Working to Revitalize Public Housing Stock

Hunt Companies and the Housing Authority of the City of El Paso have closed on 1,590 units at 13 separate properties across the city in a $250 million, Phase 1 Rental Assistance Demonstration Project.

El Paso, Texas—Hunt Companies Inc. and the Housing Authority of the City of El Paso have closed on 1,590 units at 13 separate properties across the city in a $250 million, Phase 1 Rental Assistance Demonstration Project.

“This project is significant because it represents an unprecedented opportunity to revitalize public housing stock to acceptable levels for El Paso, most in need of safe and dependable housing,” Robin Vaughn, president of Hunt’s Public Infrastructure Capital Markets division, told MHN. “It provides a reliable funding source to maintain the quality of the homes for the next 40 years.”

In December 2013, the Department of Housing and Urban Development approved HACEP’s application to convert 6,100 units through the Rental Assistance Demonstration initiative, and it chose Hunt as its development partner. Over the next two years the public-private partnership will work to provide sustainable and affordable housing for many who need it, with features and amenities greatly needed.

“It will significantly reduce the demand for energy and water, a precious resource in the desert southwest, by replacing all the existing appliances and HVAC systems with energy star compliant models as well as replacing dated plumbing fixtures,” Vaughn said. “It further provides an opportunity to return homes to the available inventory that have been placed off line due to deferred maintenance issues.”

According to Vaughn, Hunt has been working in affordable housing, specifically in public-private partnerships, for decades and the project could potentially grow to $1 billion over the next five years.

“This is a natural fit for Hunt as we bring a breadth of capabilities—from development to construction to syndication—to bear on these projects across the U.S.,” he said. “In addition, Hunt is proud to call El Paso home and is invested in ensuring a good quality of life for all El Pasoans.”