The City of Houston will invest more than $52 million in federal Harvey Recovery Program funds toward developing 624 affordable rental homes, the Housing and Community Development Department announced today.
Six developers have been selected for the first round of funding under the Harvey Recovery Program, with another $40 million in recommended awards to be announced later this month.
“Houston is a majority-renter city,” said Housing and Community Development Director Tom McCasland. “Creating more than 600 rental homes and ensuring that they are affordable for the long-term is going to help hundreds of families keep their housing costs down.”
In each of the six new developments, at least half of the units will be reserved for low- to moderate-income renters. Rents will be capped at rates established by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development and range from 60 to 90% of market rates. Construction is targeted to begin in early 2020, with the first units to be completed in 2021. The Department maintains a list of all properties in Houston with designated affordable units on its website at https://houstontx.gov/housing/City_of_Houston_Assisted_Properties.pdf
The Department currently oversees more than 5,000 affordable units throughout the city. Prospective renters should work through leasing offices to identify available units. Check the Housing and Community Development Department website for updates at https://www.houstontx.gov/housing/multifamily_housing.html, or call 832-394-6200 with questions.
The City signed an agreement with the Texas General Land Office in January for $1.3 billion to fund housing recovery efforts post-Hurricane Harvey. Of these funds, $350 million is budgeted for multifamily rental development.
Fifty-nine developers responded to the program with proposals, a record-high number from developers interested in building high-quality, affordable rental homes in Houston.
“Too many Houstonians are rent-burdened,” said Ray Miller, Assistant Director for Multifamily and Public Services, who led the selection review. “With this disaster recovery funding, we’re able to fund new developments resilient to future flooding and in desirable areas within the urban core, near employment centers, close to highly rated school, and accessible to transit options.”
Five of the selected projects represent new construction. One development, Bellfort Park Apartments, is an apartment complex that provides affordable housing options that will be upgraded to preserve affordability for decades to come.
In April, Mayor Turner announced new Worker Protection Measures for multifamily development projects that will protect workers on each of the selected projects. These measures were the result of negotiations with labor rights advocates and the Gulf Coast AFL-CIO. “The City is exercising its right to make sure that workers who build federally-funded affordable homes in Houston can work safely and afford homes of their own,” said Mayor Turner at the April launch event.
Read more details in the full press release.