Avenue Opens Housing Recovery Center to Help Harvey-Impacted Houstonians

Partnership with Capital One, JPMorgan Chase & Hurricane Harvey Relief Fund Helps Address Unmet

HOUSTON – (November 14, 2017) – Avenue, a Houston-based non-profit dedicated to building affordable homes and strengthening communities, has announced the opening of its new Housing Recovery Center to help meet unmet needs for Houstonians affected or displaced by Hurricane Harvey.

Made possible through a lease partnership with Capital One and funding from JPMorgan Chase and the Hurricane Harvey Relief Fund, Avenue’s Housing Recovery Center offers a comprehensive education and counseling program to help homeowners and renters affected by flooding secure the information, tools and resources they need to navigate the home recovery process. The facility is staffed by three counselors, one health navigator, one case manager from an assistance ministry, and a team dedicated to home repairs.

“Hurricane Harvey damaged tens of thousands of homes in the Greater Houston area. Having spent more than 25 years serving Houston’s communities, Avenue understands that stable, affordable housing is essential to the educational success of children and physical and mental well-being of families,” said Mary Lawler, executive director of Avenue. “We are grateful to our partners for their generous support as we work to get families back into their homes as soon as possible.”

Situated in Houston’s Near Northside at 2804 Fulton St., the Housing Recovery Center is located in lease space donated by Capital One, which also provided a grant to build out the necessary offices and classroom space. The Housing Recovery Center functions as an extension of Avenue’s existing Homeownership Center, which adapted its services to focus on disaster support in the immediate aftermath of Harvey. The new facility is a significant expansion for the HUD-certified agency, offering roughly 4,000 square feet of space for a host of support services, including DIY classes for budget-conscious homeowners to conduct non-permitted, but important, home repairs like dry wall installation.

In early October, Avenue was announced as one of the initial recipients of the Hurricane Harvey Relief Fund established by Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner and Harris County Judge Ed Emmett.  The Hurricane Harvey Relief Fund, administered by the Greater Houston Community Foundation (GHCF), allocated $300,000 to Avenue to help fund disaster, housing recovery and home repair services.

“The Hurricane Harvey Relief Fund is proud to support Avenue as they launch the Housing Recovery Center,” said Renee Wizig-Barrios, senior vice president and chief philanthropy officer for GHCF. “This facility will play a vital role in our community for those impacted and displaced by Hurricane Harvey. Avenue has a proven track record of effectively helping Houstonians access affordable housing in times of need.”

In addition to the Hurricane Harvey Relief Fund, Avenue was also the recipient of a generous $200,000 grant from JPMorgan Chase, which has helped support Housing Recovery Center counselors. Lawler noted that these funds have played a critical role in helping Avenue expand its service capacity, which was tested during the immediate aftermath of Harvey.

All flood-affected Houstonians, regardless of income, can access the Housing Recovery Center’s education and counseling services. Avenue estimates that the new facility will assist approximately 1,000 people for the year in classes and another 600 in counseling, with an additional 200 to 500 households receiving assistance for home repairs, depending on funding.

The first step in accessing these support services is to visit www.avenuecdc.org/housing-recovery-services to register for a free two-hour Housing Recovery Workshop. Avenue’s Housing Recovery Center is open Monday through Friday, 8:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. All meetings and workshops require an appointment.

 

About Avenue

Avenue’s mission is to build affordable homes and strengthen communities. The organization enhances the quality of life of working families and works to promote healthy, vibrant and economically diverse neighborhoods that are essential to Houston’s future as a world-class city. Avenue develops homes for purchase and rent as well as provides homebuyer education and counseling to help working families buy and maintain their own homes. They promote economic development and offer supportive services such as computer labs, after-school programs, and nutrition, fitness, and financial literacy classes that enrich the lives of the individuals and families they serve. Avenue is a member of the nationwide NeighborWorks® Network of more than 245 community development organizations working in nearly 4,358 urban, suburban and rural communities across America. Connect with Avenue on Facebook: http://bit.ly/FBAvenueCDC and Twitter: https://twitter.com/AvenueCDC.

About Greater Houston Community Foundation

Greater Houston Community Foundation (GHCF) is one of Houston's largest grant makers and provides individuals, families, corporations, foundations, and advisors with the ability to reach beyond what they could have ever imagined to expand philanthropic impact. After receiving an overwhelming number of inquiries from citizens and companies who want to help, Mayor Sylvester Turner and County Judge Ed Emmett have established the Hurricane Harvey Relief Fund that will accept tax deductible flood relief donations for victims that have been affected by the recent floods. The Hurricane Harvey Relief Fund is administered by the Greater Houston Community Foundation, a 501(c)(3) public charity.

About JPMorgan Chase

JPMorgan Chase is the largest financial institution in Houston, with more than 200 local branches and more than 6,400 Houston employees. The bank serves more than 1 million local customers and many of the top corporations and leading institutions across our city. Nationwide, Chase serves nearly half of America's households with a broad range of financial services, including personal banking, business lending, mortgages, credit cards, auto financing and investment advice. The bank has contributed more than $5.5 million in grants, donations and employee giving to provide immediate relief to victims of Hurricane Harvey.

About Capital One

Capital One Financial Corporation, headquartered in McLean, Virginia, is a Fortune 500 company with branch locations primarily in New York, New Jersey, Texas, Louisiana, Maryland, Virginia, and the District of Columbia. Its subsidiaries, which include Capital One, N.A., and Capital One Bank (USA), N.A., offer a broad spectrum of financial products and services to consumers, small businesses and commercial clients through a variety of channels. Capital One applies the same principles of innovation, collaboration and empowerment in its commitment to its communities across the country that it does in its business. Capital One recognizes that helping to build strong and healthy communities -- good places to work, good places to do business and good places to raise families -- benefits us all, and Capital One is proud to support this and other community initiatives.

 

HOUSTON November 14, 2017

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