What Home Looks Like in 2015

//What Home Looks Like in 2015

Chase Hamblin, Elder Street Artist Lofts

Chase Hamblin_ESAL

“The location is great. The rent is great. The community is great. There is nothing like this building in Houston – I couldn’t ask for a better place to live.”

Chase Hamblin, musician and songwriter, has been a resident of the Elder Street Artist Lofts for the past eight years. Avenue CDC helps artists like Chase pursue their passions and thrive in Houston. Photo by Mike Unger


Charles Sapp, Fit Beat Kidz, Washington Courtyard Apartments

KidsBeatz__Washington Courtyard

Charles Sapp created Fit Beat Kidz, a non-profit organization that facilitates dance and leadership programming for youth at various Avenue CDC developments. Avenue CDC provides supportive services for youth, families and seniors at all of their multifamily homes. https://www.facebook.com/fitbeatkidz Photo by Janet Roe.


Joseph Cormier, Fulton Gardens

Joseph Cormier_Fulton Gardens

“I was looking to better my living conditions and that’s when I found Fulton Gardens. It is an opportunity to make your life better.”

Fulton Gardens is an affordable housing development for seniors located in the heart of the Near Northside. Joseph Cormier, VP and Treasurer of the Residents Council, explains that living here gives him a sense of independence. There is currently a year-and-a half waiting list for Fulton Gardens, underlining the need for this kind of housing. Avenue CDC creates affordable housing options for low-income seniors. (Photo by Janet Roe)

Phelps Family, Avenue Place

Phelps Family_Avenue Place

“There is fairly accurate representation of Houston in this little neighborhood. All races and ages can be found here. Retirees, lawyers, school teachers, stay-at-home moms. Any kind of lifestyle can be found in Avenue Place – and that is really amazing.” 

Avenue Place is a vibrant mixed-income affordable housing community currently comprised of 48 single-family homes that will eventually grow to 95 homes. Located in the heart of the Near Northside, the neighborhood draws a diverse group of residents. Avenue CDC’s affordable housing initiatives include pre- and post-purchase homebuyer education and counseling. Photo by Janet Roe

Patrick McIlvain, Avenue CDC rental home

Patrick McIlvain_Rental Home

“I was extremely worried of my future – I am low-income, living on food stamps, military veteran. Because of Avenue CDC I am able to have this private little area that no one knows about. I am able to let my imagination for the Walk grow in my living space. It is just a really empowering area for me. It is joyful, I have my freedom back.”

Patrick McIlvain, founder of Houston Walk for Mental Health, lives in a renovated, free-standing affordable rental home located in the Near Northside. Avenue CDC strives to improve the quality and quantity of affordable rental housing for low-income Houstonians. Photo by Janet Roe

 Janie Corpus- Chavez, Fulton Gardens

Janie Corpus-Chavez_Fulton Gardens

“There is a strong sense of community here. We all are willing to help out our neighbors.”

Janie Corpus-Chavez, a Near Northside native, snagged a room on the fourth floor – “the Penthouse” as she prefers to call it – at Fulton Gardens, an affordable independent-living senior development, as soon as it was established in the heart of her neighborhood. Finding affordable housing was essential for Janie to continue thriving in Houston. Avenue CDC provides affordable housing options for very-low income seniors on fixed incomes. Photo by Janet Roe

Margaret Lejeune, Elder Street Artist Lofts 

Margaret Lejeune_ESAL (1)

“This building is so unique. I have met the most amazing people living here and the most wonderful artists working hard at their craft. Since I have moved in here, I have been able to focus on my music and I wouldn’t be able to do that if I did not live here. I know when I look back, living here will be the best experience in my life.”

Margaret Lejeune, member of musical performing ensemble Two Star Symphony, has lived in the Elder Street Artist Lofts – formerly Jeff Davis Hospital – for a decade. Avenue CDC is dedicated to creating unique housing alternatives while simultaneously protecting Houston’s history and culture. Photo by Mike Unger

Monica Kressman- Luna, Elder Street Artist Lofts

Monica Kressman-Luna_ESAL (2)

“There is an amazing sense of community here.”

Monica Kressman-Luna, a photographer, transformed her apartment into a photo studio where she is able to focus on her craft. The Elder Street Artist Lofts is a historic site that has been transformed into affordable rental housing. Avenue CDC, in partnership with Artspace Projects Inc., completed the rehabilitation of this historic structure in 2005. Photo by Mike Unger


Ludmila Ivanova – Elder Street Artist Lofts

Ludmila Ivanova_ESAL

“We are like one large family. Everyone in the building looks out for one another. We really want to see each other succeed.”

Ludmila Ivanova, a jewelry artist originally from Bulgaria, moved into the Elder Street Artist Lofts ten years ago. The loft development is a historic site that was transformed into affordable rental housing. Avenue CDC creates unique solutions to the challenge of affordable housing in Houston. Photo by Mike Unger


Felix Flores, Fulton Gardens

Felix Flores_Fulton Gardens

“I’m very comfortable in Fulton Gardens; this is the best apartment I have ever lived in. I would recommend this apartment to anyone, matter of fact, I have!”

Felix Flores, a Near Northside native, needed a more affordable housing situation and found Fulton Gardens, affordable housing for seniors, strategically placed next to the Near Northside’s light rail line. As an active senior, Felix utilizes the public transportation to get around town. Fulton Gardens helps seniors like Felix continue living an active lifestyle and maintaining their dignity and independence. Photo by Janet Roe

Annie Stephens, Fulton Gardens

Annie Stephen_Fulton Gardens

“Everyone is very nice; we are a real close-knit community. I make sure to talk to everyone in the building.”

Annie Stephens, originally from Shreveport LA, moved to the Near Northside nearly 55 years ago. After retirement, it was essential for Annie to downsize from her house to a one-bedroom apartment – that’s when she found Fulton Gardens. She remains active by participating in exercise classes and activities available to residents. Developments like Fulton Gardens helps seniors live healthy, independent lifestyles. Photo by Janet Roe

 Sarah Clausen and Jeff Calvillo, Avenue Place

Sarah and Jeff_Avenue Place

“It is a little taste of the suburbs but still close to downtown. It is a really welcoming neighborhood – such a great atmosphere to be a part of.” 

Newly engaged couple, Sarah and Jeff, recently moved to Avenue Place from the East Downtown area. Located in the heart of the Near Northside, Avenue Place is a vibrant affordable housing community. Avenue CDC transforms vacant industrial properties into viable affordable homes and communities, including adding a park and trail to Avenue Place. Photo by Janet Roe

Schultz Family, Avenue CDC rental home

Schultz Family_Rental Home

“Our backyard is so big my brother and I can play all kinds of sports!”

Hope Schultz and her two boys, LaDaninian, 10 and Damion, 12, live in one of Avenue CDC’s renovated, free-standing rental homes in the Near Northside. Finding an affordable, stable home for her family has given Hope a sense of comfort and security. Avenue CDC provides quality affordable rental housing for low-income families in the inner loop of Houston. Photo by Mike Unger

Douglas Lopez, Avenue Place

Douglas Lopez_Avenue Place

“The neighborhood is very close to downtown, which was key and crucial in my home search. Public transit is easy and accessible from the neighborhood – which is great.”  

Douglas Lopez, a healthcare administrator, lives in a market-rate home in Avenue Place. The housing community is located three miles north of downtown Houston. Affordable housing, such as the homes provided by Avenue CDC, allows Houstonians to thrive in a safe and happy environment. Photo by Janet Roe

Merry Nolan, Elder Street Artist Lofts

Merry Nolan_ESAL

“Everyone is willing to share with one another. We are like one large family”

Merry Nolan, a retired librarian and mixed media artist, started a book exchange at Elder Street Artist Lofts. Nestled outside her apartment door sits a shelving unit with many books for residents to choose from. Affording housing communities developed by Avenue CDC help residents live happy and healthy lives. Photo by Mike Unger

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Awards and Recognition

• 2013 Urban Land Institute of Houston Development of Distinction Award Finalist (Non-Profit Category) – Fulton Gardens

• 2009 Regional Energy Star Award for Excellence in Energy Efficient Affordable Housing from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development

• 2007 Historic Rehabilitation Award for the Elder Street Artist Lofts from Preservation Texas

• 2006 Outstanding Service Award from the Mayor’s Anti Gang Office Northside Village Week and Seed

• 2006 Good Brick Award from the Greater Houston Preservation Alliance for the renovation of the Old Jefferson Davis Hospital, a 2005 Good Brick Award for restoration of nine historic rental units, and 2000 Good Brick Award for our Move Home program;

• 2005 Good Brick Award for the Summer Street Project

• 2002 Citation of Honor from AIA Houston;

• 2002 Citation of Honor from Texas Society of Architects;

• 2001 Houston Mayor’s Office Brownfields Clean-Up Award;

• 2001-2002 Honorable Mention for Fannie Mae Foundation’s Maxwell Award of Excellence for Washington Courtyards;

• 2001 Honorable Mention for the Appraisal Institute’s Award for Community Enhancement for Washington Courtyards;

• 2000 Certificate of Congressional Recognition on the Grand Opening Celebration of Washington Courtyards from the office of Sheila Jackson Lee, Member of Congress

• 2000 Best Non Profit from the Houston Press.