Until the early-sixties, the Third Ward was the home to a diverse economic mixture of African American families – from low income to relatively prosperous. The end of housing segregation led to an eventual departure of upper- and middle-income African American families. Northern Third Ward is now inhabited by a predominance of low-income African American residents, and a growing low-income Hispanic population. Third Ward’s median household income in 2009 was $20,300, in comparison to Houston’s median income of $42,945. Yet, Third Ward is a neighborhood filled with rich social capital and dynamically, engaged residents. Within the past ten years, developers have recognized an opportunity to “revive” Third Ward, particularly in light of its close proximity to downtown Houston (north side) and the advancing growth of University of Houston on the east side. This shift, though gradual, is rapidly evidencing its impact in the community. On the one side, Third Ward wrestles with fighting poverty. On the other looms another challenge – gentrification.
Row House CDC believes that a diverse economic base is necessary for a vibrant community; therefore, we are not anti-development nor do we demonize gentrification. Our focus is to promote the importance for everyone to have equal opportunity to live in Third Ward, including low to moderate income residents. This is the population that is most immediately impacted by the growing trend of gentrification that is encroaching upon the neighborhood. This population of long-standing residents also significantly adds to the asset base of the community, thus supporting a continued need for quality affordable housing in Third Ward in the foreseeable future.
Row House CDC’s real estate development strategy includes:
- Identifying and increasing affordable housing opportunities for low income residents by expanding the affordable rental housing supply to assist existing and new residents
- Developing a design that complements and remains relevant with existing architecture in the community
- Seeking the best density for sustainable low-income housing development in the community
- Supporting an active Resident’s Council
- Incorporating a Community Building requirement in our lease agreements, so that each household will annually provide 22 hours of service in the community
- Contributing to sparking economic development by instilling a renewed sense of pride and cooperation in Third Ward residents; being an active part of the coalition to reshape the community identity; promoting historic and cultural preservation
|2004||Completed construction of four 2-bedroom duplexes on the 2400 block of Division; totaling 8 low-income rental units.|
|2008||Completed construction of eight 2 and 3-bedroom duplexes on the 2400 block of Francis Street; totaling 16 rental units.|
|2009/10||Renovated and rented two single-family homes located at 2517 Francis and 3402 Live Oak.|
|2009/10||Completion of the first phase of a two-phase project, located on the 3400 block of Anita. This phase consists of four duplexes; totaling 8 units.|
|2012/13||Launching of the second phase of a two-phase project, located on the square block bordered by Napoleon, Tuam, Canfield and Drew streets. This phase will include 11 duplexes and triplexes; totaling 22 units. Targeted completion is Spring 2013.|