Time for a new look! 5th Ward Community Recognizes Successful Revitalization

Fifth Ward CRC in the News:

Resource Splash Day - June 6, 2014

Press Release:

(Houston, TX – June 5, 2014) A week of service and celebration will be taking place in Houston's 5th Ward from June 6th to June 15th. Homebuyer education classes, a community fair and a neighborhood cleanup are scheduled as the Fifth Ward Community Redevelopment Corporation (FWCRC) participates in NeighborWorks Week 2014. Every year 250 affiliates of NeighborWorks America help bring change and awareness to under-served and rural communities with the help of volunteers. NeighborWorks America is one of the country's preeminent leaders in affordable housing and community development and the FWCRC is a charter member.

To kick-off the week, the FWCRC is hosting a “Resource Splash Day” in partnership with Mission Year Interns from 4:00pm to 9:30pm on Friday, June 6th at The JAM, 3705 Lyons Avenue, Houston, TX 77020. The community fair will highlight free and low cost amenities that are available to families and area residents. Local service providers like Habitat for Humanity, the Department of Health and Human Services and Covenant Community Capital are just a few of the organizations that will be on hand to let people know about the services they offer. Meanwhile, children will be able to splash and play in the water at the Solar Splash Pad and enjoy the JAM Park playground next door. The Houston Fire Department will also be there teaching fire safety and allowing children to tour one of the fire engines. For those who want to just “JAM,” a local DJ, and other entertainers will be on hand for your enjoyment!

That same evening, as the sun sets, families will be treated to a free movie. Beginning at 7:30pm, “Little Rascals Save the Day,” will be shown. There will be free popcorn and local food trucks on hand to serve patrons attending the event. This event is FREE and open to the public and the 1st of many events planned for the summer in the park.

The next morning, Saturday, June 7th two events will be hosted by FWCRC. First from 7am to 11am, a Community Clean-up is planned along Lyons Avenue. NeighborWorks America representatives, community volunteers, Houston Habitat, and friends of Lakewood Church will all be on hand to spruce up what is considered the “front door” of Houston's 5th Ward and the recently completed Legends Pocket park on Benson. Empty lots will be cleared of any trash and debris and lawns will be mowed. Volunteers are still needed, so please call 713-674-0165 to participate.

Then at the FWCRC offices, located at 4300 Lyons Avenue, a Homebuyer Education Class will begin at 9:00am. This class is a guide for couples and individuals who may be new to the process. Housing Professionals like real estate agents, appraisers, and mortgage lenders give first hand information on various aspects of home buying. Information includes understanding their credit, how to secure a home loan and how to protect their investment. The class will last until 5pm and participants will receive a certificate of completion. This certificate allows participants to be considered for first-time home buying products and various down payment assistance programs. Thanks to J P Morgan Chase and the Xi Alpha Omega Chapter of the Alpha Kapppa Alpha Sorority for sponsoring this class. Participants in the class will be entered in to a drawing and receive a new flat screen T.V. for their new home.

For more information on all of these events, please contact the Fifth Ward Community Redevelopment Corporation at 713-674-0175. For media inquires reach out to Damali Hill at 713-674-0175 or email her at dhill@northcirclepr.com.

About the Fifth Ward Community Redevelopment Corporation: The Fifth Ward Community Redevelopment Corporation is a non-profit organization that was started in April of 1989. The organization was started by educators, clergy, residents and business owners. For 25years the FWCRC has built and sold homes, provided affordable housing, and worked to make the 5th Ward a great place to live, work and play.

About NeighborWorks America: NeighborWorks America is one of the country's preeminent leaders in affordable housing and community development. We work to create opportunities for lower-income people to live in affordable homes in safe, sustainable communities that are healthy places for families to grow. Headquartered in Washington, DC, NeighborWorks America operates through five regional offices and one national office.


5th Ward Housing Fair - April 26, 2014

Press Release:

(Houston, April 16, 2014) -- Houston's 5th Ward is a great place live and the Fifth Ward Community Redevelopment Corporation (FWCRC) is spreading the word to potential homeowners. The non- profit organization is hosting the “5th Ward Housing Fair,” on Saturday, April 26th from 10am to 2pm. The event will be held at the FWCRC office, located at 4300 Lyons Avenue, Houston, TX 77020.

“The goal of the Housing Fair is to establish a pipeline of families who are able to take full advantage of housing opportunities that the 5th Ward community, in particular and Houston have to offer for homebuyers, renters and families with housing distresses,” says Kathy Payton, CEO of Fifth Ward Community Redevelopment Corporation. “We want to take the fear out of purchasing a home for some people. Therefore, we will have credit counselors on site and information on where people can get the resources they may need to buy a home. We recognize that some people continue to struggle with their current mortgages, therefore we will have foreclosure prevention specialist and assistance available at the fair,” says Payton.

The Home Depot will be on site with “do-it –yourself” demonstrations. There will be mortgage lenders available to assist with mortgage pre-qualifications. Builders and local service providers will give people information on purchasing, renting and/or maintaining a house. “There are plans for new home developments in the community and we want to ensure that everyone knows this neighborhood is changing for the better,” she says. “More importantly, people of all income levels have an opportunity to apply,” says Payton.

In addition to the Housing Fair, the FWCRC is accepting donations of gently used household items. Things like dishes, cooking utensils, bedding, bath towels and small furnishings are welcomed. Once collected, those items will be given to the Houston Housing Authority to benefit residents who may be moving into their first homes. Donations can be dropped off at the FWCRC offices Monday through Thursday, from 9am to 5pm and on Fridays from 9am to 3pm.

To ensure that people have a good time and enjoy the fair, a DJ will be on hand to keep things lively. There will also be door prizes and raffles. Food trucks will also be on-site for those who build up and appetite.

For more information on this event, please call the FWCRC at 713-674-0175 or visit our website, www.fifthwardcrc.org.

About the Fifth Ward Community Redevelopment Corporation: The Fifth Ward Community Redevelopment Corporation is a non-profit organization that was started in April of 1989. The organization was started by educators, clergy, residents and business owners. For 25years the FWCRC has built and sold homes, provided affordable housing, and worked to make the 5th Ward a great place to live, work and play.


Lyons Avenue Renaissance Festival - March 26, 2014

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Houston Style Magazine:


Press Release:

(Houston, TX – April 2, 2014) – The “Lyons Avenue Renaissance Festival: Celebrating 25 Years of Redevelopment,” held on Saturday, March 29th, was deemed a success by hosts City Council Member Jerry Davis and the Fifth Ward Community Redevelopment Corporation (FWCRC). Davis and the non-profit organization put on the event to give residents and people from across the city a chance to celebrate 5th Ward's rich culture and to enjoy the changes that have come to the area.

“It is wonderful to see people who have lived in this community for years come out and really enjoy the entertainers, merchants and food vendors,” says Kathy Payton, CEO and President of the FWCRC. “Our goal was to educate, engage and entertain festival goers and we attained that goal on Saturday.”

Blues singer, Trudy Lynn, who is a Wheatley High School graduate, mesmerized the crowd with her soul-filled singing. She hit the stage right after her counterpart, Steve Krase (rhymes with Ace) and his band got the crowd at the “Jam Park” pumped with their rousing songs. Houston favorite, “J. Paul Grant and the Zydeco Nubreeds,” closed out the day with an hour long performance that had people literally dancing in the street. There were two stages at the festival and crowds also heard from Houston native and blues singer, Annika Chambers and the “House Rules Band,” American Idol – Season 12 finalist, Amber Holcomb and Grammy Award winner, Pastor Billy Dorsey, to name a few.

Clowns, stilt walkers and face painters kept children entertained. Telemundo Houston gave out prizes and provided games. Vendors like “Mobile Cuts,” offered haircuts on the spot. Food trucks served everything from gyros and Texas barbeque to catfish and fresh vegetables. Even the local churches, whom represent the foundation of this historic community, came together to share ministry offerings and offer their support.

Community partners, Pleasant Hill Ministries, Lakewood Church, Houston Habitat for Humanity, Legacy Community Health, Texas Children's Health Plan, Woodforest National Bank and Telemundo Houston, are invested in the 5th Ward and helped make the event a success.

Rev. Clemons closed the event with a prayer of thanksgiving and unity. People left feeling optimistic, hopeful and excited for the community. “Fifth Ward residents and people from all over Houston came out and supported this festival. Now they can see for themselves that this neighborhood is a great place to live, work and play,” says City Council Member Jerry Davis. “People are already asking us to make this an annual event. It looks like we have just started a new tradition.”


DeLuxe Theater Groundbreaking - February 17, 2014

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Press Release:

Breaking New Ground in Houston's 5th Ward

(Houston, TX—February 17, 2014) - A “Renaissance” is taking place along Lyons Ave in Houston's 5th Ward. This morning Mayor Annise Parker broke ground for the restoration of the DeLuxe Theater, located at 3303 Lyons Avenue. Mayor Parker, the City of Houston Housing and Community Development Department, Texas Southern University (TSU) and the Fifth Ward Community Redevelopment Corporation (FWCRC), sponsor of the “Lyons Avenue Renaissance,” hosted this event.

The once popular theater and exhibit space, darkened since 1973, is undergoing major renovations and opening planned for Fall of 2014. To preserve a piece of the rich history, the famous marquis will be restored, and the Streamline Moderne style, a popular American architectural style from 1920-1940 will be preserved. Streamline Modern is a derivation of the Art Deco style. The restored facility will offer a 125 seat proscenium theatre, including laboratory & class room space, a box office, lobby, and administrative offices with programming offered by Texas Southern University, and also include 3500 sq. ft. of lease space.

“The Deluxe Theater has long been a fixture in the Fifth Ward,” said Mayor Annise Parker. “This agreement will give it a new lease on life. It shows that with some creativity and some willing partners, we can find productive uses for our historic buildings. Students and the community will have a new facility for the arts and our economy will enjoy the jobs created by the construction work.”

“Restoration of the DeLuxe Theater is a major component in our community transformation projects of the Lyons Avenue Renaissance, a multi-faceted development over the next 3-5 years focused on the community's main street – Lyons Ave., and the greater 5th Ward,” says Kathy Payton, CEO of the FWCRC. “Residents tell us they are excited to have the venue available again for cultural events. And we know this is the perfect place for TSU's Drama Department and future businesses.”

In 1998, the Fifth Ward Community Redevelopment Corporation purchased the theatre and adjacent furniture store and begun a master plan to reutilize the DeLuxe Theatre as a community performing and visual arts facility. The City acquired the building in 2009 using Community Development Block Grant Fund (CDBG). Rev. Harvey Clemons, founder of FWCRC, says the project has been in the pipeline for a long time but well worth the wait and the investment.

The restoration project will cost $5.5 million and be paid for through CDBG dollars and money from Tax Increment Reinvestment Zone 18. TSU's lease payments to the City will total $610,725 over five years. The FWCRC will pay an estimated $179,000 in rent over five years. Both TSU and FWRC will be allowed to offset their rent by offering the facility for use for community events.


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Starbucks Leadership Conference - October 2012




Reliant Solar Splash Pad Announcement

Reliant Solar


Press Release July 31

October 28, 2011 - Deluxe Theater

Plans annouced to restore theater in Fifth Ward

Fifth Ward Jam - October 1, 2011





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