NHP Foundation Case Study:
Cleme Manor Apartments
The area an individual resides in contributes significantly to their overall mental health and quality of life. Everything from education, job options, and financial standing can be impacted, directly or indirectly, by where a person lives. These considerations were at the forefront of the Cleme Manor Apartments in Houston's Greater Fifth Ward neighborhood. The project's goal was to revitalize and redevelop the housing complex and nearby community park to provide a reprieve from rising crime rates and low academic achievement. Cleme Manor accounted for roughly half of the students enrolled at Nathaniel Q. Henderson Elementary school, which was functioning at half capacity and facing the threat of closure.
In late 2014, The NHP Foundation (NHPF) received $41 million to fund the Cleme Manor redevelopment project. Since that time, The NHPF completed a five-year study to track the success of the redevelopment and its impact on residents and the community. The results were significant.
Some of the top concerns shared among many Cleme Manor residents were a sense of safety and lack of security. Families spent long periods indoors to avoid the more unsavory activities happening around the apartment complex. These behaviors had negative impacts on residents' mental and physical well-being. For students living at Cleme Manor, feelings of isolation, fear, and abandonment contributed to Nathaniel Q. Henderson Elementary school's poor student performance and low enrollment.
Taking on a comprehensive redevelopment planning approach, a team of partners, residents, and stakeholders engaged educators, law enforcement, and council members to build a sustainable and innovative vision for Cleme Manor residents. This vision included supportive community programs like after-school and summer youth programs, in addition to an NFL Youth Education Town - a chain of educational and recreational centers established by the NFL. NHPF's Asset Management Team worked closely with local law enforcement to eliminate neighborhood crime, conducting several sting operations in the area, introducing security surveillance systems, and increasing police presence around the property.
In addition to the redevelopment of the physical property, these community programs and security measures applied post-renovation considerably impacted resident needs. Cleme Manor saw a 27% drop in overall crime in the last four years.
- There were 65 security/police calls in 2018, a 69% decrease from 2014
- Aggravated Assaults dropped by 81%, Property Crimes fell by 72%, and Drugs or Suspicious Activities decreased by 40%
- Nathaniel Q. Henderson Elementary school has remained open with an attendance rate of up to 95.4%
- There has been a 12% decrease in disadvantaged children
- A 9% decrease in At-Risk children
- Disciplinary actions have dropped by 98%
- A 15% increase in students approaching grade-level in mathematics
D3G was one of the many organizations involved in the project, alongside the US Department of Housing and Urban Development, the City of Houston, and the Texas Department of Housing and Community Affairs. Working directly with the NHP Foundation, D3G produced the Environmental and Engineering due diligence studies to evaluate the property's current condition and future needs. Included in the evaluation was an inspection of the major building components, carried out through a high-level study that included:
- Capital Needs Assessment
- Phase I Environmental Site Assessment (ESA)
- Tier II Environmental Review
- Noise studies
- Materials Testing for lead-based paint, asbestos, radon, and mold.
This testing gave D3G all the information needed to produce a scope of work tailored to the area and findings that addressed the most effective ways to revitalize the property. After plans were developed, D3G was brought back in to review the architectural blueprints and contractor's cost (AEC Review) for the upcoming HUD submission. D3G's primary focus was to ensure that the property's needs were adequately addressed and that the new and improved version of the property complied with local and federal building codes.
In addition to the HUD AEC Review, D3G also prepared the due diligence reporting for the Texas Department of Housing and Community Affairs (TDHCA) tax credit application. Our comprehensive understanding of the renovation process, HUD financing, and TDHCA's tax credit program secured a successful transaction, landing the property with millions of dollars in support for affordable housing.
Kim Dingledine, D3G’s Hazardous Materials Manager, who worked very closely on this project, expressed the importance and impact of the redevelopment process in underserved communities.
“Investing in a community, not only to provide affordable housing, but to make residents feel safe and revitalize neighborhood schools, speaks to the very important work we play a part in. It’s so nice to see a successful project demonstrate what reinvesting in a community can do and how many people it can impact.”
-Kim Dingledine, D3G's Hazardous Materials Manager
As housing professionals, we are always proud to play a part in success stories like Cleme Manor. Providing healthy and safe places that better residents' quality of life is the cornerstone of our work. Alongside a dedicated project team, D3G will lead you through the due diligence process with ease, taking complicated concepts and bringing projects to a successful closing.
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