Avenue Named Among 13 Finalists for National Award Honoring Outstanding Achievement in Affordable Housing and Community Development
HOUSTON – (July 23, 2018) – Avenue, a local nonprofit organization dedicated to building affordable homes and strengthening communities, has been selected as a finalist for the 2018 Jack Kemp Excellence in Affordable and Workforce Housing Award given by the Urban Land Institute (ULI) Terwilliger Center for Housing. The award honors exemplary developments that preserve affordability for people at multiple income levels, specifically households earning less than 120 percent of the area median income (AMI).
As a finalist, Avenue has been recognized for two affordable communities in its robust development portfolio – Avenue Place, a 95-unit single-family subdivision, and Avenue Terrace, a 192-unit multifamily complex – both situated on a 20-acre parcel in Houston’s historic Near Northside community.
“We are honored to be recognized by ULI for our work to preserve affordability in our communities. Although Houston has developed a reputation as one of the more affordable major metros in the country, Houstonians continue to face escalating housing costs that are compromising affordability for low and moderate-income families,” said Mary Lawler, executive director at Avenue. “As we continue to navigate our city’s ongoing affordability crisis, it is critical that we invest in housing solutions like Avenue Place and Avenue Terrace that are not just affordable, but also enhance residents’ quality of life and allow families to grow and thrive.”
Located just minutes from Downtown Houston, Avenue Place and Avenue Terrace provide working families safe, quality affordable homes in the heart of the city’s urban core. At Avenue Place, 49 of the 85 homes currently constructed are restricted to homeowners making 120 percent or less of the Area Median Income (AMI), while 162 of Avenue Terrace’s 192 units are restricted to renters making 80 percent or less of the AMI. Low and moderate-income homebuyers at Avenue Place may also be eligible to receive Down Payment Assistance (DPA) through Avenue, which is available to income-eligible families earning 120 percent or less of the AMI.
In addition to affordable living, Avenue Place and Avenue Terrace also offer residents access to a variety of on-site support services, including after-school programs and community enrichment initiatives. The communities are also situated in close proximity to several neighborhood landmarks including the community park and walking trails at Avenue Place, M.D. Anderson YMCA, Carnegie Library, Irvington Park, Moody Park and Recreation Center, and the METRO North Corridor rail line, which connects the Greater Northside community with key districts including Downtown Houston, the Museum District and Texas Medical Center.
In announcing the finalists, Terwilliger Center Founder and Chairman J. Ronald Terwilliger highlighted the significant role that affordable development plays in strengthening communities and emphasized the benefits that these developments offer the surrounding neighborhood.
“Through the Kemp Award, we are raising awareness of the critical role that affordable housing plays in creating successful communities,” Terwilliger said. “These are the types of real estate projects that are often the hardest to pull together, but at the same time, the most inspiring to complete. The finalists for this year’s award demonstrate that affordable and workforce housing is achievable in a wide range of markets, providing economic and social benefits that extend far beyond the developments.”
Established in 2008, the Jack Kemp Excellence in Affordable and Workforce Housing Award is named in memory of Jack Kemp, a former secretary of the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) and national advisory board member at the Terwilliger Center. The annual award is given to affordable and workforce housing communities that demonstrate outstanding achievements in a variety of areas, including innovative financing and building technologies, affordability, quality of design, proximity to employment centers and transportation hubs, involvement of public/private partnerships and replicability of the development, in addition to other criteria.
In recent years, Avenue, a HUD-certified agency, has constructed several affordable homes in Houston – specifically the greater Northside community. In Near Northside, Avenue has also developed Fulton Gardens I and Fulton Gardens II, senior apartment developments with a combined 88 units that are situated along the METRORail; and Avenue Station, a 68-unit multifamily complex. In the adjacent Northline neighborhood, Avenue recently announced Avenue Meadows, a new 10-unit single-family development targeted to low and moderate-income homebuyers. These developments offer Houstonians affordable housing prices, as well as access to a variety of amenities, including after school programs and community enrichment opportunities.
For more information about Avenue’s community development and revitalization efforts visit, https://www.avenuecdc.org/.
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.