May 4, 2015

Stacked NDC Academy LogoCongratulations to Tarrant County Housing Partnership on being selected as a semi-finalist in the Housing Development Category for the NDC Academy Awards 2015. The NDC Academy Awards Semi-Finalists represent some of the most innovative and impactful developments changing the lives for residents in underserved communities across the country, NDC is honored to highlight the achievements of these organizations at the NDC Academy 2015.

The Hillside ‘Green’ Revitalization Project – Ft. Worth, TX

Tarrant County Housing Partnership (TCHP), is a non-profit housing agency that invests in communities throughout Tarrant County, Texas to provide affordable, quality housing options for low to moderate income families.  The project is a collaborative initiative to help preserve and revitalize the Hillside neighborhood, one of Fort Worth’s oldest urban, inner-city neighborhoods.

The project consists of 15 new bungalow-style craftsman homes that are energy efficient and affordably priced in the mid-$70’s and are available to income eligible homebuyers who qualify for up to $14,999 in down payment and closing cost assistant through the City of Fort Worth’s Homebuyer Assistance Program.  Utilizing TCHP’s pioneering green building initiative, construction featured installation of the Structural insulated panels (SIPs) – a high performance building system consisting of an insulating foam core sandwiched between two oriented strand boards (OSB).  The result is a building system that is extremely energy efficient, and cost effective.  The homes also feature high-performing HVAC systems, Energy Star rated appliances and windows, environmentally-friendly paint, cabinetry and flooring, drought-tolerant landscaping, and water-conserving plumbing. Each home is equipped with a TED Energy Use Monitor system that will provide data on household energy usage.   Homes built under TCHP’s green building initiative are more cost effective to the homeowners and provide greatly reduced utility bills, putting more money in their pockets, which increase their sustainability.  Additional benefits of the green building practices include increased air quality and healthier indoor atmosphere, which improves medical conditions such as asthma.  Tarrant County Housing Partnership’s goal is to become a leader in building high performing, energy efficient affordable homes for lower income families while also strengthening the environment.

The Hillside project helps to preserve and revitalize Fort Worth’s existing neighborhoods by bringing blighted, vacant infill lots in distressed communities back into use to create affordable housing opportunities for low income families. Fort Worth ranks consistently below the average national homeownership rate, which is even considerably lower among minorities and low income families. In Fort Worth, median home prices have increased 38% in the last 6 years, whereas, 46.9% of all households earn less than the median income.  Additionally, the imbalance of rising housing costs and stagnant income levels have created a devastating housing cost burden, whereas an alarming percentage of families are paying more than 30% of their income on housing.  This condition compromises their ability to afford other basic needs such as healthcare, transportation and education, which become burdensome and often are not utilized, placing a further drain the city’s assistance systems and economic well-being.   The City’s Consolidated Plan details a significant need for quality affordable housing available to low income families located in Southeast neighborhoods, where 79% of the housing stock was built prior to 1959. Older housing with greater repair needs tends to be concentrated in neighborhoods that have the lowest income, which is consistent with Hillside.

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