Eula Halliburton has been waiting three years for Cowan Place to open, allowing her to return home to her Stop Six neighborhood.
Every day, she would come by the lot that would one day be the location of affordable senior housing. She wondered when she would be able to move in. On Friday, Nov. 10, she was finally able to do just that.
“This is good for us. Oh, I love it,” Halliburton said.
A grand opening for Cowan Place was held Nov. 13 although the complex welcomed its first residents two weeks ago, over two years after groundbreaking back in September 2021. Cowan Place, a 174-unit housing development for seniors aged 62 and older, is the first phase of the Stop Six Choice Neighborhood Initiative.
For Fort Worth Housing Solutions, this is the culmination of six years of work to develop the property they purchased years before receiving the $35 million grant from the Department of Housing and Urban Development to implement the initiative.
“When we received our grant, it was actually about a month after COVID was announced and so it was exciting, but it was just kind of anti-climactic, and we didn’t exactly know what we were doing,” said Mary-Margaret Lemons, president of Fort Worth Housing Solutions. “It was new ground, but to see it today, this huge, beautiful building that’s serving seniors… to see the impact it makes on their lives is really amazing.”
Candace Valenzuela, the regional administrator for HUD based in Fort Worth, noted the $40 million in grants to develop Stop Six could bring over $340 million of investments to the area.
But most importantly, it’s about making residents feel welcomed and safe.
“I would put my mother here. I would put myself here,” she said.
The project was community-driven, Lemons said, noting that many of the details were selected by the residents through quarterly meetings. That community approach will translate into the other phases of the Stop Six Choice Neighborhood Initiative too.
“There’s an African proverb that says ‘If you want to go fast, go alone, but if you go far, go together.’ And I think that has been true,” Lemons said. “When we get together, we are making a lasting and impactful change in this community, for the community, by the community.”
What has been accomplished with Cowan Place has given many hope of what’s to come to Stop Six as the development plan of the neighborhood continues to move forward with two housing projects already underway.
“I hope it really renews a sense of trust with the community that we promised this was going to be world class and it really is and that it’s just the beginning,” said Fort Worth Mayor Mattie Parker. “The MLK community center, opening Hughes House — all of these projects together really do help revitalize an area that deserves it.”
As for Halliburton, she’s already been enjoying her time at Cowan Place, noting how safe she feels and how friendly everyone is.
“This is good for us. And I’m gonna stay here until God calls me,” she said.
Sandra Sadek is a Report for America corps member, covering growth for the Fort Worth Report. You can contact her at email@example.com or on Twitter at @ssadek19.
At the Fort Worth Report, news decisions are made independently of our board members and financial supporters. Read more about our editorial independence policy here.