What is it?
The North Houston Highway Improvement Project began 17 years ago and is broken into 3 segments with the goal of alleviating congestion, keeping up with projected increases in population, and updating design elements and aging infrastructure. Segment 1 is the 9 miles between Beltway 8 and I-610, Segment 2 is the 3 miles between I-610 to I-10, and Segment 3 consists of the 12.3 miles of the Downtown loop system. The whole project is poised to cost between $7 billion to $10 billion.
Who is involved?
TxDOT is in charge of the NHHIP and partners with the Houston Housing Authority (HHA), City of Houston, and countless engineering, surveying and construction firms.
The Houston Housing Authority acts as a local administrator of the formerly Section 8, Housing Choice Voucher Program along with the Low-Rent Public Housing Program. They own the Clayton Homes and Kelly Village Properties which will be displaced due to the NHHIP. Through the Housing Choice Voucher Program, qualified residents in these areas can be relocated to anywhere in the U.S.
Who does it effect?
This project will:
- add non-tolled managed lanes & full-width shoulders
- add biking and pedestrian features along frontage roads
- replace outdated left exits
- cause 1,224 displacements
- demolish 3 historical age properties
- expect to add 20 mph to the traffic flow downtown
There have been 14 formal meetings and over 500 chances for public comment on the proposed plan. From those meetings TxDOT learned that the HHA was interested in early acquisition of their affordable housing sites and desired to rebuild within a 1 mile of the existing. The plan with these displacements is to only move residents once and allow them to stay in their current housing until the new site is complete. Those within a 2 mile radius have the right to the first replacement units.
Clayton Homes – built in 1952 with a total of 296 units, all of which will be displaced. Currently, only half of the units are inhabitable and HHA wants to fully tear them down.
Kelly Village– built in 1939 with a total of 333 units, of which 72 will be displaced in the current plan.