The Fort Worth Neighborhood Services Department’s Single-Family Infill Development Program — a program in which the city partnered with private developers, nonprofit organizations and a local Community Housing Development Organization (CHDO) — will receive the 2019 Audrey Nelson Community Development Achievement Award from the National Community Development Association.
The award, to be presented in Washington, D.C., Jan. 25, recognizes exemplary uses of U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) and HOME Investment Partnerships program funds in service to neighborhoods and their lower-income residents.
Audrey Nelson was the first deputy executive secretary of the National Community Development Association, which represents municipalities that administer federally-supported community and economic development and affordable housing programs.
In addition to funding from the CDBG and HOME programs for these homes, Economic Development Initiative funding and Section 108 funding has assisted with other neighborhood growth. Some developers have also been awarded housing tax credits from the state of Texas, several have partnered with the Fort Worth Housing Finance Corporation (FWHFC) and all have used private funding. Several developments have also received the benefits of being located within a Neighborhood Empowerment Zone.
Neighborhood transformations taking place
The program has transformed several neighborhood developments throughout Fort Worth:
Terrell Homes Projects. The NRP Terrell Homes I development was a partnership between The NRP Group and the FWHFC. Fifty-four single-family homes were developed throughout the neighborhood as rental homes to be sold after the 15th year. These homes are available to low- to moderate-income individuals and families. Housing tax credits, HOME dollars and private funding completed the project.
The FWHFC Terrell Homes project includes eight single-family homes sold to HOME-eligible buyers who also receive Homebuyer Assistance Program funds, which offers first-time homebuyers down payment and closing cost assistance. These funds ensure that the buyer lives in the home for a minimum of five years, helping further establish the neighborhood as a viable place to live and grow.
Hillside-Morningside Project. The city partnered with a certified Community Housing Development in Fort Worth — Housing Channel (formerly known as Tarrant County Housing Partnership) — to construct 12 homes on vacant lots throughout the Hillside-Morningside Neighborhood. These included three-bedroom homes, each with a one-car garage, and are on various streets in the neighborhood. Funding for these homes included HOME dollars and private investment. Income-eligible buyers participated in the Homebuyer Assistance Program to complete the purchase of their first home.
Hardy Street Project. This infill project consists of 21 single-family homes in the Diamond Hill/Jarvis neighborhood. A nursing home that once stood on this lot had long been abandoned and had become a retreat for graffiti artists and gangs. It was an eyesore for the neighborhood but, most concerning, it was a hotspot for illegal activity.
After acquiring and demolishing the nursing home, then making infrastructure improvements using CDBG funds, the city partnered with Housing Channel, a certified CHDO, to assist in completing the construction of the single-family homes using HOME funds and third-party financing secured by Housing Channel.
Additional funding has helped spur growth in these areas. Streets, sidewalks, curbs and gutters, and lighting have been updated. The Historic Southside neighborhood has also welcomed the Ella Mae Shamblee Library, a public plaza, the Hazel Harvey Peace Center for Neighborhoods and reconstruction of the historic Bethlehem Center.
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