FIRST AFFORDABLE HOUSING COMMUNITY TO BREAK GROUND SINCE COVID-19
New Hope Housing Building Community for Working Poor Families
HOUSTON — Jason lost his job during the COVID-19 pandemic. As the country began to shut down to curb the spread of the virus, businesses closed, some permanently. Many people lost their jobs. They then lost their ability to afford their rent, among other basic essentials. Jason – like many others – now faces eviction and the possibility of becoming homeless. He does not know where to turn for help.
New Hope Housing responds to that call for help. As one of the nation’s foremost providers of permanent, affordable and supportive housing, the organization celebrates the groundbreaking of its 10th community, New Hope Housing Avenue J. Located at 5220 Avenue J in Houston’s vibrant, culturally-rich East End, it will offer an affordable option in a rapidly gentrifying neighborhood with escalating rental rates. It will most appeal to those with low incomes, including working poor families and those on a fixed income.
The transit-oriented development will be close to job opportunities and many nearby amenities, including a grocery store, pharmacy, library, public parks, hike & bike trail and schools. The property will feature an upper-level terrace with play equipment, seating areas and a panoramic view of downtown Houston. Many of the living units will face the downtown skyline. The property will be an energy-efficient, sustainable development.
New Hope Housing assists individuals like Jason; those who struggle to survive in today’s economy of high housing costs and overwhelming layoffs. Over its 27 years, New Hope Housing has helped nearly 10,000 men, women and children live in high-quality, affordable housing and have access to life-enhancing support services.
Without this type of housing that fosters a safe and nurturing environment, many of the residents would be homeless or living in substandard conditions. Occupants of New Hope Housing’s properties include the working poor, formerly homeless, veterans, the elderly, the chronically ill, people with cognitive and physical impairments, and those overcoming substance abuse.
All of New Hope Housing’s properties provide critical on-site support and recovery services to help residents gain stability and remain in housing. Support services include case management, access to mental health care, legal assistance, health and nutritional counseling, financial education and life-skills training, and in some instances, rental supports.
“New Hope Housing Avenue J is an important step toward meeting our commitment to increasing housing opportunities for all Houstonians,” said Mayor Sylvester Turner. “This is especially critical now as we endure a health pandemic. We know housing is foundational for health and healing. Having a home is the beginning of having good healthcare. We commend New Hope’s efforts to further the hopes and aspirations of all Houstonians.”
Designed by Kirksey, an award-winning Houston- and Austin-based architecture firm, New Hope Housing Avenue J will offer 100 one- and two-bedroom apartment homes. Each will feature a full kitchen with granite countertops, quality cabinetry and a washer and dryer. Residents will enjoy the social engagement room, community dining room with a warming kitchen, business center and covered parking. Monthly rental rates will range from approximately $450 to $1,000, based on income and availability. Camden Builders is partnering on its ninth project with New Hope Housing as the contractor.
“Houston’s reputation for housing affordability is rapidly disappearing. And the loss of affordability falls heaviest on renter households,” said Joy Horak-Brown, president and CEO. “New Hope Housing continues to be an invaluable partner in Houston’s pursuit of alleviating and preventing homelessness. We must power forward with increasing speed to offer Housing + Services to more people like Jason.”
The Avenue J capital fundraising campaign is 92% complete. Additional grants and contributions are needed. Major donors to date include: Housing Tax Credit equity allocated through the Texas Department of Housing and Community Affairs (TDHCA) and invested by BBVA Compass through National Equity Fund, Inc.; Housing and Community Development Department of the City of Houston; Laura and John Arnold; The Cullen Foundation; The Powell Foundation; The Brown Foundation, Inc.; John P. McGovern Foundation.