and are now in full compliance for a home loan.


In addition, the builder has 38 more people enrolled in the credit restoration program, and they are expected to graduate in the next 90 to 120 days. Their homes will begin construction once they graduate.


The credit restoration agency offers a holistic approach, focusing not only on credit restoration, but also budgeting, finance, debt-to-income ratios and a full understanding of the responsibility of homeownership.


A total of 373 affordable homes are planned in the Leland Woods community with prices ranging from $117,000 to $160,000. Homebuyer Assistance of up to $30,000 is available for qualifying buyers. For more information, go to http://www.houstontx.gov/housing/resource.html or contact the City of Houston Housing & Community Development department at 713.838.8300.

 

Hi-resolution photos of today's event are in the Mayor's Photo Gallery.