Housing and Community Development Department

Press Release

Housing And Community Development Celebrates National Homeownership Month

June 24, 2024 -- Houston, Texas -- In celebration of National Homeownership Month, the City of Houston Housing and Community Development (HCD) Department is proud to spotlight the transformative initiatives of its Single-Family Division.

“Dedicated to turning the aspiration of homeownership into a tangible reality for many, the Single-Family Division champions several impactful programs, including the New Home Development (NHDP), Community Housing Development Organizations (CHDO), Affordable Home Development (AHDP), and Homebuyer Assistance (HAP) programs,” said Assistant Director Cedrick LaSane, City of Houston Housing and Community Development Single Family program. “These initiatives serve as pillars of support, empowering families to take significant steps toward homeownership.”

Launched in 2018, HCD’s New Home Development Program focuses on creating newly constructed, affordable single-family homes for low-to-moderate-income homebuyers earning at or below 80% Area Media Income (AMI). Dedicated to revitalizing neighborhoods such as Acres Home, Settegast, Sunnyside, Fifth Ward, and Third Ward, the NHDP has successfully completed 84 homes to date, furthering the city’s commitment to accessible homeownership and community enhancement.

“Homeownership was very important for me to bring consistency to myself and my son. a sense of peace. It is a place to build life-lasting memories and something that my son will always be able to enjoy whether he returns after college or just for future generations to come,” said Ilene Martin, Agape Homes homebuyer. “Affordable housing created the drive I needed to feel as though it was really something that was tangible to obtain. Now we have a community to be involved with, to make an impact by helping in whatever ways we can.”

Building on this foundation, HCD launched the Community Housing Development Organizations program in 2020. It is a testament to HCD’s commitment to inclusivity. This program collaborates with smaller, nonprofit, community-based developers to create high-quality, sustainable Energy Star-certified affordable single-family homes. Compared to other contractors, CHDOs tailor their designs to meet the specific needs of pre-determined homeowners, fostering a personalized approach to housing development. This collaborative approach offers a broader range of affordable housing options and extends homeownership opportunities to families earning less than 80% AMI. Our partners, A Caring Safe Place Home Builders and Change Happens CDC, have completed 13 homes, while our newest CHDO partner, Heart of Houston, is currently in the “permitting” phase.

“We appreciate our partnership with the City of Houston for the opportunity to become a CHDO, which gives developers such as A Caring Safe Place Home Builders a chance to be part of a vast community effort to make a real difference in the lives of first-time homebuyers,” said Reverend Stanley Phill, A Caring Safe Place Home Builders. “Our slogan is to “build quality, affordable homes with a personal touch,” and we do this in disenfranchised, gentrified communities. Because of our partnership and subsidies with the City of Houston, our buyers have equity once the project is closed, and they turn the key to their new home.”

"One of the greatest achievements in life is homeownership. Change Happens CDC and the City of Houston have partnered to help people reach this plateau of homeownership," said Leslie Smith of Change Happens CDC. "One way this is achieved is by building affordable homes, allowing people who would not normally be able to afford a home to build generational wealth."

Our newest program, the Affordable Home Development program, which started in 2021, represents a pioneering effort by HCD to enhance the urban landscape. Through this initiative, HCD partners with developers to build new, affordable, disaster-resilient, energy-efficient homes throughout Houston! By providing financial support for eligible projects, the City enables developers to offer these homes to program-qualified Houstonians at or below 120% of the AMI. Impressively, the AHDP has already facilitated the construction of 868 homes, investing a total of $17.4 million in the future of Houston’s housing inventory.

Adding another layer to our comprehensive housing strategy, the Homebuyer Assistance Program (HAP) provides qualified homebuyers with up to $50,000 in downpayment assistance. Since its inception, HAP has helped and empowered 1046 first-time homebuyers, distributing $29.1 million to assist with down payments and closing costs.

“We recognize that salaries often do not reflect actual living costs. Yet that should never prohibit Houstonians from achieving the dream of homeownership,” said Director Michael Nichols, City of Houston Housing and Community Development. “Our programs are designed to bridge the gap and assist a diverse range of individuals in building generational wealth through homeownership.”

As we celebrate National Homeownership Month, these programs exemplify HCD’s comprehensive approach to fostering accessible, sustainable homeownership. We are dedicated to building a stronger community and look forward to further enhancing our impact and enriching the lives of all Houstonians. We invite residents interested in learning more about our programs and services to visit our website.

The City of Houston Housing and Community Development (HCD) department makes long-term investments to improve 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 invest approximately $450 million in federal, state, and local funds 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 http://houstontx.gov/housing.