Texas GLO providing assistance for renters

Hurricane Harvey devastated many communities along the Texas coast, damaging or destroying numerous affordable housing complexes, but the Texas General Land Office (GLO) continues to work daily with communities to prioritize construction projects that help Texans return home. With a storm the size of Hurricane Harvey, we must work diligently to maximize the effectiveness of available funds to replenish affordable rental housing.

The GLO has allocated $588 million in available Community Development Block Grants for Disaster Recovery (CDBG-DR) funds to help rehabilitate, reconstruct and construct multifamily rental housing damaged or destroyed by Hurricane Harvey in 48 eligible counties. The Multifamily Affordable Rental Program will improve local housing inventory and ensure low-income citizens and families have safe, habitable, and affordable places to live.

In this program, applicants for the funding are required to designate at least 51% of the units for low- to moderate-income families with rents capped at the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development’s (HUD) Home Investment Partnership (HOME) limits. Per HUD guidelines, a family is considered low- to moderate-income if they earn 80% or less than the Area Median Family Income (AMFI). Each apartment complex will be restricted for low-income housing for 20 years after completion of new construction and 15 years after completion of repairs.

Across the state, 80 multifamily developments, or 6,002 units, are going through the program, and 79 of the projects are already under construction.

With renters all along the coast displaced by the destruction of Harvey, many developers have chosen to go above and beyond program requirements by committing every unit in the complex to low-income families. Of the 6,002 affordable rental units being repaired or reconstructed, 4,743 will be guaranteed for low- to moderate-income renters.

In Victoria, all 150 units of the Fox Run Apartments will serve low- to moderate-income families. The development was awarded more than $18 million to repair damage caused by Hurricane Harvey.

Saltgrass Landing Apartments, which broke ground in August, dedicated 100% of its 50 units in the complex to low- to moderate-income families and will feature a community center, business room, and a tot lot.

In July, the GLO kicked off funding to complete the construction of two affordable multifamily rental properties in Columbus, Texas. Together, Magnolia Place and Parkside Place apartment complexes will bring 127 units to the community — 89 of which will be dedicated to low- to moderate-income families. The projects are receiving $5,469,850 and $2,328,900, respectively, in CDBG-DR funds to complete construction already underway. The funds will be used to repair the exterior of the units including fortifying stair railings, repairing siding, and adding accessibility features for Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) compliance.

Construction is complete at Southeast Texas with the Senior Citizens Y-House in Beaumont, a 40-unit property located in the historic YMCA building. The development is dedicated to serving 100% low-income, elderly residents, and provides ADA-accessible accommodations, an open-air courtyard, and an on-site food pantry.

The GLO is moving forward as quickly as possible to help those displaced by Hurricane Harvey come back home. We remain steadfast in our commitment to restore safe, affordable housing and increase the resiliency of our communities.