Midtown Redefines How Affordable Housing Needs are Met
(photo by Cole Klein Builders)
Midtown Redevelopment Authority (MRA) and the Center for Civic and Public Policy Improvement (CCPPI) are setting a new standard in Houston for economic, community and housing development with their 100 Homes Initiative in the OST/South Union Center neighborhood. For years, the approach to affordable housing has been to scatter homes one at a time throughout existing subdivisions. MRA and CCPPI are turning that thinking upside down with their plans for single-family homes built altogether. The name of the program is a little bit of a misnomer because more than 130 homes are already moving forward in Third Ward, the Martin Luther King Blvd area and Palmetto Place – an existing subdivision in the OST/South Union neighborhood. These are planned communities in sought-after neighborhoods near METRORail and key Houston landmarks such as MacGregor Park, the Park at Palm Center, the Texans YMCA, The Medical Center, Texas Southern University and the University of Houston.
Prices will range between $190,000 and $230,000, making them affordable to low- and moderate-income families.
“This is workforce housing near public transportation and jobs. It checks all the boxes for families needing affordable housing options. We are really happy about that.” said Todd Edwards, MRA Real Estate Manager.
In addition to the single-family homes, MRA is also planning multi-family rental housing on two lots along Chaco St.
Even after all these projects are completed, Edwards estimates MRA will still have more than 400 parcels of land left to develop. The agency has been acquiring land for the specific purpose of developing affordable housing for more than two decades. Due to their efforts, the dream of owning a home is within reach for hundreds of Houston families that might otherwise be shut out of the local housing market.
There are another 76 single-family homes under construction by various private and nonprofit developers who are working with MRA. Also, 20 affordably-priced apartments will be included as part of the citywide Affordable Housing Operations Center (AHOC) on Emancipation Avenue in Third Ward.
The AHOC will serve as a home base for a broad group of organizations engaged in all aspects of affordable housing. At present, there is no centrally located public facility that houses all these groups together in one building.
Check back here for project updates and to learn how to qualify as a buyer of one of these affordable homes.