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 incorporating 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 elevations, materials, and layouts that align with these objectives.

The designs of each home will address:

  1. Elevated foundations
  2. Energy STAR-certified
  3. Fortified roof structures
  4. Improved windows and doors
  5. A strong continuous load path connection
  6. Embrace sustainable landscape design principles
Now Accepting Proposals

The Community Housing Development Organization (CHDO) Program accepts 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.

If your firm has a unique idea for which proposal submission may be the right approach, please submit the information electronically to

Interested in becoming a CHDO?

Get started with a training course offered by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). To learn more, please call us at 832-394-6200 or refer to other resources published by HUD .

Submissions must include:
  1. Name of the applicant
  2. HCDD program area
  3. Date of submission
  4. Description of project
  5. Amount of financing requested
  6. Site location (if applicable)

Unsolicited proposals will be disclosed in the form of an application log on HCD’s website.

View Unsolicited Proposals

Information for Homebuyers

If you are a potential homebuyer looking to purchase, there are some early steps you can take:

  1. 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 .
  2. Qualify for a fixed-rate (not adjustable-rate or seller-financed) mortgage. We ask for a pre-approval letter from a lender.
  3. 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 start your home process, please contact the Realtor associated with the specific CHDO you would like to purchase a home through.

Current Certified CHDOs:

A Caring Safe Place

Located in Fifth Ward, A Caring Safe Place was founded in 1997. Their work focuses on crisis intervention and bringing services and programs to HIV-affected individuals. A Caring Safe Place offers immediate services and manages transitional and permanent housing.

CHDO Contact: Reverend Stanley E. Phill, Executive Director

Phone: 713-225-5441

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 it 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

Phone: 713-374-1290

Heart of Houston CDC, Inc.

Heart of Houston CDC was formed in 2020 as a nonprofit dedicated to building 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

Phone: 832-978-3377


Frequently Asked Questions - For Organizations

Q: Are there formal guidelines for the CHDO Program?
A: Yes, download the Program Guidelines here .

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. Department of Housing & Urban Development (HUD). You can find information on these regulations in the Electronic Code of Federal Regulations (Part 92: Subpart G)

Q: Can I get tax-exempt status for my organization?
A: Yes. Visit the U.S. Internal Revenue Service 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 working on projects funded by HOME funds. For recertification documents, please contact us directly.

Key Documents

Name Description View
CHDO Program Guidelines Overview and Qualifications for the CHDO program. View
CHDO Certification Application Official Application Packet for CHDO Certification View
Requirements for CHDOs Requirements to see if your organization qualifies as a CHDO. View