Houston/ Real Estate & Development
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Published on April 18, 2024
Houston Secures Future for Affordable Housing with HUD-Approved Post-Harvey Extensions and New DevelopmentsSource: Google Street View

In a move that may bolster long-forming plans for affordable housing in Houston, disaster assistance extensions have been granted following Hurricane Harvey's blow. The Department of Housing and Urban Development's decision is set to safeguard the city's initiative to create around 120 affordable homes in the southwest part of the city, a plan that was near disposal due to looming financial deadlines and market hurdles, as reported by the Houston Chronicle.

After the 2017 catastrophe, Houston had its coffers bolstered with a hefty $1.3 billion in federal funds for disaster recovery, part of which was earmarked for the acquisition and development of affordable housing land. Scrapping its former plan to sell the acquired land amid unfavorable market conditions drove city officials, the developments are now revived, as HUD waved a green flag for an extension. Uncorking the possibility for developers to step in and build the homes, Houston officials are banking on this lifeline, as Land Commissioner Dawn Buckingham disclosed to city council members that these plans on Stella Link Road, near NRG Stadium, are no longer on the chopping block.

The project, according to Mayor Pro Tem Martha Castex Tatum, resonates deeply with the community's aspirations for affordable homeownership, especially as the proposed development sits opposite the medical center. She told the Houston Chronicle, "So many of our constituents were looking forward to having an affordable single-family home in the city." The proposed homes will mainly service buyers making less than 80% of the area median income, making it a crucial step towards accessible housing.

Meanwhile, the Gulfton area of Houston witnesses the rise of a new affordable housing project. New Hope Housing, a nonprofit dedicated to constructing affordable living spaces, unwrapped its latest project named Savoy on Oct. 12, as reported by the Community Impact. The 120-unit complex caters to working families and individuals with modest incomes, boasting one-, two-, and three-bedroom apartments. Backed by a $750,000 Affordable Housing Program subsidy, Savoy represents the non-profit's continued commitment to resolving housing insecurity across Houston, with plans to introduce more such projects in 2025.

It's not all smooth sailing, as Buckingham brought to light some past missteps by the city, including subpar relocation efforts for residents in flood-prone apartment buyouts. Tackling the corrective measures, $45 million from city property sales plus an additional $11 million have been earmarked to resolve the problem, as Buckingham and Housing Director Mike Nichols said in a statement to the Houston Chronicle. Despite the setbacks, the pairing of Houston's efforts with New Hope Housing's new development in Gulfton signals a more secure future for affordable housing in the city.

Houston-Real Estate & Development