The Texas Department of Housing and Community Affairs (TDHCA) recently announced a $10 million award to help restore Orange’s stock of affordable rental housing damaged or destroyed by Hurricane Ike. The award is expected to bring greater stability to the lives of low income tenants and help jump start further redevelopment activities in the region.

“TDHCA recognizes that portions of the state continue to experience a shortage of affordable rental housing in the wake of Hurricane Ike, and we stand ready to address this need,” said Michael Gerber, TDHCA Executive Director. “Our mission is to bring a higher quality of life to low income Texans, but we also anticipate this award creating numerous construction jobs, adding revenue to local governments, and the potential to revitalize the entire community.”

TDHCA announced that it would help finance the demolition and reconstruction of the heavily damaged Arthur Robinson Homes being developed by the Orange Housing Authority. The development consists of the rehabilitation of an existing 80-unit apartment complex, as well as the construction of 32 new single family rental units in scattered sites.

“This funding will provide much needed help to those individuals and communities who continue to rebuild their lives following the costliest disaster in our state’s history,” said Gov. Rick Perry.

“Thanks to the leadership of local officials and the hard work of so many Texans following the 2008 hurricane season, we are rebuilding and renewing our coastal communities and will continue to pursue all federal funding and assistance available.”

In exchange for this assistance, the developers must set aside at least 51 percent of the units for tenants earning no more than 80 percent of the area median family income. For the City and County of Orange, this equals an annual income of $43,450 for a family of four.
Today’s award is part of $1.3 billion in federal hurricane disaster recovery funds allocated to the state just over seven months ago by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development in response to hurricanes Ike and Dolly.

Of this amount, approximately $620 million has been made available to TDHCA to administer housing programs related to the state’s recovery efforts, with $58.8 million specifically dedicated to repairing or replacing Texas’ stock of affordable rental housing damaged or destroyed by these storms.

Hurricane Ike made landfall near Galveston on Sept. 13, 2008, with a significant storm surge and winds topping out at 110 miles per hour. Damages have been estimated to run as high as $29 billion throughout a 34-county region of Southeast Texas.