The city of Houston is seeking applications from nonprofit and for-profit developers for a new affordable single-family home development in the works on a 12.22-acre site on Stella Link Road at Willowbend Boulevard.

The project is part of a broader city effort to rebuild affordable housing stock on land outside of flood plains in the wake of Hurricane Harvey.

The big picture

The city bought the land for the site—located at 10301 Stella Link Road, Houston—for just under $14 million in March 2022. City officials hosted a meeting in September 2022 to gather input from community members on what they would like to see included with the project.

The city released a Notice Of Funding Availability, or NOFA, on June 7 along with a call for applications from potential developers.

The land where the project is located is outside both the 100-year and 500-year flood plains, according to city information.

Zooming in

Specific details on the size and number of homes within the community will be determined after a developer is selected, and developers are being asked to include specifics for those plans in their applications. City officials outlined some requirements for the project in the NOFA:
  • It will be a single-family project.
  • At least 51% of the homes must be reserved for households earning 80% of the Houston area median income, adjusted for family size. In 2024, an AMI of 80% comes out to $53,000 for a single-person household, and $75,700 for a household of four.
  • For the remaining 49% of homes, no fewer than 25% can be sold at market rate, and developers can opt for the remaining homes to be reserved for 100% to 120% AMI households.
Additional project requirements would be released after an environmental review.

The details

As part of any future development agreement, the city would make the land available to the developer under a restricted deed covenant, and it would also potentially help fund some of the infrastructure or home construction costs. The city received about $11.6 million in federal Community Development Block Grant funding to support the project.

Also of note

City officials want potential developers to address feedback provided by community members during the September 2022 meeting, including:
  • Shared community amenities, such as playgrounds, shaded walking paths and bike trails
  • Elements to promote individual homeowners, such as yards, porches and individual facade designs
  • Mobility elements such as speed deterrents, raised crosswalks and sidewalks
  • Safety elements, such as individual fencing and well-lit public areas
  • The establishment of a homeowner's association
Moving forward

A pre-application conference will take place June 11, during which city officials will provide more information to potential developers about project requirements and the application process. The deadline for applications is July 12. Any contract award would have to be approved by Houston City Council.

City officials are aiming for the project to be completed by Dec. 31, 2027.