Building affordable homes and strengthening communities
We improve our communities to enhance the quality of life of working families, and to promote healthy, vibrant, and economically diverse neighborhoods to ensure Houston’s future as a worldclass city.
Avenue believes in the power of place. We know that home is more than a house or apartment. Home includes the community in which that house or apartment was built. Home includes the neighbors that live not just next door, but down around the block. Home is the school down the street, the store on the corner, the bus stop.
We also know that the state of one’s home, of one’s community, has a powerful impact on an individual’s health and well being. Zip code, as much as income level or genetic code, is one of the most powerful determinants of life expectancy and other health outcomes.
Therefore, Avenue seeks to improve the lives of Houstonians by investing in their neighborhoods. Using a place-based approach, we work directly with residents to identify needs, develop consensus on a vision for the future, and create action plans to get there. We build affordable housing, provide education and counseling to help families build wealth, and support communities in achieving the goals they set for themselves, in education, infrastructure, public safety, health, and more.
In 1991, a group of neighbors created an organization to develop affordable housing and preserve historic architecture in the Old Sixth Ward National Register Historic District, just northwest of Houston's downtown. Executive Director Mary Lawler joined as the first employee in 1996 and early accomplishments stirred interest for expansion into surrounding neighborhoods.
In 1999, the name of the organization was changed to Avenue Community Development Corporation to reflect its broader geographic scope, which included the First Ward (Houston’s Arts District) and Washington Avenue. Houston's Near Northside has been the focus of Avenue’s revitalization efforts since 2002, and work expanded in 2015 to include Northline, the contiguous neighborhood immediately to the north of Near Northside.
As Avenue’s target area has expanded, so has its vision and programming. Over the years, Avenue has incorporated additional lines of complementary programming including homebuyer education and financial coaching, economic development activities, and robust community building and engagement programs.
Through its collaborative, cross-sector approach, Avenue brings residents and local organizations together to identify and address critical local needs and build healthy, economically diverse neighborhoods. This work seeks to ensure Houston’s future as an inclusive, world-class city, a place we are all proud to call home.