Affordable Senior Housing Project Breaks Ground in Houston

New Hope Housing Ennis will serve residents earning between 30 and 60 percent of the area median income.

New Hope Housing has recently broken ground on New Hope Housing Ennis, a 102-unit fully affordable and age-restricted housing community in downtown Houston.

New Hope Housing Ennis will cater to individuals over the age of 55, earning between 30 and 60 percent of the area median income. The Harris County Housing Finance Corp. owns the land, which will keep the community affordable for 99 years.

GSMA serves as the project’s architect, with Camden Builders as general contractor. Upon completion, New Hope Housing Ennis will provide resident services such as case management, emergency assistance, financial support, educational and recreational opportunities. Thanks to a partnership with Houston METRO, residents of New Hope Housing Ennis will also have access to free transportation services.

The development is located at 1846 Ennis St., within the East End submarket. The site is close to the intersection of Interstate 45 and Interstate 69, providing easy access across the Houston metropolitan area.

Financing affordable senior housing

The financing for the development includes $9 million in ARPA funding from the Harris County. Capital One originated a $16 million low-income housing tax credit equity investment and $16 million in construction financing. National Equity Fund was the LIHTC syndicator.

Last year, Harris County allocated more than $33 million in federal COVID-19 relief funds to add 540 units of affordable housing and support initiatives such as speeding up the appeals process for eviction cases, The Houston Chronicle reported. The funding was allocated to five affordable housing sites in Harris County, including New Hope Housing Ennis.

High interest rates and tight financing conditions continue to limit senior housing construction projects, according to recent data from the National Investment Center for Seniors Housing & Care. The slow growth in inventory coupled with an increasing elderly population put an upward pressure on demand, especially for affordable units.

In the Houston area in particular, the National Low Income Housing Coalition reported there is a gap of more than 230,000 affordable and available rental units for households making less than 50 percent of the area median income.

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