ORANGE, Texas — The Texas General Land Office Disaster Recovery Team and local officials held two events on Wednesday to celebrate the completion of two affordable-housing complexes in Port Arthur And Orange.
The complexes were either damaged or destroyed during Harvey. It took years of waiting and millions of dollars to rebuild.
The Texas General Land Office awarded $8.78 million to newly construct an 80-unit senior apartment community in Orange, and it's finally finished.
Silverleaf at Orange Apartments were destroyed during Harvey, forcing many seniors to flee their homes
“Being able to rebuild those is actually quite difficult. Often times the insurance doesn't quite cover the entire cost of the damage, and that affordable housing stock is lost for that area,” said director of communications disaster recovery Brittany Esk.
As a result, the GLO started the affordable rental program, which provides funding for rental properties to rebuild or reconstruct. Silverleaf at Orange applied and finally after a few years of waiting for funding approval, the construction is finished.
“We were able to produce 80 senior dwelling units, 1 bedroom to 2 bedroom,” said Mike Sugre, owner of Silverleaf at Orange.
“At least 72 of those are guaranteed for low-to-moderate income individuals,” Esk said.
The new units also have accessible features for people with disabilities. The showers in the units have seating for people in wheelchairs. Alarm and strobe lights are also included for the audio or visually impaired.
“It's not just a place where they'll be a roof over your head. It's also a community,” Esk said.
“All of our residents will come. They'll do bingo they'll do bible studies. They'll do potlucks. This is the heartbeat of the community right here,” Sugre said.
Silverleaf at Orange has moved in nine of their previous residents and are actively taking applications for more.
The disaster recovery team is working on four more affordable housing developments in Orange County that will provide 196 units to house the community.