photo 12 Fort Worth Uses Grants To Build Homes In Struggling Terrell Heights Area

The future site of a home that Fort Worth officials plan to build with grant money. (Credit: Joel Thomas/KTVT)

FORT WORTH (CBSDFW.COM)  – Southeast Fort Worth has languished economically in recent years. To lure families back, the city has joined in a private partnership that used grants to pay for the construction of 54 new homes.

The city has put in some new roads and streetlights along the Evans and Rosedale intersection and a new Jack-in-the Box nearby does a booming business. But many of the residential properties in the Terrell Heights area remain vacant and run down. And the people who remain here watch the decay helplessly.

“This street is a real quiet street, you know?,” said Robert Brooks who lives in a rent-to-own home. “And I just hope it gets better and not worse.”

“I think we’ve been in a vicious cycle,” said Fort Worth Councilwoman Kathleen Hicks, who represents the area on the city council. “We had people who said if you can’t get commercial development you can’t get residential. And back and forth.”

Fort Worth hopes it’s building a solution to the cycle of decay. In lots once overgrown with weeds, homes are now springing up. The city is partnering with the NRP Group — a private developer.

The $8 million is using state and federal grant money to construct 54 new homes.

Many of the lots had been off the tax rolls for years until the city tracked down their owners or foreclosed on them. All the homes are large –– in hopes of motivating families to move back to the area.

“A lot of folks who would move to the suburbs are suddenly moving to the area because now they can afford to move into the community,” Hicks said.

But residents here have heard promises of revitalization before. They are only cautiously optimistic.

“I hope it continues to be upgraded, but time will tell,” Brooks said. “We’ll have to watch and monitor the people moving in there.”

The developer plans to have the first homes ready for move-in by early summer.