The project, funded entirely with federal grants, includes plans to relocate all of the tenants. The complex has 132 units with rents ranging from $800 to $1,170.
Located in the 100-year flood plain, the building floods frequently and at one point, flooded twice in less than two months, said District J Council Member Edward Pollard, who represents the area.
“The owner of this property is going to continue to Band-Aid and patch up that property, and people are going to keep living there ... but they are going to continue to have their lives upended every time there is high water,” Pollard said. “It goes beyond just dollars and cents sometimes. It's a people issue.”
The effort is part of an ongoing strategy to relocate residents outside of the city’s flood plains and increase the overall amount of stormwater detention.
The purchase of the property at 5312 Clarewood Drive, Houston, was approved by City Council 14-1, with Council Member Abbie Kamin absent and Council Member Greg Travis opposing. Travis said he approves of the buyout process but felt the detention basin’s location would benefit the city of Bellaire more than Houston and could have been purchased for less with contributions from Bellaire or other partners.
“When I look at this in its totality, I have more questions than just cost, but I am just wondering if this is the best deal,” said Travis, who represents West Houston.
A demolition and construction timeline was not provided with the agenda item.