Officials and residents attend ribbon cutting ceremony for the Village at Hickory Glen Apartments.
(l to r) Bruce Hatton, VP/AHP manager at Federal Home Loan Bank of Dallas; Neal Rackleff, Director of city of Houston Housing and Community Development Department; Raynold Richardson, HUD Director of Multifamily Housing; Kim Brusatori, CEO/founder of The Village; and Dr. Steven Schnee, Executive Director of MHMRA of Harris County. cut the ribbon at the opening of the Village at Hickory Glen Apartments in Kingwood, TX.
On September 13, 2013, a ribbon cutting ceremony was held at Kingwood’s Village at Hickory Glen Apartment Homes, a nonprofit corporation formed to provide affordable housing to individuals with developmental disabilities. As a result of a joint venture between the Mental Health and Mental Retardation Authority (MHMRA) of Harris County, the Village Learning and Achievement Center, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, the city of Houston’s Housing and Community Development Department, and the Federal Home Loan Bank of Dallas, Hickory Glen is a housing development that will give people with special needs and their families an affordable place to stay.
The event was well attended by elected officials and their representatives: Kim Brode, Director of Community Relations for Senator Ted Poe; Casey Christman, Chief of Staff State Representative Dan Huberty; Georgia Lewis, Community Outreach Liaison to Council member Melissa Noriega; Robert Scarfo, Humble ISD School Board Position 7; Allie Smart, Chief of Staff District E Council Member Dave Martin; Mike Sullivan, Harris County Tax Assessor-Collector, residents of the development and at least 70 members of the community.
Village Learning and Achievement Center received a $1,816,800 Capital Advance grant pursuant to HUD's Section 811 program, $881,000 of HUD HOME program funds from the city of Houston, $98,000 from the Federal Home Loan Bank and $50,000 from the Meadow Foundation for the construction of the facility. The complex has 15 apartments, including a clubhouse with facilities for meetings, courtyard area, central mailbox and laundry facilities, all overseen by onsite management. The complex will provide support services to apartment residents including transportation, supported employment, medical oversight and a day program.
Kim Brusatori, Founder/CEO, Village and Executive Director of the Village Learning and Achievement Center, stated, "It has taken over four years and tireless efforts of many individuals to come to fruition. We are thankful to our stakeholders and the community for their support. This is the first development of this kind in the Kingwood community and it speaks to the need in every community for programs and services for individuals with development disabilities."
Dr. Steven Schnee, Executive Director of MHMRA, noted, "Thanks to the community for their support of the Village at Hickory Glen Apartments as there is a need in every community for programs and services for individuals with developmental disabilities. The community of Kingwood, by allowing a Section 811 project, has shown that it cares for each of its citizens."
Resident Rosie Glass told the audience how much the complex meant to her and her roommate while resident Brandi Cate thanked the audience and staff for the Village at Hickory Glen.
Raynold Richardson, Director of Multifamily Housing, HUD Houston Multifamily Program Center, stated, "The Department of Housing and Urban Development is proud to work with MHMRA of Harris County, the Village Learning and Achievement Center and the city of Houston Housing and Community Development Department relative to the Section 811 program. The development is a very positive example with regards to the collaboration between federal and local governments and the private sector to provide sustainable decent and safe affordable housing for the special needs community."
Neal Rackleff, Director, Housing and Community Development Department, city of Houston, addressed the audience about the City's support of affordable housing communities like the Village at Hickory Glen that are well designed, impeccably built and responsibly maintained. On behalf of Mayor Annise Parker, he presented a proclamation naming September 13, 2013, as the Village at Hickory Glen Apartment Homes Day.