Adrian Iglesias, president of Generation Housing Development of Austin, said that every possible form of assistance will be put into effect to ease the impact on residents there.
Iglesias said his company was contacted last year by Beeville Housing Authority Executive Director Viola Maldonado.
Iglesias said Maldonado was concerned about the deterioration of the facilities at Emma Finke Villa. She said the facility, built with federal funds in 1979, no longer complies with several Americans With Disabilities Act requirements, and they need to be updated.
The rents collected on the units were not enough to properly maintain the upkeep on the facilities.
Iglesias is best known in Beeville for turning a broken-down apartment development south of the H-E-B Food Store into a state-of-the-art, gated complex called the Amber Stone Apartments.
Generation Housing used federal funds to finance that development. It now provides quality housing for low-income families.
Iglesias obtained funds for the Emma Finke Villa project from the Texas Department of Housing and Community Affairs.
“We were allowed to do a relocation plan,” Iglesias said.
That plan will include working with the housing authority and Realtex Housing Management of Austin to find temporary housing for the residents who occupy the 72 units at the complex.
Iglesias said Realtex manages 4,000 apartment units statewide.
“We understand there is a housing shortage in Beeville,” Iglesias said. However, he is confident that the 30 Emma Finke residents who will have to be relocated for Phase One of the project will be placed in suitable homes until they can move back to the complex.
The tenants now living in the units could end up in other BHA facilities.
“Also, several units could become available at Amber Stone,” Iglesias said.
The housing specialists with Realtex will help tenants to find a temporary place to live. They also will assist in getting the tenants moved. The BHA and others will see to it that current residents receive vouchers to pay the difference in their current rents and the rents where they will be staying.
Iglesias said the tenants relocated during Phase One of the project will be the only ones who will have to leave the complex.
Once the first units have been renovated and upgraded, tenants in the Phase Two area will be moved into the units in the Phase One area.
Then, once the Phase Two apartments have been completed, those tenants who had to relocate out of the complex will be moved back to the property.
“Long term, we’re going to extend the life of this by another 30 years,” Iglesias said.
He said it is expected to take 30 to 45 days to complete the relocation portion of the project.
The renovations will include the installation of energy-efficient appliances, including refrigerators with ice makers, dishwashers, disposals, ovens, ranges and water heaters.
They also will have low-flow faucets, shower heads and toilets. The cabinets and counter tops will be replaced, and they will be equipped with ceiling fans, improved lighting and walk-in closets.
The units will be stripped down to the studs, and they will include larger porches, covered entries and central heating and air conditioning systems.
Each unit will have mini blinds, cable television and high-speed Internet connections.
Gary Kent is a reporter at the Bee-Picayune and can be reached at 358-2550, ext. 120, or at reporter@mySouTex.com.