Avenue breaks ground on affordable apartments in Oak Forest

Houston Chronicle, December 23, 2020

Avenue, a Houston nonprofit focused on building affordable homes, has started construction on Avenue on 34th, a mixed-income apartment community in the Oak Forest neighborhood. A groundbreaking was held last week.

The four-story project, being built on 2.1 acres at 2136 West 34th St., will deliver 70 units in mid-2022. The site for decades housed Doyle's Restaurant.

The project will offer 56 units at below market rates for families making $35,000 to $65,000 annually, according to Avenue. It will rent 14 units at unrestricted market rates.

The project is being developed through a mix of public and private funding, including 4 percent low-income housing tax credits through the Texas Department of Housing and Community Affairs. Amegy Bank serves as the project's primary lender, with other financing coming from Houston Housing Finance Corp., the City of Houston Housing and Community Development Department and Hunt Capital Partners through its HCP 41 multi-investor fund.

Lawler said the United Way of Greater Houston’s ALICE report found nearly 25 percent of the nearly 11,000 households in Oak Forest’s 77018 ZIP code struggle to make ends meet. ALICE (Asset-Limited, Income-Constrained, Employed) families have incomes above the federal poverty level, but insufficient to cover necessities such as housing, child care, food, transportation and health care.

Avenue on 34th will consist of 23 one-bedroom apartments, 27 two-bedroom apartments and 20 three-bedroom apartments. Sizes range from 706 square feet to 1,201 square feet.

Block Cos., the general contractor, will host a Community Day and Job Fair in February with information on construction jobs for the project. Other team members include Northfield Design Associates, Jones & Carter and Falon Land Studio.

Avenue on 34th will offer after-school tutoring for children and credit-building and homebuyer education programs for adults. Amenities will include Outdoor play space, learning center and activity room, business center and fitness room.

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