Jack Kemp Excellence in Affordable and Workforce Housing Awards 2018 Winner: Avenue Place/Avenue Terrace
July 25, 2018
Avenue Place/Avenue Terrace is nestled in the heart of Near Northside, a dense, tightly-knit largely Hispanic community in Houston, Texas. Northside residents face serious challenges: the unemployment and poverty rates are both higher than the city averages, and the median household income is well below the city median. Almost 12,000 residents live in substandard housing that is overcrowded and/or without plumbing, and 62% of renters spend more than 30% of their income on housing.
Due to Houston’s sustained population growth, developers are taking advantage of the relatively low property values, redeveloping lots that are priced beyond the reach of current residents. Avenue Place/Avenue Terrace preserves affordability and strengthens the neighborhood by converting 20 acres of industrial wasteland into a thriving mixed-income community for 287 households near public transportation, a walking trail and park.
Avenue Place Park and Trail represent a tangible investment in recreation and green space which is critical to the health and well-being of the area’s residents. The park is landscaped with shade trees and grassy areas. The broad, paved community trail is approximately a quarter of a mile long, starting at the east side of Avenue Terrace Apartments, crossing through the Avenue Place subdivision and connecting to a city park on one end and an elementary school playground at the other. Neighborhood resources include a YMCA, public library and a recreation center. Residents of Avenue Place are able to take advantage of Metro’s North Corridor rail line which connects to downtown Houston, and have ready access to light rail and bus routes.
The design and materials were chosen to incorporate economically-feasible green building practices that promote sustainability, health and reduction of waste. Throughout the pre-development phase of the project there was a focus on lowering utility consumption and costs for residents. Other sustainable elements include landscaping designed for the local climate, which reduce water usage and require less maintenance, and carpet made with 30% recycled material.
The project embodies Avenue’s holistic approach to its mission and grew in direct response to a need voiced by low- to middle-income residents in Near Northside for the elimination of the industrial land use, and the addition of quality affordable housing with green spaces.
Location: Houston, TX
Developer & Owner: Avenue
Partners: Capital One Bank; City of Houston; Community Bank of Texas; Houston Endowment; Houston Parks and Recreation Department; Houston Housing Finance Corporation; Hudson Housing; National Equity Fund; NeighborWorks America; Wells Fargo; Wortham Foundation