Housing projects still in the public limelight
Though the Orange City Council approved the building of public housing complexes on Velma Jeter, Pine Grove and Sikes Road last week, the issue is still drawing public attention.
One item on the Orange Housing Authority’s meeting agenda that caught the audience’s eye was a resolution to grant a perpetual and non-exclusive pipeline easement and extending Sikes Road to Pine Hollow Road. The resolution was tabled due to alignment issues regarding the pipeline.
During the public comments portion of the meeting, resident Dee Dydik reported to the OHA Board of Directors the numbers of low rent residents and criminal reports at current public housing projects and how the same could happen on Sikes Road where the new Arthur Robinson II complex will be built.
She added there are brand new apartments in the city currently unoccupied the Arthur Robinson residents could live in.
Some residents commented on the building of the Pine Grove complex.
Sharon Kasba was curious if all the residents on the waiting list were from Orange County because she heard some were from out of the city such as Houston and Port Arthur.
She said she would like to see a voucher program for public housing needs and used for available housing within Orange.
A fence, furthermore, separating her property from the complex was also being torn down due to vines growing on it. Kasba said she told the city about the fence but they haven’t taken care of it.
Richard Harrington wanted to know if the Pine Grove building plans were submitted to the city’s planning and zoning committee. Developer Chris Akbari said they were not.
Patsy Harrington asked the OHA that only one-story units be built on the back end of the project.
June Sonnier was in favor of leveling Pine Groves and making it a green area. She also favored the OHA selling the properties they own in the city to pay their bills.
Board President Michael Combs told the audience they can have their individual questions answered after the meeting.
The OHA also approved resolutions for Craig Homes and Whispering Oaks authorizing a tax credit application sent to the Texas Department of Housing and Community Affairs for a construction and operation project.
Combs was named executing officer of both resolutions.
Resident Jane Wilkes spoke at the regular meeting Tuesday afternoon of the Orange Housing Authority about the Arthur Robinson II public housing complex to be built on Sikes Road. Wilkes said the OHA has lied to her and she wanted some concrete answers. RECORD PHOTO:David Ball