Dec. 2018/Jan. 2019
Honoring Success
Thirty Graduating from FSS, Homeownership Programs
About two years ago Mazary Gibbs learned about the agency's Family Self-Sufficiency (FSS) and Homeownership programs, and she applied with one plan in mind:  To improve her budgeting skills and credit score so that she could buy her own home.

FSS is a grant-funded program that enables HUD-assisted families to increase their earned income and reduce their dependence on government assistance. The voluntary prog ram requires signing a five-year contract and setting objectives that will lead to a full-tim e job and economic self-sufficiency. As an incentive, an interest-bearing escrow account is established for each participant and accrues only when his or her earned income increases.

Because Mazary received a Housing Choice Voucher, she could also participate in HUD's rigorous Homeownership program.   She  worked with the FSS staff and agency  partners such as Pathfinders, the Center for Transforming Lives and Housing Channel. She took budgeting classes that helped her stretch her money and set aside some for savings. She took credit classes to improve her score and received pre-purchase counseling for first-time home buyers.

In just two years, Mazary repaired her credit, learned to manage a budget, began working full-time and purchased her first home. "I was so excited and proud of myself," Mazary says. "I can't thank my FSS family enough for helping me through this hard process. I'm not going to say it was easy, but it was worth it."

Mazary is one of 30 participants graduating from the FSS and Homeownership programs this year. The 20 FSS graduates will receive a total $143,466 in escrow payments, an amount that attests to their hard work and success in the job market. 

Please join us as we honor Mazary and her peers at the 11th Annual Spotlight Awards Thursday, Dec. 6 at 5:30 p.m. The ceremony will be held in the FWHS Auditorium at 1201 E. 13th St. Please send your rsvp to nrubio@fwhs.org.

New housing in northwest Fort Worth 

Our newest affordably priced apartment community, Alton Park, opened in mid-November.  Located at the edge of Sansom Park in northwest Fort Worth, Alton Park is the third mixed-income property to open in 2018.

Public/private partnerships and support from the City of Fort Worth made it possible. Fort Worth Housing Solutions worked with AMTEX to develop the property, which features 195 apartment homes with both market and affordable rates.  A spacious clubhouse with vaulted ceilings features a business center, fitness room and full kitchen for community events. A swimming pool with fountains, dog park and dozens of shade trees will make this a wonderful home for families and single adults.

The vast majority (85%) of the apartments are reserved for households earning no more than 60 percent of the area's median income (AMI). This equates to $40,620 for a family of three. Nineteen of the apartment homes are reserved for residents relocating from Butler Place through HUD's Rental Assistance Demonstration (RAD) program

Construction nearly complete for two more affordable communities

Two more beautiful, affordably priced apartment communities are opening this month and next: Harmon Senior Villas in far north Fort Worth and Campus Apartments near the Tarrant County College South Campus.

Nearly 95 percent of the 224 units at Campus Apartments will be affordably priced for households earning less than 60 percent of the area's median income. 

This equates to $31,620 for a single person, $36,120 for a family of two and $40,620 for a family of three. (The AMI in Fort Worth is $75,200.) Two Trinity Metro bus lines will serve the property. Twelve units will be market rate and 15 will be reserved for Butler Place residents who are relocating through the RAD program.

At the 160-unit Harmon Senior Villas, seniors 62 and older will be able to enjoy a swimming pool, club room and centers for fitness, business and special activities.
Sixteen of the units will be market-rate and the rest will be affordably priced. Texas Health Harris Methodist and two pharmacies are located just a few blocks away. Twelve units will be reserved for seniors at Butler Place who are relocating through the RAD program. AMTEX is the developer for both properties.
Fort Worth Housing Solutions Celebrates 80 Years
Established by the City  of Fort Worth in 1938, the Housing Authority of the City of Fort Worth, now Fort Worth Housing Solutions, set out to address the city's housing challenges by providing "safe and sanitary" accommodations for low-income families. Within its first five years , the agency built its first public housing properties, Ripley Arnold Place and Butler Place, which provided more than 500 families with a new place to call home. Recognizing the need for additional space, the agency built Cavile Place in the Stop Six neighborhood in the early 1950s and added units at Ripley Arnold and Butler in the early sixties.

As t he city grew and the need for affordable housing expanded, Fort Worth Housing Authority began purchasing private sector properties in the early 1970s. One of the first was the 11-story Fortune Arms Hotel, which has since been remodeled and renovated into a beautiful mixed-income community, Hunter Plaza at Sundance Square. During the ensuing years, the agency provided housing assistance to a growing number of citizens and began offering job training and other services.

With the sale of Ripley Arnold place in 2001, the agency ushered in a new era with the goal to "change the face of public housing." The proceeds from the sale enabled the agency to add more affordable properties to its inventory and make numerous upgrades.

Today, the FWHS portfolio includes 38 affordable and mixed-income properties with 5,827 units and another 877 under construction. In these 80 years, Fort Worth Housing Solutions has provided housing assistance, training, career development, self-sufficiency and homeownership programs, school supplies and so much more. It is more than just housing; it is housing with a mission.

(photo: We planted an oak at Alton Park to mark our 80th "oak" anniversary!)
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