Jeffery S. Lowe, Ph.D. Associate Professor (Left) Tom McCasland Director City of Houston Housing and Development Department (Right) Photo Credit: Tee Smith of Three6meditgroup.com
By Tanuke smith
Midtown is a realtor’s playground. South of S.H. 288 all the way to Leland street, developers have purchased land in poor neighborhoods and gave the right away for builders to build. In Houston’s Third Ward; A three story townhome or Brownstone list in the low $300.000.00 per unit. A White-Collar Job, excellent credit and a hefty down payment would be the first three things the realtor would request upon completing the buyer’s contract.
Housing and Community Development of the City of Houston, Director, Tom McCasland stepped to the podium addressing Affordable Housing, and other housing concerns the audience had on their minds, on a March Thursday night At Texas Southern University’s McCoy Auditorium.
McCasland spoke on various topics that would benefit mothers with children between the ages of four through eight. The Choice voucher program is an affordable housing voucher, which allows mothers to select housing in zip codes with excellent schools (none were given). Children between the ages of four and eight are at the critical stages of learning and should be educated in a stable learning environment, he said.
McCasland also spoke on tenets living in deplorable conditions. Landlords rent to low-income tenets earning millions of dollars in profits and are slow in reinvesting profits back into the homes of the tenets. The proof was provided via pictures cataloging backed up sewer lines in the restrooms, corroded pipes in kitchens and exposed electrical wires in bedrooms where children or senior citizens sleep.
Tom McCasland challenged the audience to called 311 if they are still living the effects of hurricane Ike, meaning if your home still has the blue tarp covering the roof.
“There is no time frame in when the city will no longer take applications.” Said McCasland.
McCasland believes if the City of Houston invests $7,000.00 dollars in purchasing a new roof for your home, and fixing the roof is the only problem that’s causing a family to live in a deplorable condition, the city will fix that property, and would have saved a family from looking for another place to live.
For more information on Affordable Housing and any other housing, concerns contact: 311.