Kingwood Senior Village residents praise owner
- Written by Bonnie McKenna
Fairfield makes sure all are safe after Ike “I cannot say enough about Steve, and what he did for us after Ike. He took such good care of us, you just would not believe it,” said Betty Thornton, a resident of Kingwood Senior Village, as she talked about Stephen Fairfield. Fairfield is president and CEO of Covenant Community Capital Corporation, owner and developer of the residence. “Steve was here every day to see what we needed. He brought power strips, so we could charge our cell phones. He set up a TV antenna, so we could have better reception. He put up lights in the stairwells, so no one would fall, and set up two air conditioning units in the community room to keep us cool,” said Dolores McClere, another resident. “He also helped by going to each unit and cleaning out the refrigerators before food started to spoil. We love him.” These words of praise are in stark contrast to a story that ran on Sept. 17 in the Houston Chronicle about the Villas on Winkler. Both are residential facilities for independent seniors, but their owners and managers treated their residents differently. The Kingwood Senior Village is the brainchild of Fairfield, whose mission is to serve the underserved. “Originally, I was involved in real estate with my father, but after I read “Love in the Mortar Joints: the story of Habitat for Humanity,” I knew I wanted, as a Christian, to combine my faith life and business life,” Fairfield said. Twenty-one years ago, he was instrumental in starting Habitat for Humanity in the City of Houston. Their first project was in the city’s Fifth Ward, where he continues to maintain his office. Fairfield became interested in senior independent living through his great-aunt and grandfather. “I began looking around at what was available and soon found there were no affordable options,” said Fairfield. “Everything was at one end of the spectrum or the other. We found the areas outside the City had limited options for seniors. That is why we came here.” As the Kingwood Senior Village project began to take form, Fairfield became concerned they not spend money on services or amenities the seniors did not like. “One day, I asked my grandfather why he liked Luby’s so much. He said, ‘I can get exactly what I want and don’t have to take what I don’t want,’” Fairfield said. Taking heed from his grandfather’s comment, Fairfield located the senior village near facilities seniors like and have easy access to, such as a variety of restaurants, shops and medical offices. Kingwood Senior Village is located adjacent to North Park Plaza. A second village is currently under construction near Willowbrook Mall. It is expected to open for occupancy before the end of the year. “Our goal is to provide a good quality of life for our residents and balance compliance with comfort. We have tried to keep the rents on our apartments affordable. We charge just enough to make our expenses and provide a cushion to help us through unusual occurrences,” said Fairfield. He said he was humbled by the outpouring of thanks the residents heaped on him as he entered the lobby of the Kingwood facility, greeting those who were enjoying their morning coffee. “I really do not deserve it,” he said, “ but the residents felt otherwise.” For more information on the Kingwood Senior Village, go to www.kingwoodseniorvillage.com. For information on Covenant Community Capital Corporation, visit www.covenantcapital.net. Photo: Stephen Fairfield, owner and developer of the Kingwood Senior Village.