HUD Awards $5 Million in Choice Neighborhoods Implementation Grants in Texas

By | Features, News, Press Releases, Stop Six CNI

HUD’s Signature Place-Based Program Continues to Invest in “Housing, People, and Neighborhoods” Nationwide

FORT WORTH – U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Secretary Marcia L. Fudge today announced “Supplemental Grant” awards for Choice Neighborhoods Implementation Grantees totaling more than $98 million. Fort Worth Housing Solutions and the City of Fort Worth’s Stop Six neighborhood was one of the grantees awarded $5 million. In addition, HUD is opening a notice of funding opportunity (NOFO) for $10 million to support local planning efforts.

“We’re thankful for the additional funds to continue the Choice Neighborhood revitalization in Stop Six,” Fort Worth Housing Solutions President Mary-Margaret Lemons said. “Rising interest rates and construction costs have made developments more challenging. We appreciate HUD recognizing those realities and providing further funding.”

The Stop Six Choice Neighborhood Transformation Plan was developed by residents, community leaders and stakeholders to capture a shared vision for a vibrant, safe and sustainable community with access to quality education, healthcare, services and amenities – a “neighborhood of choice.” The initiative was seeded by a $35 million U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development Choice Neighborhoods Implementation grant awarded in April 2020.

“These funds are instrumental in creating a living community that we’ve called a ‘gateway to the west,’” said Mayor Pro Tem Gyna Bivens, who serves District 5 including Stop Six. “We’re so proud to welcome our Cavile senior citizens back home with access to services and amenities in a modern housing environment. We’re so grateful to HUD for believing in this project and Stop Six.”

Choice Neighborhoods Implementation (CNI) Grants assist in redeveloping severely distressed HUD-assisted properties into mixed-income communities. The program has a three-pronged “Housing, People, and Neighborhood” approach that includes not only redevelopment of distressed properties, but also provides support to housing residents related to health, education, and income, while simultaneously investing in neighborhood improvement projects which promote economic development and private investment. Since the program’s inception, the Choice Neighborhoods program has seen 11,000 new mixed-income units built across 44 cities. More than 32,000 units are planned.

“When it comes to Choice Neighborhoods, HUD is an invested partner at the table,” said Secretary Fudge. “Cities and public housing authorities are working tirelessly to address affordable housing shortages despite pandemic-era construction cost increases. The additional Choice Neighborhoods funding represents HUD’s commitment to creating new housing for the communities that need it most. The Choice Neighborhoods approach is a comprehensive model that can be transformative for communities, and we invite more communities to consider tapping into it.”

“CNI is an amazing engine for housing and economic development for neighborhoods in the Southwest. Congratulations to Fort Worth Housing Solutions and the City of Fort Worth on receiving $5 million in CNI funding from HUD,” Candace Valenzuela, HUD Southwest Regional Administrator, said. “Choice Neighborhoods cultivates properties that provide safe homes with a focus on tenant services as well as robust neighborhood economic development.”

The entire list of awardees can be viewed here.

The Opal Breaks Ground in Northwest Fort Worth

By | Features, News

Fort Worth residents, city leaders, developers, supporters and the Grandmother of Juneteenth celebrated the official start of construction on The Opal, a 339-unit, luxury, mixed-income community off Westport Parkway in the thriving Alliance Corridor.

Renowned activist and educator Opal Lee, the namesake of the property, delivered the keynote address at the keynote address before than enthusiastic gathering. Ms. Opal shared stories of her experience in Fort Worth public housing, as well as her dream for The Opal.

Groundbreaking ceremony for The Opal in Fort Worth, Texas on March 9, 2023. (Photo by/Sharon Ellman)

“You ever live in a shotgun house?” she asked. “I have lived in some of that. I have lived in Butler Place, where it was decent housing compared to what I have lived in before. So I’m ecstatic they’re going to wonderful places to live, as well as work.”

The Opal is the sixth affordable housing property developed by Fort Worth Housing Solutions and AMTEX, and sits next door to The Holston, named in honor of former FWHS President Barbara Holston.

“As a sister property to The Holston, The Opal will also offer units for families of different sizes and makeups with access to quality schools and city services,” Fort Worth City Council member Leonard Firestone said. “This property will make a difference in District 7, just as similar projects developed with Fort Worth Housing Solutions and our dedicated partners have made across Fort Worth.”

Half of the units at The Opal will be offered at market rate, with the other half available to households earning 80 percent or less of the Area Median Income. The Opal will reserve 5 percent of the units for households earning 50 percent or less of AMI.

The Opal’s location is convenient to major employers in the Alliance Corridor, including McKesson Corp., UPS, Nestlé and the Facebook Data Center.

“Instead of having people travel up and down 35, they can live where they work,” FWHS President Mary-Margaret Lemons said. “It’s a great place for schools. By having a mixed-income approach, we can serve those market-rate tenants as well as those that need an affordable or workforce unit.”

Lemons, AMTEX President Arjun Nagarkatti and InterBank President & Chief Operating Officer C.K. Lee presented a donation of $3,000 to Ms. Opal for Citizens Concerned with Human Dignity.

“I had a chance to visit with her before we came up here today,” Lee said. “She said, ‘I want you to tell them it’s been my mission to become everyone’s grandmother.’ One of the great roles and responsibilities of grandmothers is to get people’s attention. You’ve gotten our attention, you’ve gotten out country’s attention and today we’re going to celebrate you.”

Construction for The Opal is expected to take about two years and open in spring 2025.

“I think The Opal is going to be, as the young people say, ‘the bomb!’” Ms. Opal said. “Oh, just think of the people who will have decent houses.”

Fort Worth Housing Solutions to Receive $4 Million for Hughes House Public Infrastructure Improvements

By | News, Press Releases, Stop Six CNI

Funding included as part of H.R. 2617, Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2023 

FORT WORTH, Texas (Jan. 24, 2023) – Fort Worth Housing Solutions will receive $4 million in funding for Hughes House Public infrastructure improvements, as included in H.R. 2617, the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2023. 

“We are so thankful for this funding, which will lead to much-needed improvements for streets and public utilities that have been lacking for decades,” Fort Worth Housing Solutions President Mary-Margaret Lemons said. “The Choice Neighborhood transformation that is happening in historic Stop Six will bring lasting change to our community and new opportunities for our residents.” 

Hughes House, which will reside in District 5 and is a phase of the Stop Six Choice Neighborhood Initiative, is a mixed-use development that will feature 162 apartments with a variety of floor plans. The development will rise at the corner of East Rosedale Street and Amanda Avenue, and will include about 7,000 square feet of ground-level commercial space ideal for neighborhood businesses. 

Hughes House takes its name from famed Dunbar High School Coach Robert Hughes Sr., the winningest boys’ basketball coach in history. 

“Coach Hughes’ ability to inspire and motivate young men has been recognized on a global scale,” said Mayor Pro Tem Gyna Bivens, who serves District 5. “The accolades recognizing his contributions have their place in all forms of media, but an apartment complex named in his honor ensures thousands and thousands will see that name for decades to come and associate it with one word: Excellence.” 

Representative Marc Veasey voted to pass the historic Fiscal Year 2023 government funding legislation that delivers historic investments in American families and workers – while strengthening Democracy at home and abroad. The legislation includes $30,478,385 in Community Project Funding that Veasey secured to directly respond to the pressing needs of North Texas.  

“I am proud to vote for a bipartisan government bill that delivers for our nation’s families and includes $30 million in key funding that I secured to address long overdue community needs for North Texas,” said Rep. Veasey. “The investments will make a real difference in North Texas that will foster economic development, improve our infrastructure, bolster access to health care, and so much more. I am proud to have fought for funding that will make better communities across North Texas.” 

Rep. Veasey championed funding for 15 projects that will directly benefit North Texas residents. These include: 

 $2,250,000 for the Center for Transforming Lives’ Riverside Early Childhood Education Economic Mobility Center 

$2,400,000 for the City of Arlington – Neighborhood Wi-Fi 

$1,000,000 for the City of Dallas – Hensley Field Shoreline Modification 

$750,000 for the City of Irving – Southwest Park Renovation Project 

 $500,000 for the Dallas College, Dallas, TX for a teaching residency apprenticeship program 

$2,000,000 for the DART Fuel System Modernization Project 

$1,000,000 for the Emergency Department Renovation and Expansion Request for Medical Equipment 

 $4,000,000 for the Hughes House Public Infrastructure Improvements 

$7,750,000 for the Southern Gateway Park 

$1,439,695 for the Texas Wesleyan University, Fort Worth, TX for STEM education programs, including lab equipment 

$4,000,000 for the Transform 1012 N. Main Street professional services and expenses for the design phase, Fort Worth, Texas, Tarrant County 

$750,000 for the United Way of Tarrant County – Mission United 

$750,000 for the United Way of Tarrant County Workforce Development 

$400,000 for the United Way of Tarrant County-Volunteer Income Tax Assistance Program (VITA). 

$1,488,690 for the William M. McDonald YMCA Covered Outdoor Gymnasium Space 

The twelve-bill government funding package will create good-paying American jobs, grow opportunities for the middle class and small businesses, and provide a lifeline for working families. Taken together, the funding for Texas’s 33rd District and the funding increases for critical government programs will continue to reverse decades of disinvestment in our communities. 

About Fort Worth Housing Solutions 

Fort Worth Housing Solutions is the premier provider of affordable housing in the City of Fort Worth. The agency’s portfolio includes 380 mixed-income properties across the city with 89 percent of its 6,800 units offered at various levels of affordability to income-eligible residents. The agency also manages federal Housing Choice Vouchers and other rental assistance programs that help about 6,400 families and individuals cover housing costs each year. In all, FWHS ensures that more than 33,000 people have a safe, affordable place to call home each day. Learn more at www.fwhs.org. 

About the Stop Six Choice Neighborhood Initiative 

The Stop Six Choice Neighborhood Initiative is a multi-year effort developed by residents, community leaders and stakeholders to transform a historic community in Southeast Fort Worth into a vibrant, safe and sustainable community with access to quality education, healthcare, services and amenities – a “neighborhood of choice.” The effort is guided by a 2019 Transformation Plan that calls for six phases of new, mixed-income housing, commercial space, neighborhood improvements and multi-purpose community hub and aquatics center. The U.S. Housing and Urban Development seeded the transformation with a $35 grant Choice Neighborhood Implementation Grant awarded to Fort Worth Housing Solutions and the City of Fort Worth in 2020. In all, the initial HUD grant is expected to trigger more than $345 million in investment and improvements for the Stop Six community. 

FWHS Residents Complete Entrepreneurship Program, Pitch Business Plans

By | Features, News

On the Monday before Christmas, Fort Worth Housing Solutions and the Center for Transforming Lives hosted a Pitch Night event to close out CTL’s Level Up Microenterprise Program for 2022. Four future business leaders were able to present their business plans to potential investors, and in the coming weeks and months, they will take the knowledge and skills they learned through this program to build the businesses of their dreams.

The Level Up Microenterprise Program is run by the Center for Transforming Lives. Each year, they accept several cohorts of aspiring entrepreneurs, giving them the tools they need to plan and prepare for launching their own businesses.

Each participant is paired with business mentors and financial advisors who teach them necessary skills in building a business such as target market research, developing a business model and writing a business plan. Additionally, once participants finish the program, they may qualify for a $2,000-$5,000 matched savings grant to help them with the start-up costs associated with their businesses.

Normally, the Level Up Microenterprise Program is a six-week program, but because of the holiday season, this cohort of participants learned the concepts and skills central to building a business in just three weeks.

Three of the participants in the final cohort of 2022 – Shuntoyia Shaw, Ni’Shara Luckey and Jeanelle Crockett – are also FWHS residents. Shaw will be developing a mobile phlebotomy business called Top of Line Technician. Crockett plans to open her business, Loc’d In With Nell, to provide mobile hairstyling services to the people of Fort Worth. Luckey will be selling specialized gift baskets in her business, Kashmere Koated Kisses.

The next cohort of the Level Up Microenterprise Program will start in the new year. More information about the program and how to apply can be found here on CTL’s website.

As they continue their journey of entrepreneurship, FWHS and Center for Transforming Lives will continue to provide the tools and resources to help them achieve success. Be on the lookout for opportunities to meet these future CEOs and sample their products and services soon!

Keeping Cool: Tips in Texas

By | News, Uncategorized

Texas heat can be extremely hot in the summer months but there are a few ways to help keep cool.

  • Keep your HVAC system well maintained. 
  • Make sure the area around your outside unit is free of debris. Keep grass and branches cut around the unit. This allows the unit to run efficiently. 
  • Keep your thermostat temperature constant. Changing the temperature every time you leave actually causes the unit to work harder, thus causing your bill to be higher. An average temperature of 75-78 is best between the heat of the day which is from 11am-6pm. Any temperature below 75 can risk unit running all day and not resting in the heat of the day and could also freeze a unit up. It cannot reach those lower temperature when the heat index exceeds in the 3 digits outside.
  • Change your air filter regularly. Read the recommended time on your filter package.
  • Blocking sunlight from coming in your windows by using blinds and/or curtains. Windows that face west or south will bring in the most heat. Consider heat blocking curtains for these windows. 
  • Turn on fans. They help circulate air in the room. Fans are cheaper to run than the air conditioner, and they help you feel cooler..
  • Don’t use the oven to cook on those extremely hot days. Fire up your grill and cook your meat and veggies outside. 
  • If possible, air dry your dishes instead of running the dishwasher every day. Your utility bill (and house temperature) will thank you.
  • Do laundry early in the morning or in the evening and when using your dryer, put it on right before bed so that the heat will be gone by morning.
  • Also selecting a newer and better insulated unit to lease can be more energy efficient and maintain cooler temperatures than an older unit.

Fort Worth Housing Solutions Recognized for Excellence in Financial Reporting

By | News, Press Releases

Government Finance Officers Association awarded FWHS Certificate of Achievement

FORT WORTH, Texas, June 7, 2022 –  Government Finance Officers Association of the United States and Canada (GFOA) has awarded the Certificate of Achievement for Excellence in Financial Reporting to Fort Worth Housing Solutions for its annual comprehensive financial report for the fiscal year ended December 31, 2020.

The report has been judged by an impartial panel to meet the high standards of the program, which includes demonstrating a constructive “spirit of full disclosure” to clearly communicate its financial story and motivate potential users and user groups to read the report.

The Certificate of Achievement is the highest form of recognition in the area of governmental accounting and financial reporting, and its attainment represents a significant accomplishment by a government and its management.

“Fort Worth Housing Solutions is committed to transparency, accountability and achieving the highest standards in financial reporting,” FWHS President Mary-Margaret Lemons said. “We are so proud of the excellent work being done by our financial and administrative team led by our Vice President for Finance and Administration Hector Ordonez.”

About Fort Worth Housing Solutions

Fort Worth Housing Solutions is the premier provider of affordable housing in the City of Fort Worth. The agency’s portfolio includes 38 mixed-income properties across the city with 89 percent of its 6,800 units offered at various levels of affordability to income-eligible residents. The agency also manages federal Housing Choice Vouchers and other rental assistance programs that help about 6,400 families and individuals cover housing costs each year. In all, FWHS ensures that more than 33,000 people have a safe, affordable place to call home each day. Learn more at www.fwhs.org.

About the Government Finance Officers Association

Government Finance Officers Association (GFOA) advances excellence in government finance by providing best practices, professional development, resources, and practical research for more than 21,000 members and the communities they serve.

Stop Six Community Hub, Aquatics Center Included in May 7 Bond Election

By | Features, News, Uncategorized

Fort Worth voters will consider five propositions for municipal bond funding in a May 7 election. The propositions are divided into funding for streets and pedestrian mobility infrastructure; park and recreation improvements; public library improvements; police and fire safety improvements and open space conservation.

Proposition B, the parks and recreation item, totals $124 million. That sum includes $17.5 million for design and construction of a 28,000-square-foot community center to replaces the aging Martin Luther King Jr. Community Center on Truman Drive and $8.2 million for design and construction of an adjacent outdoor aquatics center.

The city has scheduled several community meetings this month to share information about the proposed bond program, including:

  • 6-8 p.m. Monday, April 11, East Regional Library, 6301 Bridge St.
  • 6-8 p.m., Wednesday, April 20, McDonald YMCA, 2701 Moresby St.
  • 10 a.m.-noon, Saturday, April 23, Handley Meadowbrook Community Center, 6201 Beaty

Residents may also submit questions and comments via email at FWConnection@fortworthtexas.gov.

Key dates:

  • Thursday, April 7 – Last day to register to vote in May 7 election
  • April 25-May 3 – Early voting period
  • May 7, 2022 – Election Day

Hughes House Mixed-Use Development Designs Released

By | Features, News, Press Releases, Stop Six CNI, Uncategorized

Community Will Add 210 Residences, Retail Space to East Rosedale Street by 2023

FORT WORTH, Texas, Dec. 29, 2021 – Fort Worth Housing Solutions and the City of Fort Worth have approved final designs for Phase I of Hughes House, the mixed-use development that will bring 210 apartments and townhomes with a variety of floor plans to the Stop Six Choice Neighborhood by 2023.

The development will rise on a portion of the former Cavile Place public housing site along East Rosedale Street and Amanda Avenue and will include about 12,000 square feet of ground-level commercial space ideal for neighborhood businesses. Crews are expected to break ground in June 2022, with substantial completion planned by Dec. 31, 2023.

Two additional phases also will be part of Hughes House, which takes its name from famed Dunbar High School Coach Robert Hughes Sr., the winningest boys’ basketball coach in history. Basketball-themed bollards are envisioned for the property’s Rosedale-Amanda entrance and in recreational and greenspaces as a tribute to the coaching legend. View a gallery of renderings, the site plan and sample floor plans here.

Mayor Pro Tem Gyna Bivens, who serves District 5 including Stop Six, said Hughes House design approval marks a significant milestone in the transformation of the community.

“Hughes House will be a new center of activity for Stop Six, a place where people can visit from their porch, walk from their homes to neighborhood businesses and services and enjoy playtime with their children – it’s just incredible to see the pieces coming together,” Bivens said. “The overall master plan truly honors the leadership Coach Hughes provided in our community as he mentored generations of players, fans and families.”

Rental units will range in size from a 668-square-foot, one-bedroom apartment to a 1,621-square-foot, four-bedroom townhome on two levels. Units also will be available in two- and three-bedroom configurations. Amenities will include a community swimming pool and splash pad, a fitness center and dog park. Plans also call for a linear park that will connect future phases and provide a pedestrian path east to Rosedale Park and a future community hub.

“All of our partners have poured heart and soul into the vision for Hughes House,” FWHS President Mary-Margaret Lemons said. “Our collective goal is to provide beautiful homes in a desirable community with access to services and amenities that allow people to thrive.

“We can’t wait to see the transformation that will take place.”

Hughes House is the second housing phase called for in the Stop Six Choice Neighborhood Initiative. Construction of Cowan Place Senior Living, at East Rosedale and Stalcup Road, began in September. Pre-leasing for the 174-unit community designed for residents 62 and older is scheduled to begin in 2022.

The effort is seeded by a 2020 U.S. Housing and Urban Development grant focused on transforming housing, neighborhood improvements and support for residents who previously lived in J.A. Cavile Place public housing community. Cavile’s 300 units were demolished this year to make room for modern residential development. Former residents relocated to homes of their choice with rental assistance and have the right to return as new communities come online.

Hughes House is designed as a walkable environment. Residential buildings face the street with resident parking tucked away behind the homes and street-facing front porches and sidewalks encouraging interaction with passersby. Parking for the mixed-use buildings along Rosedale will also be tucked behind, connected to the street-facing retail and resident amenities with paseos, said Michael J. Bennett, principal and CEO of Bennett Partners, architect for the development.

“We worked to design a place where anyone would want to live. We focused on creating a great neighborhood and designed the buildings around that,” Bennett said. “There really isn’t another neighborhood like this in town. It will welcome a diversity of incomes and family types and we believe attract other development. We think it will be fabulous for Fort Worth and this community.”

In the coming months, development partner McCormack Baron Salazar of St. Louis, Mo., and general contractor Block Companies, of Houston and Baton Rouge, will finalize construction budgets, secure permits and financing, and conduct an outreach campaign to recruit local subcontractors and workers interested in participating in the construction effort.

Interested subcontractors should contact Wendy Taylor of the Kuniklo Corp. at wendy.taylor@kuniklo.com or 623-505-4855 ext. 6. Potential workers from the Fort Worth area should contact Jerome Johnson, FWHS Workforce Coordinator Jerome Johnson at jjohnson@fwhs.org.

The project timeline is tight and compact to meet the Dec. 31 completion deadline, a requirement of the Texas Department of Housing and Community Affairs, said Louis J. Bernardy, MBS senior vice president and Texas development director. The agency awarded Hughes House a competitive, 9 percent tax credit to help finance the project and encourage development of affordable housing.

“A lot will be happening over the next few weeks to engage with businesses, meet with small contractors and keep city leaders up-to-date along the way – all so we can get to our June closing and bring this vision to reality,” Bernardy said. “We know that Hughes House will be an incredible catalyst for Stop Six that will attract the people and economic development needed to create a sustainable, inclusive and desirable neighborhood of choice.”

About the Stop Six Choice Neighborhood Initiative

The Stop Six Choice Neighborhood Initiative is a multi-year effort developed by residents, community leaders and stakeholders to transform a historic community in Southeast Fort Worth into a vibrant, safe and sustainable community with access to quality education, healthcare, services and amenities – a “neighborhood of choice.” The effort is guided by a 2019 Transformation Plan that calls for six phases of new, mixed-income housing, commercial space, neighborhood improvements and multi-purpose community hub and aquatics center. The U.S. Housing and Urban Development seeded the transformation with a $35 grant Choice Neighborhood Implementation Grant awarded to Fort Worth Housing Solutions and the City of Fort Worth in 2020. In all, the initial HUD grant is expected to trigger more than $345 million in investment and improvements for the Stop Six community.

Kendrick Ladd building new life in The Holston

By | Features, News, Uncategorized

Photo by Cristian ArguetaSoto | Fort Worth Report

Kendrick Ladd found himself living out of cars and celebrating holidays alone in the park. The 32-year-old Army veteran admits that he was ill-prepared for life on this own and needed a fresh start.

With the assistance of Fort Worth Housing Solutions counselors, Ladd was introduced to the HUD-Veterans Affairs Supportive Housing (HUD-VASH) program that combines HUD’s Housing Choice Voucher (HCV) rental assistance for homeless veterans with case management and clinical services provided by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs.

Ladd, a FWHS resident for about two years, moved to The Holston in February. The community is the first FWHS mixed-income development serving the thriving Alliance Corridor. The 264-unit property, with units offered at both market and reduced rates, offers high-end amenities in a resort-style community off Texas 170 and Keller Haslet Road in an area near major distribution centers for companies like General Motors, BEHR, Facebook and UPS, and the high-performing Northwest Independent School District.

Ladd, a former Army mechanic, is developing a mobile mechanic business that he plans to launch in 2022. He said The Holston has been more than a home; it’s allowed him to build a new life. Ladd was recently featured in Fort Worth Report’s story “Fort Worth Housing Solutions aim to solve poverty, housing issues in city with projects.” FWHS caught up with Ladd for the following Q&A.

How did you find out about housing assistance?

“I was pretty young when I went into Army at 17, and when I got out I didn’t know how to rent an apartment or pay bills. But I got an apartment, and I wasn’t financially ready for it. I wasn’t prepared.

“Before long I was taking temp jobs and I didn’t have a place to stay. I didn’t want to be a burden to my family. I’ve always just stuck in out on my own. I was searching if there was anything out there for veterans and found out about the HUD-VASH program. I talked to a counselor and they said this would work for me, and I was able to apply.”

What are your impressions of The Holston?

“It’s amazing. When you look at it, you think, ‘This going to be expensive, and how can I afford it?’ It’s a high-class apartment with so many amenities. It’s quiet. They have a pool, game room, exercise equipment, gym area, TVs, interview rooms. There are also tons of resources to motivate you to find a job. The Holston is a kind of place that not only is your apartment, but you can do other things to better yourself.”

What does it mean to have a roof over your head and bed to sleep on?

“I’m extremely thankful. I’ve been outside, slept in my car, slept in other people’s cars. I’ve had holidays where I was homeless. I didn’t want to be a charity case. I would just go to park and grab something to eat and celebrate there.

“To actually have a place to come home and wash my clothes and sleep comfortably … I really can’t put it into words. It’s amazing.”

What is coming next in your life?

“Hopefully next year should be pretty big for me. I want to start my business with help from Fort Worth Housing. I want to start giving back in the community. Without Fort Worth Housing, I wouldn’t be able to financially start a business or do anything. It’s been a big impact on my life, and I want to give back.”

Lanesha Davis Named Vice President of Housing Operations and Client Services

By | News, Press Releases

FORT WORTH, Texas (Oct. 28, 2021) – Fort Worth Housing Solutions has promoted Lanesha Davis, an eight-year agency veteran who previously led all special programs, to Vice President of Housing Operations and Client Services. Davis reports to Deputy Director Sonya A. Barnette, who is also Senior Vice President for Housing and Client Services.

Davis joined FWHS in 2013, and most recently served as Special Programs Director/504 Coordinator. In her new role she will lead the operations of all housing programs – including the Housing Choice Voucher and Rental Assistance Demonstration programs – and grant administration for all programs serving homeless residents and well as oversee Fair Housing and 504/ADA compliance for the agency as a whole.

“We are providing assistance to persons who are at a crisis point, which would be representative of our homeless population,” Davis said. “We’re also assisting those persons who are low-income who need support in maintaining a safe environment.”

Davis is a seasoned administrator with more than 20 years of experience with federal affordable housing programs, Fair Housing compliance and grants management. She has a vast knowledge of community resources and has worked with a variety of target populations. She served as the City of Arlington’s Housing Coordinator for more than a decade before joining FWHS.

“Lanesha is a proven leader who cares for the families and communities we serve,” FWHS President Mary-Margaret Lemons said. “The contributions she’s made to our organization over the last eight years have impacted thousands of lives. She is a welcomed addition to the management team, and I know she will continue to serve our clients with dignity and respect.”

Davis said FWHS has evolved during her tenure while remaining true to its mission to develop housing solutions where people flourish.

“I have seen the actual transformation of us streamlining and taking on new leadership and really working with strong community partners and developers,” she said. “Although we’re moving from a public housing model to a rental assistance model, we are vastly increasing our capacity to aid our community in developing affordable housing, which is a much-needed service.

“I’m very excited about the direction we’re going, and how we can be a much greater community partner.”

Davis currently serves on the Tarrant County Homeless Coalition Improvement, Coordination and Training committee, and serves on the MHMR Homeless Community Advisory Board. She earned a Bachelor of Science degree from North Texas University in sociology and an MBA from Texas Woman’s University. She also holds an ADA coordinator certification from the University of Missouri-Great Plains ADA Center.

About Fort Worth Housing Solutions

Fort Worth Housing Solutions is the premier provider of affordable housing in the City of Fort Worth. The agency’s portfolio includes 40 mixed-income properties across the city with 87 percent of its 7,000 units offered at various levels of affordability to income-eligible residents. The agency also manages federal Housing Choice Vouchers and other rental assistance programs that help about 7,000 families and individuals cover housing costs each year. In all, FWHS ensures that more than 28,000 people have a safe, affordable place to call home each day. Learn more at www.fwhs.org.

In the News

HUD Secretary Marcia Fudge Visits Fort Worth Affordable Housing Development

NBC5, Oct. 21, 2022

Fort Worth’s Butler Place Redevelopment Plan Moving Forward

NBC5, Aug. 21, 2022

These new developments in and around downtown Fort Worth are coming soon

Fort Worth Star-Telegram, July 27, 2022

Growing affordability: How a housing agency leader aims to provide solutions in Fort Worth

Fort Worth Report, June 15, 2022

Great Women of Texas honored at Fort Worth Business Press event

Fort Worth Business Press, April 29, 2022

The next stop for Stop Six: the neighborhood is changing. Will commercial development catch up?

Dallas Business Journal, Feb. 25, 2022

Converted Fort Worth hotel provides hope and a model to end chronic homelessness

WFAA, Jan. 20, 2022

Officials Release Designs for Hughes House Development in Stop Six

Fort Worth Inc., Dec. 30, 2021

It’s a lifesaver:’ Fort Worth’s homeless get a fresh start at Casa de Esperanza

Star-Telegram, Dec. 21, 2021

Fort Worth housing authority aims to build different approach to poverty

Fort Worth Report, Nov. 17, 2021

Sneak Peek: Cowan Place, Stop Six

Fort Worth Inc. Magazine, Oct. 16, 2020

Historic Fort Worth neighborhood receives $35 million HUD grant

Fox 4/KDFW-TV, April 27, 2020

Persevering for the East Side: Religious and nonprofit groups pull together to feed a pandemic-ravaged but undaunted Stop Six community

Fort Worth Weekly, April 26, 2020

‘A great day’ $35 million will help restore this Fort Worth Neighborhood

Fort Worth Star-Telegram, April 24, 2020

Fort Worth Neighborhood Wins $35 million HUD grant

Fort Worth Business Press, April 24, 2020

HUD Awards $35 Million to Fort Worth Neighborhood Revitalization

NBC5/KXAS-TV, April 23, 2020

Fort Worth Housing Solutions, AMCAL break ground on Alliance Multi-Family Housing

Fort Worth Business Press: Dec. 20, 2019

Rebirth in Stop Six? Cavile Place Redevelopment Plans Are Taking Shape

Star-Telegram: Oct. 21, 2019

Dennison Returns to Fort Worth Housing Solutions as SVP of Development and Asset Management

Fort Worth Business Press:  April 4, 2019

Once Homeless, Fort Worth Special Olympian Headed to World Games

NBC 5: Jan. 31, 2019

Fort Worth Housing Solutions marks 80th anniversary

Fort Worth Business Press: November 1, 2018

City coming together for affordable housing solutions

Star-Telegram: October 26, 2018

Fort Worth’s public housing authority is overhauling itself

Next City: July 18, 2018

Fort Worth’s solution to affordable housing crisis: Build its own

NBC5: May 31, 2018

Changing the model: Fort Worth Housing Solutions seeks to fund renovations and new affordable housing for those in need.

Fort Worth Business Press: November 24, 2017

For first time in six years, Fort Worth Housing voucher waitlist opens

NBC DFW Channel 5: November 14, 2017

How to apply for Fort Worth housing vouchers

Fort Worth Star-Telegram: November 1, 2017

Butler Place redevelopment gets boost with hiring of a master developer

Fort Worth Star-Telegram: March 22, 2017

Fort Worth erasing stereotypes of affordable housing

CBS DFW Channel 11: March 20, 2017

Developers named for Butler Place redevelopment plan

Fort Worth Business Press: March 21, 2017

Fort Worth Housing Solutions picks developer to rework massive Butler Place site

NBC DFW Channel 5: March 20, 2017

Fort Worth’s Butler Place housing project may close

NBC DFW Channel 5: January 3, 2017

The changing face of Fort Worth public housing

NBC DFW Channel 5: October 26, 2016

Pace picking up on plans to redevelop World War II-era…

Fort Worth Star Telegram: September 10, 2016

Affordable housing: Not just for the poor

FWinc.: July 15, 2016

Fort Worth Housing Solutions preserves development

Novogradac Journal of Tax Credits:  April, 2016

New name, new game plan for affordable housing in Fort Worth

Fort Worth Business Press:  March 18, 2016

Hunter Plaza affordable housing reopens in downtown Fort Worth

Fort Worth Star Telegram:  February 24, 2016

Downtown Fort Worth apartments reopen

CBS Channel 11:  February 24, 2016

 

Media inquiries:

Art Garcia
Communications Manager
artgarcia@fwhs.org, w 817-333-2104