Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner announced that he would no longer support the housing subsidies for the Clear Lake senior living apartment complex. The announcement comes after nearly three weeks of controversy.
Withdrawal Is Because Issues Are Too Distracting
ABC 13 reported that in the statement of Turner, he said that his withdrawal for the support of the housing subsidies at Clear Lake senior living apartment complex is because it has become “too much of a distraction.”
ABC 13 continued to quote Turner, saying, “The Huntington at Bay Area development will not be recommended for funding.” Turner noted that it would have created affordable housing for seniors in District E as there has been no affordable multi-family housing since 2016. Still, it has caused a distraction for his administration’s plan and for the city.
Turner Give Support To Two Other Projects
Although Turner withdrew his support to fund the Clear Lake senior living apartment complex, the Houston mayor said he would support two other projects. These are New Hope Housing at Berry and Fairways at Westwood.
The New Hope Housing at Berry is a 240-unit complex on Houston’s northside. They got the recommendation for $10 million in subsidies.
For the Fairways at Westwood, it is a 120-unit affordable apartment complex in the Alief/Westwood area. They got a recommendation for $15 million in subsidies.
The Fairways at Westwood took the place of Clear Lake’s senior living apartment complex. ABC 13 said the costs are equal, but Fairways at Westwood will build 32 more affordable housing units.
The Controversy Before The Withdrawal Of Support
Turner noted that he supports the Clear Lake project because of his desire to add subsidized housing in the area. However, now-fired housing director Tom McCasland alleged that the bidding for projects is rigged. That is why Turner is supporting a pre-determined winner. McCasland told a city council committee on Sept. 21 that the administration is bankrolling a particular developer to the detriment of working families who need affordable homes.
Although Turner fired McCasland the same afternoon, the City Attorney promised to investigate his claims. They will hire an outside lawyer to look into the allegations.