Challenges Residents: Families and individuals living at Cleme Manor were stressed, scared, and unable to spend much time outside due to crime, drug activity, prostitution, and violence. They felt alone and
abandoned, residing in homes surrounded by deteriorating conditions. Crime: In 2014, the Cleme Manor community faced high crime rates: • 206 total security and/or police calls • 37 Service Calls for Aggravated Assaults and/or Assaults • 3 Calls for Deadly Weapons/Assaults • 14 Calls for Property Crimes • 15 Calls for Drugs or Suspicious Activity
Education: In 2014, school district officials were considering closing Nathaniel Q. Henderson Elementary school due to poor student outcomes resulting in lower enrollment. About 170 of the roughly 360 students enrolled at Henderson lived at Cleme Manor Apartments, a crosswalk away from Finnigan Park. Due to the district’s transfer policy, Henderson lost about 150 students to other campuses during 2014. The facility was operating at about half capacity Solutions Cleme Manor sits immediately south of Finnigan Park and the Finnigan Park Community Center, where a $35 million renovation funded by Harris County revitalized this public space. Post-renovation, the two provided after-school and summer youth programs, including an NFL Youth Education Town (YET Center), one of a chain of educational/recreational centers established by the National Football League. Before NHPF purchased the property, its Asset Management Team worked in partnership with law enforcement to identify those factors responsible for increased criminal activity. Immediately upon assuming ownership of the property, local police conducted a sting operation to combat and reduce crime in the community, while NHPF installed a 24/7 video camera surveillance system and implemented a program to routinely place courtesy patrol officers around the property. NHPF hosted a rededication of Cleme Manor Apartments, attended by city councilman Jerry Davis, directly
following implementation of the aforementioned police crime-reduction strategy. This public display of NHPF’s commitment to reducing crime, combined with the ultimate renovation of Cleme Manor, demonstrated serious community buy-in and investment and convinced the city that Nathaniel Q. Henderson Elementary school would be able to produce better student outcomes. The school was kept open as a result, despite public skepticism. “Leaders see contradiction in plan to close school while apartments get facelift.” —Houston Chronicle, February 22, 2014 “‘If there is no school, how am I going to draw more people in this area?’ City Councilman Jerry Davis asked the school board this month. ‘We need to work together. We can’t have one entity going out doing good works and not the other.’”
LEFT TO RIGHT: Neal Rackleff, Former Houston Director of Housing and Community Development, City Councilman Jerry Davis, and NHPF SVP of Acquisitions Neal Drobenare attend the rededication event.
NHPF transformed the Cleme Manor complex by renovating the housing units, with a more efficient HVAC system, water heaters, windows, drywall, appliances, and doors. In addition, a new play area and rehabilitation of the leasing office, community space and laundry facilities provided renewed amenities and public spaces for residents.
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