Mayor Turner Announces Complete Communities Initiative Aimed At Transforming Underserved and Under-Resourced Neighborhoods

ABOVE: City of Houston launches pilot program aimed at improving the quality of life for residents in areas that are not thriving at a level enjoyed by other Houston neighborhoods

This past Monday, April 17th, Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner was joined by many other elected officials and community leaders, as he officially announced the launch of the much-anticipated Complete Communities initiative, a pilot program aimed at improving the quality of life for residents in areas that are not thriving at a level enjoyed by other Houston neighborhoods.

There are five neighborhoods – Acres Homes, Gulfton, Second Ward, Near Northside and Third Ward – who are the first neighborhoods that have been selected for the mayor’s new Complete Communities initiative.

“This is going to be a signature program of my administration because it is so important to the families who live in these neighborhoods,” said Mayor Turner. “We must not be a city of haves and have nots. Every Houstonian has a right to make the choice I have made and live in the neighborhood where he or she grew up.”

The Complete Communities initiative will work toward creating sustainable and complete neighborhoods that are safe, affordable, economically viable, and that have access to quality education, affordable housing, transportation options, green spaces, healthy food options, economic opportunity, and well-maintained infrastructure. The City will work in a concentrated manner with stakeholders in each community and partners across Houston to create more complete neighborhoods with enhanced access to quality affordable homes, jobs, well-maintained parks and greenspace, improved streets and sidewalks, grocery stores and other retail, good schools and transit options. The work in these areas will help develop solutions that are transferable to other communities across the City.

The recent announcement marks the start of community engagement processes in which residents will work with the City to map out long-term visions for their own respective neighborhoods.

“With a more focused approach that involves the communities as well as partners in the public, private and nonprofit sectors, we can transform these neighborhoods,” said Mayor Turner. “We are going to do this while striving to preserve affordability for existing residents, and we will not leave until we know what we have done will have a high likelihood of success.”

The City will provide support to pilot maintaining efficient and effective services for the rest of the city.”

Some of the selected areas for the initiative have already had the benefit of significant neighborhood planning efforts, often by community development partners such as the Local Initiatives Support Corporation or Avenue CDC. For those communities where planning efforts are already underway or completed, the City will look for ways to support implementation of those plans. For areas without previous neighborhood planning efforts, the City will conduct a 6 to 9 month community engagement process to help local residents and businesses identify improvements to strengthen these communities. After completing these plans, The City will ask the local community and other organizations to be a partner in turning the plans into reality.

For more information on the Complete Communities initiative, please visit http://www.houstontx.gov/completecommunities.