There have been 29 new homes built in the Stop Six neighborhood of Fort Worth this year. Normally you would think that this is a good thing. Stop Six is an older section of Fort Worth and is in need of some renovation. But these are not the kind of homes that you would want in your neighborhood.
State Representative Marc Veasey said he believes the homes are substandard. He has been trying since February to get the city of Fort Worth to tell him if the houses meet city housing standards. Veasey says the new houses are an eyesore.
The houses are located on three neighboring streets and they all look exactly alike. The fronts of the houses are brick, but the sides and back have olive-green siding. Each house has one long side that has no windows [the builder said that was done because people steal windows during construction]. There is no garage or carport, but each house has a two-car driveway. The yards are just dirt and weeds [the builder said he was not required to lay sod or plant grass]. The homes have four bedrooms and two baths, even though they are only 1200 square feet [got to be some really tiny bedrooms].
The builder said the homes are valued at $90,000 to $100,000 [the city appraised the houses at $78,000]. The houses have been sold to out-of-town buyers in Allen, Dallas, Carrollton, and Lewisville. They are to be rented out for about $850 a month. The builder admitted that, "That development was not built with aesthetics in mind. These houses are functional."
I applaud Rep. Veasey's efforts in this matter. Stop Six is one of the poorer and neglected areas of Fort Worth. It needs the kind of development that will revitalize the area. These new houses will not do that. Building cheap, ugly, and substandard rental units in this area only serves to perpetuate the neighborhood's problems. The city of Fort Worth needs to look at their building standards. If these houses meet city standards, then those standards need to be upgraded. You do not help to revitalize a neighborhood by building new "slum-units".