Trying To Keep Up With Housing For Senior Citizens In Houston

Artist rendering of Fulton Gardens.
Many seniors in Houston and Harris County find it a challenge to live independently because of the rising costs of energy, healthcare and even food. Community leaders welcomed a housing project in north Houston that gives seniors a high quality of life with rent that doesn't exceed their means.

Fulton Gardens is a 49 unit complex that's situated across the street from Moody Park and a block away from the light rail.

Mary Lawler is executive director of Avenue Community Development Corporation, a nonprofit founded in 1991. It's dedicated to improving Houston's near north side and Washington Avenue communities, by developing affordable housing and
economic opportunities.

"Since that time, we have leveraged over $60 million dollars of investments, through the development of 100 single family homes, 600 apartments and 140 square feet of commercial space. We also provide home buyer education and after-school programs."
 
Avenue CDC lead the celebration of its newest development Fulton Gardens. The independent, living community is now home to 48 senior citizens, including Janie Corpus-Chavez, who says it changed her life.

Janie Corpus-Chavez
Janie Corpus-Chavez, a happy resident of Fulton Gardens

"I've been here since January of this year. Before I came here, I was very isolated, very depressed, very lonely, and now I'm happy. I've met a lot of the residents, and I am very very happy to be here."

Neil Ratkleff, the director of Houston's Department of Housing and Community development, says it's their goal to help some of the current senior residents stay in the area near their families, but with an improved quality of life.

"In hearing from Janie, that to me represents the essence of why we do what we do. She and the other residents who are here are representative of the people whose lives are touched and improved through the great work that's being done here. We, who are professionals in this industry, tend to get very much down in the weeds which is necessary. But it's all worth it when you see the end result, that blesses the lives of very good people." 

Since there is a waiting list of a year or more for most existing HUD sponsored senior housing in the vicinity, Avenue CDC will soon announce plans for Fulton Gardens 2, which will located directly across the street.

Bio photo of Pat Hernandez

Pat Hernandez

Reporter

Pat Hernandez is a general assignments reporter who joined the KUHF news staff in February of 2008...