A 149-unit supportive housing development in Houston has taken a big step forward after receiving an allocation of low-income housing tax credits (LIHTCs).
The NHP Foundation and its partner, Magnificat Houses, received a $1.5 million annual allocation of 9% credits from the Texas Department of Housing and Community Affairs. The project is one of 71 developments in the state to recently receive a LIHTC award.
Additionally, the Houston Department of Housing and Community Development has allocated $15 million through its Harvey Multifamily Program, which is funded by the Department of Housing and Urban Development to aid in Houston’s recovery from Hurricane Harvey. The project is also being actively considered for funding by the Harris County Community Services Department.
Magnificat Houses, a faith-based nonprofit, is providing the land in Houston’s Midtown neighborhood.
“Though a high-income neighborhood, Midtown still has homeless people on its streets,” said Magnificat executive director John Boyles. “Hopefully some of these people who we see every day can find a welcoming home in this new building.”
The Houston Housing Authority has allocated 149 project-based vouchers, which will allow the development to house the most vulnerable chronically homeless people.
“Safe and stable permanent housing is the data-proven antidote to homelessness. That is why this vital project, which will holistically focus on transforming lives for the betterment of the entire community, is a priority for the city of Houston,” said Marc Eichenbaum, the mayor’s special assistant for homeless initiatives.
Located at 3300 Caroline St., the property will feature recreational amenities and space for the supportive services. The land was purchased by Magnificat Houses as part of its mission to provide “welcoming communities to those needing housing, food, and mental health programs to grow in stability, productivity, and independence.”
“This project is part of NHPF’s Affiliate Program that aims to increase the capacity of local nonprofit partners. Like all community-based nonprofits, Magnificat struggles every year to raise the donations it needs to operate and grow,” said Neal Drobenare, NHPF’s senior vice president, acquisitions. “By leasing the land to us for this project, Magnificat not only meets the land donor’s intent that it serve the community, but the lease payments will provide for a new central office, food service facility, housing, and an endowment that allows it to continue serving the neediest population.”
Magnificat has been serving the Midtown community for 50 years and recently started to expand its services to provide permanent supportive housing to the homeless. “We have every hope that this project will be a springboard for Magnificat to become one of Houston’s premier providers of services and housing to the chronically homeless,” said Ed Cordes, Magnificat board member.
Twenty percent of 3300 Caroline’s units will be set aside for formerly homeless people who have gone through transitional housing programs such as Magnificat’s and are willing to become the equivalent of college resident advisors, said officials.
According to Mike Nichols, president and CEO of the Coalition for the Homeless in Houston, “Although the number of people experiencing homelessness in Houston has somewhat stabilized the past few years, we expect to see an increase as the economic impacts of COVID are felt over the coming months. We are grateful to be a partner with agencies like Magnificat House and The NHP Foundation to implement projects like these that will provide a permanent home for Houstonians who need one.”