Tag Archive for: economic revitalization

New Bayou Greenway Now Connects Kingwood, Forest Cove

The Houston Parks Board’s newest leg of the San Jacinto Bayou Greenway is nearing completion. Construction started near River Grove Park in Kingwood and is working its way west toward Harris County Precinct 4’s new Edgewater Park at US59.

First Leg Now Concreted, Others Under Construction

The first leg of the concrete trail connects River Grove Park and the Kingwood Trail Network to Hamblen Road in Forest Cove. From there, the trail snakes through streets in the Northshore neighborhood, such as Northshore Drive and Sunrise Trail. It currently stops just north of the Forest Cove little league fields on Forest Cove Drive. However, the trail will continue west; that’s just the extent of current construction. At the ends of streets that don’t connect, the Parks Board is building connector trails for hikers and bikers.

The only portion of the San Jacinto Bayou Greenway completely concreted to date links Woodland Hills Drive and Hamblen. Other portions of the trail are partially concreted, and some are still being cleared. Construction fences are still up, even in the areas with concrete, as crews have not yet finished installing benches and planting grass.

Not Yet Quite Bike Ready

Net: Don’t take your bike through there yet. These pictures taken this afternoon show the current state of construction.

Looking west from the entrance to River Grove Park in Kingwood toward Hamblen Road in Forest Cove at the new San Jacinto Bayou Greenway trail.
Closer view of same trail in same direction. Note the limited landscaping to date.
Reverse angle looking east toward River Grove from the end of Hamblen Road in Forest Cove.
Another leg of trail, not yet complete, connecting Northshore Drive and Sunrise Trail. Looking SW from Northshore.
Where second leg of trail exits onto Sunrise Trail.
Current end of construction activity at Forest Cove Drive just north of Little League Fields.

Trail is actively being cleared farther to the east, but it’s not yet passable. The cleared portion currently terminates at Marina Drive near the Forest Cove Pool, behind the townhomes destroyed by Harvey.

Map courtesy of Houston Parks Board.

While th San Jacinto Bayou Greenway project will help to revitalize the area, some residents who survived the storm and rebuilt their homes lament the loss of seclusion. However, avid hikers and bikers will no doubt will love the trail which will connect to the Spring Creek Greenway and take people up to the Woodlands. It represents a vast expansion of connected trails in the area and will rival the largest urban trail networks in the countryif it won’t be the largest.

That will put Kingwood and Forest Cove back in the news again in an immensely positive way. It will also create a magnet that improves home values again and attracts younger couples with children trying take advantage of Humble ISD schools.

This project has been in the planning stages since shortly after Harvey. It was just last month that the first leg of the trail connecting River Grove and Hamblen was cleared. Crews have made considerable progress since then.

Posted by Bob Rehak on 3/19/2021

1298 Days since Hurricane Harvey

How and Where to Seek Disaster Recovery Help from Hurricane Harvey

The State of Texas has received multiple appropriations from Congress and the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) for long-term disaster recovery from Hurricane Harvey. But figuring out where and how to apply for help can be tricky. It depends on where you live.

The General Land Office (GLO) runs the Homeowner Assistance Program throughout the state with the exception of the City of Houston and Harris County. Both have their own programs. If you live outside the City or Harris County, review the types of assistance available immediately below. Links to City and County programs are further below.

Warning: some of these programs are still in development. HUD approved the City and County programs only last December. Another warning: the State is still administering programs, such as Economic Revitalization, that the City and County may not have implemented yet. Things change daily, so consider the information below a starting point.

Townhomes in Forest Cove on Marina Drive destroyed by Hurricane Harvey

For Those Outside Houston or Harris County…

  • Homeowner Assistance Program: Provides funding for rehabilitation and reconstruction of owner-occupied single-family homes damaged by Hurricane Harvey.
  • Local Buyout and Acquisition Program: Local governments may buyout or acquire eligible homes at a pre-storm or post-storm fair market value to move homeowners out of harm’s way outside of a floodplain to a lower-risk area.
  • Homeowner Reimbursement Program: Allows homeowners to be reimbursed for certain out-of-pocket expenses incurred for repairs to their home including reconstruction, rehabilitation or mitigation up to $50,000.
  • Affordable Rental Program: Provides funding for rehabilitation, reconstruction and new construction of affordable multi-family housing units in areas impacted by Hurricane Harvey.
  • Economic Revitalization Program: Allows for interim assistance to small businesses (up to $250,000) impacted by Hurricane Harvey through deferred forgivable loans in exchange for job creation or retention for low-to-moderate income employees. Small business within Harris County and the city of Houston will be eligible to apply for this program.

For Those Inside City of Houston…

If you live inside the City of Houston, you may qualify under one of these programs.

Homeowner Assistance Program (HoAP)

HoAP is the primary program to help homeowners whose homes were damaged during Hurricane Harvey. There are five options within HoAP to assist homeowners at different stages of recovery and with specific recovery needs. The first step in getting help is to take the Harvey Recovery Survey to assess if there are programs you may qualify or and to help identify what documents you will need before you make a formal application.

 Get started with homeowner recovery

Harvey Homebuyer Assistance Program

The Harvey Homebuyer Assistance Program (HBAP) provides up to $30,000 through a forgivable, interest-free loan for down-payment and/or close-cost assistance to qualified homebuyers. The program serves Houstonians earning up to 120% of Area Median Income (AMI). The City places a sale-restricted lien on the home for five years to ensure that the program is meetings its affordability objectives.

Harvey Single-Family Development Program

The Harvey Single-Family Development (HSFD) Program builds new single-family homes for low- and moderate-income Houstonians. These homes typically sell for under $200,000 to eligible buyers. The City places a sale-restricted lien on properties for sale to income-qualified buyers to ensure that the home remains affordable for a specified period.

 Get started with recovery for homebuyers

Harvey Multifamily Program

As a majority-renter city, Houston needs more quality, affordable rental housing after Hurricane Harvey. As demand for housing continues to rise, workers may not be able to afford homes in areas that are safe from flooding and close to jobs and transit. Ensuring Houston’s continued economic growth depends on having transit-connected, resilient, and affordable housing options for people at all income levels. The Multifamily Program provides funding to repair existing and develop new multifamily homes across Houston. Developers will be able to apply for funding through a subrecipient selection process.

Harvey Recovery Small Rental Program

Many Houstonians live in single-family rental properties, or rental properties with fewer than eight units. These small rental properties are important for affordable housing, and many were damaged during Hurricane Harvey. The Harvey Recovery Small Rental Program assists landlords to make repairs and improve the quality of these properties.

 Get started with recovery for landlords

Harvey Public Services Program

Service provider agencies help HCDD implement important programs, including support for people experiencing homelessness, those living with HIV/AIDS, and mental health services. Agencies can apply for funding through this program through a subrecipient selection process.

Buyout Program

This program is intended to assist residents to move out of areas that have been impacted by multiple disasters or are at high risk of flooding from future disasters. The program is currently under development. City of Houston residents interested in a buyout option should visit the Harris County Control District’s Voluntary Home Buyout Program website.

City of Houston Contact Info

City of Houston Housing and Community Development Department

For Those in Harris County, but Outside Houston…

If you life outside Houston, but inside Harris County, start here.

Harris County Contact Info

In Summary

These represent starting points. If you were damaged during Harvey and need help recovering, explore these links. They may help. Each has a screening survey to make sure you qualify. Start there. Good luck.

Posted on January 20, 2019 by Bob Rehak

509 Days After Hurricane Harvey