Texas Department of Housing & Community Affairs - Building Homes and Strengthening Communities
November 23, 2010
Media Contact:
Gordon Anderson (512) 475-4743

New Navy Park housing development offers low income residents of Orange reason to give thanks

(AUSTIN) — The spirit of Thanksgiving was definitely in the air today as state and local elected officials gathered in Orange to join the Texas Department of Housing and Community Affairs (TDHCA) in celebrating the grand opening of a new housing development in the historic Navy Park district financed with $3.4 million in federal hurricane disaster recovery funds from TDHCA.

The grand opening of Orange Navy Homes II gives 36 low income families much to be thankful for this holiday season: A decent, high-quality home environment that fits the household budget.

On hand to celebrate the grand opening were County Judge Carl Thibodeaux, State Representative Mike Hamilton and W. Brown Claybar, Mayor of Orange. Also present were Michael Lyttle, Director of Public Affairs for TDHCA, and K.T. “Ike” Akbari, manager of Itex Partners L.P. and general partner to the development team.

In keeping with the theme of giving thanks, Akbari presented a turkey to one lucky resident and also provided each tenant with an HEB gift card to help with food expenses, which should make for a real Thanksgiving treat.

Orange Navy Homes II consists of 25 multifamily rental units created through a substantial rehabilitation of the former Kingston Apartments, as well as 11 new single-family rental homes located on scattered sites within the neighborhood. Construction was funded in large part through the $3.4 million disaster recovery award the Department made to developers in 2009.  

The development replaced several existing structures in the neighborhood damaged by the one-two punch of hurricanes Rita and Ike. City leaders expect the new construction and resulting blight removal efforts to serve as a catalyst to help spur redevelopment efforts throughout the district.

“This is a truly remarkable initiative to create new affordable rental housing while essentially re-purposing a whole neighborhood,” Lyttle noted. “The redevelopment of the historic Navy Park will serve as a springboard for the revitalization of the entire community, and Orange Navy II is the linchpin to this effort. TDHCA is thrilled to have played a major role in making this all happen.”

Financing for Orange Navy Homes II was part of a $58 million package of federal Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) disaster recovery funds provided to Texas to help rebuild rental housing developments damaged or destroyed by hurricanes Ike and Dolly.  

Properties receiving CDBG disaster recovery funds must serve households earning no more than 80 percent of the area median family income, which for Orange County equals an annual income of $44,400 for a four-person household.

For more information regarding Orange Navy Homes II, please contact Kathy Jones, Property Manager, or Melanie James, Assistant Property Manager, directly at (409) 670-0135.

About the Texas Department of Housing and Community Affairs
The Texas Department of Housing and Community Affairs is committed to expanding fair housing choice and opportunities for Texans through the administration and funding of affordable housing and homeownership opportunities, weatherization, and community-based services with the help of for-profits, nonprofits, and local governments. For more information about fair housing, funding opportunities, or services in your area, please visit www.tdhca.state.tx.us or the Learn about Fair Housing in Texas page. 

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