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Affordable Housing: Avenue Builds Homes on North Side

The first 10 homes in the Avenue Meadows development have either been purchased, await closing or are under contract. Photo: Bayou City Prints

HOUSTON – (By Dale King, Realty News Report) – Avenue, a local nonprofit dedicated to building affordable homes, knows how urgently low- and moderate-income buyers want to purchase affordable, energy-efficient single-family dwellings.

The organization just completed Phase I of Avenue Meadows, a new community of 10 energy-efficient, reasonably priced residences in Houston’s Northline neighborhood.

Soon after those specially designed abodes hit the market, eight were snapped up by low- and medium-income customers who have either bought them outright or are waiting to close on them.

The other two dwellings are under contract for purchase, said officials at Avenue.

Not to worry, home searchers. Avenue is advancing Phase II of its Meadows community, which will include six more energy-efficient affordable homes. Construction begins in May and should be done by late 2019, said representatives of the nonprofit.

“The completion of the first phase of Avenue Meadows comes at a critical time when Houstonians – especially low and middle-income families – face increased pressure due to escalating housing costs and a dwindling stock of quality affordable homes in and around the urban core,” said Mary Lawler, executive director of Avenue.

“We look forward to welcoming families to Avenue Meadows and, through our additional supportive services, including homebuyer education and counseling, to helping more working Houstonians achieve the dream of homeownership.”

She said Phase I of Avenue Meadows, which began construction in April 2018, put 10 energy-efficient single-family homes up for sale, aimed at low-to moderate-income buyers as well as market rate purchasers.

Designed and built by studioMET, an award-winning design-build firm, the two-story, three-bedroom homes feature a contemporary design and offer just under 1,200 SF on a 5,000 SF fenced lot. Prices range from $179,000 to $189,000, compared to Houston’s median home price of some $237,500.

“We are delighted to bring this new development to the Northline neighborhood, a vibrant community situated minutes north of downtown Houston,” she said.

With the 10 Phase I homes off the sales block, Avenue is pushing up construction of Phase II homes in the Northline community, long known for its rich history and culture.

Of the roughly 16,000 people in the Houston suburb, more than 32% live below the federal poverty line, compared to Houston’s overall poverty rate of 23%. Nearly 25% of residents are cost-burdened by housing, spending 30% or more of their income on the cost of maintaining a household.

Lawler recently emphasized the importance of developing quality affordable homes in the Greater Northside area because much of the existing housing stock is aging and in need of repair and reinvestment to ensure the long-term health and prosperity of the neighborhood’s families. With this latest development, Avenue’s boss said the organization has created healthy, affordable homes that meet the needs of Houston’s working families.

All Avenue Meadows homes have an energy-efficient design and function, with Energy Star appliances, water-conserving plumbing fixtures, flexible PEX plumbing, high-performance windows and programmable thermostats for energy conservation.

The homes also feature high-quality exterior finishes, including a two-tone paint scheme, chrome hardware, low-maintenance HardiePlank exterior siding, drought-tolerant plants and a fully fenced backyard.

“We are proud to have worked with Avenue on this project,” said Stephen Andrews, architect and principal for studioMET. “We strongly believe in their mission to provide quality affordable housing in our city and it is extremely rewarding to participate with them in their community-building efforts.”

Located at the intersection of Meadow Lea Drive and Madie Drive, Avenue Meadows boasts easy access to a variety of community amenities including Clark Park and Community Center, Moody Neighborhood Library and the M.D. Anderson YMCA.

The community is also close to the Northline Transit Center, which links all of the area’s bus routes to the North Corridor light rail line that connects residents to downtown Houston, Hermann Park and Texas Medical Center.

In recent years, Avenue has constructed 900 affordable homes and apartments in Houston, specifically in the greater Northside community. In Near Northside, Avenue developed Fulton Gardens, an 88-unit senior apartment building situated along the Metrorail; Avenue Place, a 95-unit, single-family subdivision; Avenue Terrace, a 192-unit multifamily complex and Avenue Station, a 68-unit multifamily complex.

Earlier this year, Avenue unveiled plans to develop Avenue Center, a new mixed-use community resource hub to be constructed across from Moody Park in Near Northside.

Lawler said these developments offer Houstonians affordable housing prices and access to a variety of amenities, including after-school programs and community enrichment opportunities.

Avenue’s mission is to enhance the quality of life for working families through the promotion of healthy, vibrant and economically diverse neighborhoods. The nonprofit develops homes for purchase and rent and provides homebuyer education and counseling to help working families buy and maintain their own homes. It encourages economic development and offers supportive services such as computer labs, after-school programs and nutrition, fitness and financial literacy classes.

April 24, 2019 Realty News Report Copyright 2019

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