Feb.-Mar. 2019
Thankfully Shutdown Ends
More than 4,700 Fort Worth households have a stable home thanks to HUD's Housing Choice Voucher program, which we administer. Needless to say, Fort Worth Housing Solutions and housing authorities across the nation breathed a sigh of relief when the partial government shutdown ended.

We are cautiously optimistic that another shutdown will not occur on February 15. The Housing Choice Voucher program depends entirely on HUD funding. Even a short-term interruption would impact not only thousands of families; it would also harm the property owners and landlords who receive subsidies for renting to families with vouchers. Last year FWHS paid $35 million to its 1,299 landlord partners in the Housing Choice Voucher program.  Also at risk were three HUD-funded programs that house 727 families and individuals who previously were homeless, including 357 veterans. 

Fort Worth swimmer to make a splash at Special Olympics 

It's count-down time for Ashton Smith: She joins 7,000 other athletes for the Special Olympics World Games in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates March 6.

Ashton, 32, is the only swimmer from Texas and the only Fort Worth athlete to compete in the flagship event for athletes with intellectual disabilities. Ashton will show her swimming prowess in the 200-yard individual medley in the High-Performance Division.

"I think it's an opportunity to help minorities and put African Americans on the map for swimming," Ashton said, adding she is excited about "being able to see a different country because I've never been to that part of the world."

For more than a year Ashton has received assistance from FWHS  through the Housing Choice Voucher program. She lives independently in what she considers a beautiful new apartment community near downtown Fort Worth. Ashton's Social Security Disability check helps cover her share of the rent, and HUD funding covers the rest. 

Let's all cheer for Ashton Smith! Tune into the Special Olympics World Games on ESPN March 14-21. And watch this recent news about Ashton on NBC5.

Where We Live Makes a Difference

Monica Cannon and her son at their new home
FWHS continues to make headway in HUD's Rental Assistance Demonstration program (RAD). Another 57 households are relocating soon from Butler Place Apartments to three  newly constructed apartment communities in the FWHS portfolio: Alton Park, Harmon Senior Villas and Campus Apartments.

By participating in RAD, the agency is converting the subsidies it receives for public housing into project-based rental assistance contracts. The contracts are leveraged against private debt sources to fund the rehabilitation and construction of new, reasonably priced housing in Fort Worth.

Families at Butler have the opportunity to choose their new homes from among 20 of the agency's apartment communities, and a lottery system keeps the selection process fair for everyone. The relocations are expected to be complete by the end of 2020.
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