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Houston Habitat for Humanity breaks ground on 127-acre master-planned community

 

Houston Habitat for Humanity together with partners including the City of Houston broke ground today on Robins Landing, a vibrant master-planned community serving low to moderate income Houstonians in their journey to homeownership. Located near Tidwell Road and Mesa Drive in northeast Houston, the 127-acre site will provide critically needed affordable homes, essential services, retail opportunities, and access to greenspace. Hines, the international real estate firm, will serve as a strategic advisor to Houston Habitat for the development, which is a first of its kind.

“Today’s groundbreaking on Robins Landing marks an exciting moment for Houston Habitat and an exciting future for many Houstonians” said Allison Hay, executive director of Houston Habitat for Humanity. “Along with our partners, we are creating a more inclusive, equitable, and open path toward homeownership. Everyone deserves a decent and affordable place to call home with access to everyday resources that make a thriving community.”

Designed for mixed-income and mixed-generations, Robins Landing is set to include more than 450 single-family homes. One hundred homes will be built by Houston Habitat for those earning 80 percent or below the City of Houston’s average median income (AMI) and be sold through the Habitat for Humanity Homeownership program. Three hundred homes will be designed, priced, and sold by partner builders CastleRock Communities and Chesmar Homes for those whose income is 120 percent AMI or below.

“Robins Landing is a significant step in transforming Houston Habitat from a homebuilder to a community builder. The offerings and amenities will help build a vibrant sustainable neighborhood and Hines is thrilled to be involved,” said John Mooz, senior managing director at Hines. “When there’s scale, Hines can bring a level of experience to a master-planned district on adjacencies, complementary uses and resources that make for a unique and special community. We look forward to sharing our knowledge and placemaking experience, not just for Robins Landing, but hopefully in other urban locations as well.”

Houston Habitat is collaborating with community partners to deliver more than just housing to Robins Landing residents and those living nearby. Plans include a 12-acre central park with access to hike-and-bike trails, a community garden, a neighborhood resilience hub, and more. A Town Center will include essential services, including a Legacy Community Health Clinic and Houston Public Library branch.

“Affordable housing is about more than simply providing a roof over someone’s head,” said Mayor Sylvester Turner. “We must work in a collaborative and holistic fashion to improve access to transportation, high-quality grocery stores, and opportunity to address the underlying causes of inequity. Robins Landing is positioned to do just that.”

Using an innovative funding model, Houston Habitat has secured $33 million in funds for site infrastructure, which includes a $4.79 million investment from the City of Houston and $1.5 million from Habitat from Humanity International. Construction loans were secured from Arnold Ventures at no interest, and Houston Housing Finance Corporation at low interest. The remainder comes from traditional development funding including lot and land sales for single-family homes, multi-family units, senior units, and nonresidential businesses. Houston Habitat is seeking an additional $10 million from philanthropy to ensure long term affordability, sustainability, and resiliency.

Infrastructure work has begun to create stormwater detention, drainage, utilities, streets, and access points to the future community. Construction of homes is scheduled to begin in fall 2022 with anticipated community completion by December 2026.

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