Housing and Community Development Department

Press Release

City of Houston Partners with Mercato, Inc. to Prepare Independent Grocers for Online Ordering & Delivery

eCommerce solution will build capacity of neighborhood grocers and specialty food stores.

November 10, 2021 -- Mayor Sylvester Turner and City Council approved Wednesday the first developments in the new Harvey Recovery Small Rental Program. As part of the City’s long-term recovery strategy, the Program will build separate communities of up to seven apartments each throughout the city. In addition to providing options for low- and moderate-income families to live in rental homes that are smaller scale, and built to withstand future storms, all selected developments will be completed by community-based nonprofit organizations, helping Houston’s service providers build capacity.

“Our goals as a department are to make sure that Houstonians have the ability to choose where they want to live, and that communities can thrive,” said Keith Bynam, interim director of the City’s Housing and Community Development Department. “By funding development of smaller rental communities, we are making sure that affordable housing is available in different forms, assisting our nonprofit partners with critical financing and, at the same time, bolster their experience.”

The Harvey Recovery Small Rental Program is an innovative program conceived after Hurricane Harvey, specifically to address both the availability gap in smaller affordable rental communities and to help smaller developers build capacity. Nonprofit developers participating in the Program were selected through a competitive process and have all resources in place to begin work. The City of Houston, using disaster recovery dollars through HCD, is committing on average approximately $2 million for each development. The smaller scale of development means more options for land, less investment per project by the City, and offering Houstonians choice in residence size.

“There is no ‘one-size-fits-all’ approach to recovery,” said Mayor Sylvester Turner. “As we continue to rebuild our communities to be more resilient, we know that offering a variety of homes, both in size and style, is important for keeping things affordable and maintaining the character of a neighborhood.”

The Program anticipates spending a total of approximately $22.5 million across 13 small rental communities, resulting in a total of 86 affordable, sustainably-designed homes of varying size. Aside from directly creating housing, these nonprofit-developed communities will enhance the capacity of community-based organizations, allowing a greater focus on resident needs in the development space. More information about the program, including a map of all prospective developments, is available at https://recovery.houstontx.gov/hsrp/ . Look at HCD’s social media feeds @houstonhcdd for details on specific projects and news!

The City of Houston Housing and Community Development (HCD) makes long-term investments to better the lives of Houston residents by creating opportunities for every Houstonian to have a home they can afford in a community where they can thrive. Our department will spend approximately $450 million in federal, state, and local funding this fiscal year to construct and maintain affordable homes, reduce barriers to homeownership, support the work of social service providers, build public amenities, and facilitate disaster recovery efforts. Learn more about programs and resources for Houstonians at www.houstontx.gov/housing.