The Houston Seniors Housing Society is planning a late spring construction start now that the development permit for a six-plex at its Pleasant Valley Village property on 11th Street has been approved.
Construction of two one-bedroom units and four two-bedroom units will be the fourth such complex undertaken by the society since the first one was built in 2006.
The development permit was first approved by the District of Houston’s development review committee and then ratified by council March 2, paving the way for the next step which is to apply for a building permit.
The society had intended to proceed with the project last year, but the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic delayed matters.
In keeping with the design of the existing units, the new units are to be around 800 square feet and there will be a large common room.
All units are rentals and are built to be accessible for people with physical limitations using walkers or wheelchairs so that there are no steps and doorways are wider. They are intended for people age 60 and older.
So far, construction costs are pegged at more than $600,000 with the society now gathering up more exact pricing information.
“Right now we have about $60,000 in grants and donation and are waiting for results of other applications,” said society president Arnold Amonson.
And in keeping with one of the society’s foundation principles, it will stay away from government financing in order to safeguard its independence.
A key part of the society’s financing has been having people volunteer their time and equipment where possible as that brings down costs.
“It will be more difficult with the virus,” Amonson cautioned. “We will be our own general contractor with a hired carpenter directing the work.”
One measure of the need for housing of this type is the society’s waiting list which now has 69 names on it.
“People on the list are offered a unit as their names come up,” said Amonson. “The list is a bit flexible. It starts with the date of application. When a suite comes vacant our person calls tbe fitst person on the list. That person might not be ready, may have moved away or whatever. So we go to the next.”
In recommending the development permit be approved, District chief administrative officer Gerald Pinchbeck referred to the District’s own housing needs study released last year.
“The units will increase the overall housing supply specifically suited to seniors, which was a housing need identified in the 2020 Housing Needs Assessment and Strategy and adopted by council,” he said.