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Kennedy Place: Affordable Housing At 3100 Gillespie St.


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Grand opening of rebuilt Kennedy Place 10 a.m. Saturday, Jan. 29 in the heart of Fifth Ward

HOUSTON–The Houston Housing Authority is rolling out the welcome mat for more than 100 low-income families this weekend. About 108 families are moving into new homes as the Houston Housing Authority celebrates the grand opening of the rebuilt Kennedy Place Saturday.

Houston Housing Authority Interim President and CEO Timothy Seckinger and David Mincberg, chair of the Board of Commissioners, will be joined by families moving into their new homes and Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee at the grand opening of Kennedy Place Saturday, Jan. 29, at 10 a.m. Kennedy Place is located at 3100 Gillespie, 77020 on 5.5 acres in the heart of the historic Fifth Ward, in view of the downtown skyline.

Stephanie Gaston and her three teenage children are excited to finish moving into their new home at Kennedy Place on Saturday. “I am loving it,” said Gaston, who serves as Kennedy Place resident council president. “We are so happy to be back home. It looks great.”

More than 100 working families are moving into their new homes following completion of the $11.5 million project, funded in part by $7.8 million in federal stimulus funds. The Houston Housing Authority razed the old rental units and replaced them with new homes, complete with central heating and air conditioning, individual garages, wall-to-wall carpeting, washer and dryer connections, energy-efficient appliances, including dishwashers, refrigerators and microwaves, and other amenities.

The new Kennedy Place homes are constructed and equipped with materials meeting the requirements of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act and are compatible with new housing being constructed in the area near downtown. The old Kennedy Place was built in 1982 with minimal amenities and lacked central air conditioning. Walking distance to school and across the street from a park, the Kennedy Place community development also features an amphitheater and a walking path, a playground and barbecue grills for family get-togethers.

“The rebuilding is done and welcome mats are out for the many working families and other residents anxious to move into their new homes,” said Tim Seckinger, Interim CEO for the Houston Housing Authority. “From construction crews and Housing Authority employees who

put in long hours to invaluable support from residents, community leaders, and public officials, we’re grateful for the great amount of work put into the reconstruction of Kennedy Place and are thrilled to see families moving and settling into their new homes.”

The rebuilt Kennedy Place will feature artwork from local Houston artists, and residents will work together with a local artist Saturday to create a piece of artwork to hang in the Kennedy Place amenities center.

A recent report from Standard & Poor’s praised the Houston Housing Authority for “a successful redevelopment plan resulting in all but one property being completely redeveloped or modernized in the past 14 years.” S&P recognized HHA’s fiscal health and strategic plans by awarding the agency a “AA-“ issuer credit rating. No housing authority in the country has a higher rating. “As properties have been rebuilt, or substantially rehabilitated, overall maintenance costs and related operational costs have fallen,” the report states.

The Houston Housing Authority provides affordable homes to more than 55,000 people throughout Houston. The agency and its affiliates own and operate 25 housing communities with more than 6,500 units for families, elderly and other residents. More information about HHA can be found at www.housingforhouston.com.

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