In 2012, the City of Houston invited residents, businesses, and CDCs from four areas (9 Superneighborhoods) to identify “nodes of opportunity” within their communities. This process was sparked by devastation from the 2008 Hurricane Ike that left many homes in a state of dilapidation and struggling communities in further disarray. Four areas, Acres Homes, Independence Heights, Northside Village/Fifth Ward/Denver Harbor/Magnolia Park, and OST/South Union/Sunnyside/South Park will be receiving HUD funds ($151 million) to make home repairs and redevelop areas that will generate further investment, and ultimately move them towards a more vibrant community.
Through a series of public workshops and charrettes led by LISC Houston, along with team members from Asakura Robinson, community members were able to voice their opinion about concerns within their community, their priorities for the future, and most importantly, their assets. There were also great discussions about forming more unity among organizations, looking past self-interests for the greater interests of the neighborhood and community organizing for the benefit of future generations. These workshops were also an opportunity for community members to better understand concepts of market readiness, economic viability, and the inner workings of a planning process.