A new affordable housing development is coming to Kingwood. Zach Cavender, senior vice president of the Mark-Dana Corporation, provided the Kingwood Super Neighborhood Council with a slide presentation in January about “West Fork Place,” a proposed real estate development of affordable housing for senior residents. The site is located just west of Highway 59/69 and south of the Kingwood Medical Center.
“This is an affordable development for seniors, restricted to 55 and older,” Cavender said as he displayed a map of an undeveloped land area at the southwest end of Kingwood Place Drive. It is planned to include a three-story building containing approximately 120 apartment units. It will be wheelchair accessible and include a swimming pool, club room with kitchen and media area, community laundry facilities, a fitness room and an equipped business center. Various tenant services will be provided to its residents.
“The building and its provisioning will all be of class A construction including 100% masonry exteriors that include brick, cultured stone, stucco and/or Hardi Plank,” Cavender said. The building will be fully “sprinkled” to meet fire safety standards and will use energy efficient materials and insulation throughout. The apartments will include Energy Star appliances, ceiling fans, smoke detectors, laundry connections, wall-to-wall plush carpeting, electric ranges, self-cleaning ovens, frost free refrigerators, dishwashers and hot water heaters.
Each unit will be wired for phone, cable and data and will have 9-foot ceilings.
Cavender pointed out West Fork Place will have a positive economic impact on the Kingwood area. He highlighted an example with a similar project located in Galveston County.
“Affordable Housing is a tax credit program that is a public/private partnership. In return for incentives, the developer provides affordable rents restricted for 35 years, resident services including credit counseling, financial planning assistance, computer training, exercise classes and business centers. It creates a quality housing option for a segment of renters that is difficult for the market to supply,” he said.
Tenant incomes are based on the Area Median Family Income and adjusted by family size. He explained the AMFI for a family of four for Montgomery County is approximately $79,200; 60% of the AMFI is $47,520, 50% is $39,600 and 30% is $23,760.
“Rent limits are determined by a formula assuming that a tenant should not spend more than 30% of their income on housing costs,” Cavender said.
Cavender closed his presentation by pointing out these kinds of projects have long-term compliance requirements including annual file audits and periodic site inspections including both state and federal oversight for up to 40 years. In addition, there are specific tenant screening requirements. They include full criminal background checks, credit checks, employment or source of income verification, recertified every year. The tenant income must be at least 2.5 times the rent in order to qualify. Cavender pointed out there is a zero-tolerance policy for criminal activity.
In other business:
Humble ISD Board Member Marques Holmes announced there will be a bond issue referendum included in the upcoming May 7 Humble ISD school board election. Once the school board completes defining the specific projects in the estimated $750 million bond proposal, Holmes plans to present it in detail to the council at its Feb. meeting.
Roycelyn Bastian of Lone Star College, Kingwood announced LSC redistricting is now underway. “The board must redivide the district into the appropriate number of trustee districts if the census data indicates the population of the most populous district exceeds the population of the least populous district by more than 10 percent. This situation occurred in the recent national census,” said Bastian. Kingwood College is currently in District 8 for trustee election purposes. District 8 community forums are now scheduled to be held April 6 and May 3 on the Kingwood Campus to explain the redistricting process. Since LSC holds its trustee elections in November of even-numbered years, the date required to complete redistricting is by Aug. 10. Full information is available at lonestar.edu/redistricting.
The next Kingwood Super Neighborhood Council Meeting is currently scheduled to be held Feb. 16 at 7 p.m. Due to the continuing COVID-19 threat, the meeting will be conducted as a Zoom teleconference.