<![CDATA[Jonathan Hillert - Blog]]>Mon, 23 Nov 2015 07:06:57 -0800Weebly<![CDATA[Low-Income Housing Requirements in Houston ]]>Mon, 25 Aug 2014 19:47:17 GMThttp://jonathanhillert.weebly.com/blog/low-income-housing-requirements-in-houstonPresident of L&T Development, LLC, Jonathan Hillert specializes in designing and constructing custom single family homes. Jonathan Hillert is also starting a nonprofit organization that will develop homes for low-income families.

According to the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), a low-income household is defined as a household that earns no more than 80% of the median household income. For the city of Houston, Texas, 80% of the median household income is $48,800 for a family of four.

In particular, families who dedicate a minimum of 30% of their income toward housing are in need of housing assistance. These families are not only burdened with paying for housing, but also struggle with affording necessities, such as clothing, food, and medical care. To date, there is an estimated 12 million renters nationwide that commit more than 50% of their income to housing. Of these renters, families that have one full-time worker earning minimum wage are not able to pay for rent on a two-bedroom apartment.

Those interested in inquiring about assistance can contact the Houston Area Urban League at (713) 393-8730.
<![CDATA[Addressing Homelessness in Houston ]]>Tue, 05 Aug 2014 18:27:34 GMThttp://jonathanhillert.weebly.com/blog/addressing-homelessness-in-houstonAs president of L&T Development, LLC, of Houston, Texas, Jonathan Hillert oversees the firm’s marketing, accounting, and administrative duties. The company specializes in designing and building custom single-family homes. Since he earned his BS in architecture from the University of Wisconsin, Jonathan Hillert has worked on numerous projects, including single-family residences, condominium developments, recreational facilities, education facilities, and municipal, religious, and commercial buildings. He is committed to doing non-profit work in Harris County to help make low-income housing available to those who need it.

Homelessness is a pervasive and complex problem. It has numerous causes, but the most common by far (accounting for 35 percent of the cases in Texas) is the loss of one’s job. The next one, which accounts for another 15 percent, is also financial – when a person’s expenses outstrip his or her income. A major factor that keeps people homeless is the lack of affordable housing.

Houston has a broad range of services and resources to help the homeless. They include emergency shelter and special facilities for families with children. Other facilities are reserved for battered women and their children. Yet others offer food. Furthermore, health and legal services are available, and children can continue to receive an education. In addition, job counseling and training centers help prepare the homeless to enter or re-enter the workforce. Last but not least, low-income housing options are available.]]>
<![CDATA[Acknowledging Hurricane Katrina Recovery Volunteers By Jonathan Hillert]]>Fri, 11 Jul 2014 22:59:19 GMThttp://jonathanhillert.weebly.com/blog/acknowledging-hurricane-katrina-recovery-volunteers-by-jonathan-hillertHaving donated my time and skills to the Hurricane Katrina recovery effort in Louisiana and Mississippi, I feel gratitude for people who demonstrate the courage to volunteer during devastating times.

The first line of volunteers after the storm were emergency-response teams deployed by the American Red Cross, which trained individuals to perform CPR, provide first aid, dispense food, and operate shelters. For the efforts necessitated by Hurricanes Katrina, Wilma, and Rita, the Red Cross used 244,000 workers, 95% of whom served as volunteers.

In addition to churches of all faiths, established nonprofits organized their volunteers to assist, including those from OxFam America, The Salvation Army, and Second Harvest Heartland. Organizations dedicated to the rebuilding of housing include Volunteers of America (www.voa.org/katrina), Build Now (www.buildnownola.com), and Habitat for Humanity (www.habitat.org). After more than six years after the disaster, these groups still maintain reconstruction activities. I encourage you to visit their websites and become involved in the best way you can!

About the Author

Jon R. Hillert owns and serves as President of L&T Development, LLC, in Houston. The company designs custom single-family homes. ]]>
<![CDATA[Low-Income Housing and Homelessness in Houston ]]>Tue, 17 Jun 2014 06:07:35 GMThttp://jonathanhillert.weebly.com/blog/low-income-housing-and-homelessness-in-houstonPresident of L&T Development, LLC, Jonathan Hillert possesses more than two decades of architectural and construction experience. Throughout his career, he has completed a range of residential and commercial projects, as well as municipal and recreational venues. Jonathan Hillert hopes to leverage his knowledge to create a nonprofit organization that provides low-income housing to the Houston population.

To combat homelessness and provide affordable housing, the City of Houston’s special needs housing division works with nonprofit agencies and shelters to provide suitable homes for low-income families. The city also partners with the Coalition for the Homeless of Houston/Harris County to develop strategies to reduce homelessness in the area.

As of 2013, the Coalition for the Homeless determined that nearly 6,400 Harris County residents were considered homeless. While this number is down from 2011, when homelessness was in excess of 8,500, the Houston population is continuously growing, which makes accessibility to low-income housing a necessity for the area.
<![CDATA[Psychological Effects of Hurricane Katrina on Children ]]>Thu, 05 Jun 2014 05:46:10 GMThttp://jonathanhillert.weebly.com/blog/psychological-effects-of-hurricane-katrina-on-childrenOwner and president of L&T Development, LLC, Jonathan Hillert founded the Houston, Texas, construction firm in 2009. In addition to designing custom single family homes, Jonathan Hillert participates in many community service projects. As an example, Jon Hillert volunteered for relief projects in Mississippi and Louisiana after Hurricane Katrina in 2005.

Among the many individuals and groups affected by the devastation of Hurricane Katrina, children suffered deep emotional turmoil. When emergency responders, mental health experts, and university researchers studied children in the aftermath of the storm, they discovered an array of serious emotional disturbances (SED) in children. Nearly 10 percent of the individuals who displayed SED symptoms, such as as eating disorders, phobias, and learning difficulties, were children.

Researchers attributed stress exposure as a strong contributing factor, with 20 percent of children with high stress exposure experiencing emotional disturbances from the hurricane. Young people who suffered the loss of a loved one in the hurricane experienced the highest levels of SED, and children who experienced physical challenges related to the storm showed the next highest level of SED. Because children continued to show signs of SED more than two years after Hurricane Katrina, the study exposed the significant need for mental health resources in storm-affected areas.                             ]]>
<![CDATA[The American Red Cross Expands Its Online Operations ]]>Wed, 21 May 2014 22:31:40 GMThttp://jonathanhillert.weebly.com/blog/the-american-red-cross-expands-its-online-operationsAn architect and construction manager with more than 20 years of experience, Jonathan Hillert is involved in numerous humanitarian projects in the Houston area, including a nonprofit organization providing Houston residents with low-income housing. Jonathan Hillert also participated in disaster relief efforts for Hurricane Katrina.

Recently, the American Red Cross launched a new Digital Operations Center and the first social media operation for disaster relief, as well as a Disaster Digital Volunteer program that provides information on what to do during a disaster. The new center will expand the Red Cross’ ability to coordinate with workers and volunteers, allowing them to monitor the positions of ground workers and to better provide disaster victims with important resources.

Through the Disaster Digital Volunteers program, individuals learn the necessary skills to respond to disasters through social media. As part of the Red Cross’ commitment to enhanced humanitarian relief, volunteers that pass the online training course report directly to the organization’s National Headquarters engagement team. They then use social media to help monitor and report activity in the event of a disaster.                             ]]>
<![CDATA[New Developments in the Fight Against Cancer ]]>Fri, 09 May 2014 05:57:50 GMThttp://jonathanhillert.weebly.com/blog/new-developments-in-the-fight-against-cancerJonathan Hillert, an architect who has served clients in the Houston area for more than 20 years, is the president of L&T Development LLC. In addition to designing and building single-family homes, Jonathan Hillert works to provide low-income housing for Houston residents and donates to cancer awareness organizations.

Cancer is one of the most complex medical conditions on the planet. Scientists have identified thousands of cancer-causing gene abnormalities, and predict that millions more are yet to be discovered. This makes understanding the causes of genetic damage particularly important for researchers wishing to explore new treatments such as personalized cancer care and immunotherapy.

The director of the Center for Personalized Cancer Therapeutics, Ross Cagan, is developing methods for identifying the most promising drugs for specific patients by collecting cancerous tissue and recreating its mutations in fruit flies. By testing available medications on the flies, Cagan can determine which of them will be most effective.

Cancer immunotherapy, which was named the 2013 breakthrough of the year by Science Magazine, encourages the body’s immune system attack the cancer. While immunotherapies have only been tested on small populations with limited types of cancer, researchers hope that they will provide the next gateway to the eventual eradication of the disease.                              ]]>
<![CDATA[Basic Tips for Amateur PhotographersBy Jonathan Hillert]]>Wed, 30 Apr 2014 23:37:59 GMThttp://jonathanhillert.weebly.com/blog/basic-tips-for-amateur-photographersby-jonathan-hillertMany individuals quickly become frustrated when they first begin to experiment with photography since all photographers have a different style and thus different advice for the amateur. In my experience, learning about the basics of photography provides the best foundation for experimentation and finding your own unique style. First, ensure that you have the ideal lighting for your subject or, if using natural lighting, play with your approach to the subject to use the available light to your advantage. Second, aim for simplicity, not complexity, and fill the frame with the subject, leaving unnecessary components out of the photo. Most often, these details distract from the actual photograph. Amateurs should also observe the rule of thirds and ensure that they understand it before attempting to break it. The photographer imagines his or her screen as divided into nine sections, with three equal divisions both horizontally and vertically. Each point of intersection is a focal point where an individual wants to place a key element of the subject, such as an eye or a smile.

About the Author: Jonathan Hillert serves as the President of L&T Development, LLC. Outside of work, Jonathan Hillert maintains a passion for photography.                             ]]>
<![CDATA[Jonathan Hillert: A Snapshot of the Houston Housing Market]]>Tue, 22 Apr 2014 04:35:22 GMThttp://jonathanhillert.weebly.com/blog/jonathan-hillert-a-snapshot-of-the-houston-housing-marketBased in Houston, Jonathan Hillert has worked in real estate design and building for more than 20 years. He currently oversees L&T Development, LLC, as President. In this role, Jonathan Hillert manages the construction schedule, hires contractors, and oversees the firm’s accounting, among other duties.

As of June 2012, more than 9,000 residential properties remained on the market in Houston. These included single-family properties and condominiums. The median price for the units stood at just under $150,000, a 2-percent increase over May.

Properties remained on the market for a median of 66 days, meaning that half of the real estate took longer to sell and half took less time. The median house size increased to 1,951 square feet from 1,920 the previous month.

On a positive note, the number of distressed properties for sale stood at 1 percent, down from 2 percent six months earlier. The overall inventory of these homes also declined significantly within the past two years, down 49 percent from a high of more than 18,000.]]>