Mayor Sylvester Turner joined community members in Houston’s historic Fifth Ward for the groundbreaking of St. Elizabeth Place, a new community of 85 apartment homes. Approved as a re-envisioning of the St. Elizabeth Hospital on Lyons Avenue, the apartment building will retain the shape of the original structure and include amenities that serve as convenient resources for the community.
“St. Elizabeth Hospital was opened in 1947 to reduce racial inequities and provide access to necessities. Our current program serves the same purpose,” said Mayor Sylvester Turner. “Easy access to downtown, public transit, and community spaces will make these new homes an attractive option for young workers and growing families as well as long-time residents of the Fifth Ward.”
Built in 1947 with initial funds provided by Catholic Charities of the Galveston Diocese, St. Elizabeth Hospital provided capacity for minorities in a city that had only 175 hospital beds designated for an African American community of more than 100,000 people. The hospital closed in the 1980s and had been vacant since 2014. Today a partnership between Fifth Ward Community Redevelopment Corporation and experienced developer Cloudbreak Communities is bringing the building back to life, maintaining the iconic features of the site and creating new homes for residents of Fifth Ward. Alongside a mix of studio, one-, and two-bedroom apartments, the new St. Elizabeth Place will include a fitness center, and multi-functional resource center for career assistance that also will be used to host health and wellness seminars for residents.
The revitalization of St. Elizabeth Place will cost $31.7 million, funded through a combination of federal and state tax credits, private loans, and City of Houston disaster recovery funding. The City’s approximately $14.9 million contribution comes from a combination of Community Development Block Grant – Round 2 funding and Community Development Block Grant – Harvey Disaster Recovery funding, both provided by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development for replacing and rebuilding rental homes damaged by storms.
St. Elizabeth is one of 38 developments constructed using funding from the City’s Harvey Multifamily Program. To see more homes created through the program and track construction progress, please visit recovery.houstontx.gov/multifamily.
The Housing and Community Development Department joined the Zieben Group and local and regional officials to celebrate the grand opening of the Gulf Coast Arms Apartments, a 160-unit affordable rental community in October.