It’s been two years since Hurricane Harvey destroyed the Saltgrass Landing Apartments at 1602 S. Church St., but on Friday, Aug. 23, ground was broken at the site for what will be a new 50-unit apartment complex.
The Texas Housing Foundation (THF), along with the Texas General Land Office (GLO), and Hamilton Valley Management Company, Inc., announced the plans at the ceremony on the property long since cleared of debris.
The affordable rental property is being built using Community Development Block Grant for Disaster Recovery (CDBG-DR) funds following the completion of a federally mandated due diligence process.
The GLO awarded Saltgrass Landing Apartments $7.6 million in total allocations for the reconstruction of the affordable rental units for low- to moderate-income families.
A THF press release noted, “This has been a long, but very worthwhile, collaborative effort of many groups including the City of Rockport, Aransas County, the Aransas County Long Term Recovery team, Rockport-Fulton Chamber of Commerce, and the Economic Development Corporation.”
This is the first major rebuild of affordable workforce housing in the area.
Rockport Mayor Pat Rios said he is looking forward to seeing the much-needed workforce housing completed.
“I’ve been working with the judge pushing for this since the hurricane,” said Rios.
The GLO’s Brittany Eck said, “It’s good getting a big project like this off the ground. Rockport-Fulton has such great support. We’re here to help you and get these projects to fruition.”
Fulton Mayor Jimmy Kendrick said although the project is not located in his town, “We’ve all worked to get affordable housing here. This is another baby step.
“We need the workforce housing to get people here to staff (businesses that open 24 hours),” said Kendrick.
Aransas County Judge C.H. “Burt” Mills also noted the work by local officials trying to get workforce housing back in the county.
“I can’t tell you how glad we all are to get this project going,” said Mills.
THF’s Mark Mayfield said the foundation is asked to rehabilitate distressed properties, and noted the THF had everything to move forward on the property prior to Harvey.
“On Aug. 24, 2017 I was (making a presentation to the Baytown city council), and I asked them to pray for Rockport.”
After the storm it was determined the apartments were too damaged, and would have to be rebuilt from the ground up.
“The 56 families living here were sheltered across the state,” said Mayfield. “The new 50-unit complex will be a great addition to the city … quality workforce housing.”
“It has been great being a partner in this effort.
“You will see dust flying in September.
“Thank you for accepting the THF into your community.”
Referring to the opening prayer for the groundbreaking, Mayfield said, “I loved the prayer about redemption. That’s what this is all about.”
(Note: Some estimates show Aransas County has lost roughly 5,000 residents since Hurricane Harvey. Many of those individuals are believed to be working class residents who have not been able to secure affordable housing here.)