Community Housing Development Organization (CHDO) Program
Community Housing Development Organizations (CHDOs) are developers who complete new projects using funding from the federally-funded HOME program. In comparison to other contractors, CHDOs are community-based and design homes with the interest of pre-determined homeowners in mind.
In line with our commitment to sustainability and resilience, we encourage home designs that incorporate energy efficiency and innovative approaches to long-term sustainability and mitigation. Some property developments will also include Elder Cottage Housing Opportunity (ECHO) units. Each home design will prioritize elements such as elevations, materials, and layouts that align with these objectives.
The designs of each home will address:
- Elevated foundations
- Energy STAR certified
- Fortified roof structures
- Improved windows and doors
- A strong continuous load path connection
- Embrace sustainable landscape design principles
Now Accepting Proposals
The Community Housing Development Organization (CHDO) Program is accepting proposals, from non-profit organizations, that contribute new and innovative ideas consistent with the City of Houston Housing and Community Development Department’s mission. The non-profit organization must be an existing certified CHDO or seek qualification as a certified CHDO when submitting a proposal.
In the case that your firm has an unique idea for which submission of a proposal may be the right approach, please submit the information electronically to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Submissions must include:
- Name of the applicant;
- HCDD program area;
- Date of submission;
- Description of project;
- Amount of financing requested;
- Site location (if applicable);
Unsolicited proposals will be disclosed in the form of an application log on HCD’s website.
Information for Homebuyers
If you are a potential homebuyer looking to purchase, there are some early steps you can take:
- Take a first-time homebuyer education course (even if it isn’t your first time buying a home). You can find a qualifying class online .
- Qualify for a fixed-rate (not adjustable-rate or seller-financed) mortgage. We ask for a pre-approval letter from a lender.
- Make sure you meet other qualifications:
- Household income is less than 80% of Area Median Income .
- The home must be your primary residence for at least five years
The City of Houston only funds home development and does not sell the homes directly. To learn more, contact the groups directly.
Currently Certified CHDOs:
A Caring Safe Place
A Caring Safe Place was founded in 1997 and is located in Fifth Ward. Their work focuses on crisis intervention and bringing services and programs to HIV-affected individuals. A Caring Safe Place offers both immediate services and oversees both transitional and permanent housing.
CHDO Contact: Reverend Stanley E. Phill, Executive Director
Change Happens CDC
Change Happens CDC addresses the need for affordable housing by renovating and constructing single-family and multi-family homes for people in areas that are being gentrified. Hurricanes, flooding, and the abandonment of these houses make the homes uninhabitable, and now the COVID pandemic has made finding a home at an affordable price nearly impossible due to the booming housing market, which has led to increased property valuations and rising property taxes. The issues are compounded by dilapidated houses that become drug dens. Change Happens CDC is at the forefront of providing low-income housing to homebuyers and renters who would otherwise be unable to afford them and allowing residents who have lived in the area most of their lives to remain in the neighborhood.
Teamwork makes the dream work!
CHDO contact: Leslie Smith, CEO and Founder
Heart of Houston CDC, Inc.
Heart of Houston CDC was formed in 2020 as a nonprofit dedicated to build stronger sustainable communities with a focus on affordable housing for low- to moderate income families/individuals without regard to race, color, religion, gender (sex), disability (handicap), status, national origin, sexual orientation or gender identity of any prospective client, customer, or residents of any community.
CHDO contact: Aileen Mayberry, President/CEO
Frequently Asked Questions - For Organizations
Q: Are there formal guidelines for the CHDO Program?
A: Yes, you can download the Program Guidelines .
Q: What are the Federal Regulations required to work with the HOME Program and become a CHDO?
A: The work of CHDOs is set by the U.S. Housing & Urban Development Department (HUD). You can find information on these regulations at the Electronic Code of Federal Regulations (Part 92: Subpart G)
Q: Can I get tax-exempt status for my organization?
A: Yes. We suggest using resources at the IRS to find more information.
Q: Do I need to be recertified as a CHDO?
A: Yes, Community Housing Development Organizations must be recertified every two years. Also, developers are only designated as CHDOs while they are working on funded projects through HOME funding. For recertification documents, please contact us directly.