Management company asking Prestonwood Forest neighbors to oppose affordable living complex to be built nearby

Resident says neighborhood’s management company went too far to oppose project

HARRIS COUNTY – Some neighbors are not too excited about an affordable living complex expected to show up near their neighborhood in northwest Harris County. Others who support the project said the management company went too far in asking residents to help oppose the project.

A new 97-unit affordable living complex expected to show up on a 3.25-acre plot of land at Breton Ridge Street north of the Medical Plaza. The development is the subject of contention between some residents in the Prestonwood Forest subdivision and the contracted management company asking for support to oppose the project.

”I know people need a place to live so I’m more than happy to have them be my neighbors,” said one resident who wished not to be named, but said his issue is with the management company.

The resident said he was shocked to find an email from the management company that contracts with the neighborhood HOA asking residents’ support to oppose the project. The email included a pre-written letter with the names and addresses of the residents to be filled in and sent to the Chief of Staff for Representative Sam Harless, the neighborhood’s corresponding representative. KPRC spoke with several residents who were for and opposed to the affordable living complex being built in the area.

“The [contracted management company] is not an elected body. They’re not our board. They’re a company that’s contracted with our board... I don’t think that a company that’s contracted with our HOA should try to dictate our opinion,” the resident stated. “With the development, if they just want to say, ‘Hey this is happening,’ that would have been great, but I don’t want a form with my written opinion for me.”

The Office of Representative Sam Harless offered this statement to KPRC:

Our constituency has spoken previously regarding new low-income and tax-deferred housing projects in our area. To be fair, we met with representatives from this developer and took their input about the specifics for this project, and suggested they reach out to area homeowner groups, businesses, or major landowners to elicit letters of support. We got none back in return, but what we did get was a large number of emails that were overwhelmingly opposed to this specific project. I am elected to represent the will of the people and out of the nearly 130 responses to this project from two separate homeowner association areas, only one single person has been in favor. All of the remainder have been opposed. That would seem to be a clear indication of the will of the people.”

Kim Parker the President of Dynamic Commercial and the Development Consultant with Palladium USA, the company that would build, own and manage the apartment complex, said that residents need to have more information.

“This is not government-subsidized housing,” Parker said, correcting the statement that was given to the resident. “This is privately-owned housing. The government has no involvement.”

She said a percentage of the units will be at market rate and some below. Residents would be strictly screened in their usual, rigorous process, she said.

“Housing costs: everybody sees it around them with the housing market. We are helping out the workforce of Northwest Houston by producing luxury community that will be close to their jobs that they can live in with world-class amenities, pool, gym walking trails,” Parker said.

Parker said the company and developers have done their research and said there are more than a thousand jobs nearby and people need a place to live. She said the project is not cheap. It’s a $25 million project made affordable to answer the need of the community

”We’re serving the local teachers, people in the service industry, people taking care of your children. People working in the warehouses. They are the ones struggling with housing costs right now--more than anybody,” Parker said.

Parker said more conversation needs to be had.

“Everyone thinks of apartments and there’s a negative stigma... This is expensive stuff folks... We would love to chat more with the neighborhood... I would love to meet with [neighbors] and show them what we do. I think they would see what an asset this is in the community, the people we’re serving,” Parker said.