HOUSTON, Aug. 21, 2013 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Travis Street Plaza affordable housing community hosted a dedication ceremony today to celebrate the new 192-unit permanent housing community for very low-income, homeless, and disabled veterans. Houston Mayor Annise Parker, city officials, and representatives of Cantwell-Andersen, Inc./Cloudbreak Houston, National Equity Fund, Inc. (NEF), Amegy Bank, the Federal Home Loan Bank of Dallas (FHLB Dallas), the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) and both City of Houston and Harris County housing authorities joined residents for the event.
Photos accompanying this release are available at http://www.globenewswire.com/newsroom/prs/?pkgid=20606
After opening its doors in December 2012, Travis Street Plaza reached full occupancy in July 2013. The $18.9 million project was a vision of Cantwell-Anderson, Inc. that was developed by its mission-driven subsidiary, Cloudbreak Houston, to enhance Cloudbreak Houston's adjacent 286-unit transitional housing community, Midtown Terrace, by providing a permanent housing option for residents.
Many of the services and amenities are linked between the two communities to provide efficient and cost-effective services, including benefits counseling, mental health counseling, medical care, job training, and rehabilitation provided by the VA, United States Veterans Initiative, Goodwill Industries of Greater Houston, Houston Volunteer Lawyers Program and other local service providers.
Mayor Parker, who has followed the project since its inception, said, "Travis Street Plaza is a great example of how the private and public sectors can work together to offer our veterans —heroes who risked their lives to protect us — a safe and affordable place to call home with access to services that can help lead to self sufficiency."
The Michael E. DeBakey VA Medical Center is a partner service provider for Travis Street Plaza.
"The VA is committed to caring for the men and women who have honorably served our country," said Francisco Vazquez, associate director of the Michael E. DeBakey Veteran Affairs Medical Center. "Providing potentially homeless veterans with affordable housing like Cloudbreak's Travis Street Plaza, is key to giving our Harris County veterans a leg up so they can lead happy and productive lives."
Cantwell-Anderson Inc./Cloudbreak Houston partnered with NEF, which invested $11.1 million of Low Income Housing Tax Credit equity in the development. "At National Equity Fund, we believe that extraordinary things happen when you have great partners and Travis Street Plaza is evidence of that conviction," said Joe Hagan, president and CEO of NEF. "By partnering with Cantwell-Anderson, Cloudbreak Communities, and others, we are able to help provide our veterans with the means to restore their health, find decent jobs and rebuild their lives."
Low Income Housing Tax Credit allocation was provided by the Texas Department of Housing and Community Affairs, and additional funding was provided by the City of Houston, New Man LLC, and a $500,000 Affordable Housing Program (AHP) grant from Amegy Bank and FHLB Dallas.
"We would not be able to build these developments without the support of our funding partners and the Low Income Housing Tax Credit, America's main tool for creating affordable housing," said Tim Cantwell, president of Cantwell-Anderson, Inc. "Travis Street Plaza is the latest step for Cantwell-Anderson Inc. and our family of mission-driven Cloudbreak companies' multi-decade vision to end homelessness among veterans through a coordinated continuum of care including transitional and permanent supportive housing."
AHP grants are awarded through FHLB Dallas member financial institutions, such as Amegy Bank, to assist in the development of affordable, owner-occupied and rental housing for very low- to moderate-income households. This year, FHLB Dallas awarded $11.3 million in AHP funding to 36 projects across its five-state District of Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, New Mexico, and Texas. The funding will result in the creation or rehabilitation of 1,654 housing units across the District, including more than $3.2 million in Texas to support 390 housing units.
"Amegy Bank is proud to have provided construction financing and partnered with the FHLB Dallas AHP program so that Travis Street Plaza could be completed. Amegy supports Travis Street in its mission to help our local veterans who have been displaced or have recently returned from war," said Senior Vice President and Community Banking Manager Brian Stoker. "Travis Street provides Houston area veterans with social services, workforce training and affordable housing, and we appreciate the opportunity to participate on a project that is so valuable to our community."
Community amenities at Travis Street Plaza include perimeter fencing, controlled access, laundry rooms, a covered pavilion with BBQ grills and tables, a fitness center, a community room, and covered parking. Now that Travis Street Plaza is in full operation, the economic benefits have flooded the neighborhood and it is projected to create 58 jobs and generate $4.6 million in community impact per year.
About Cloudbreak Communities
Cloudbreak Communities is the branded name for a family of mission-driven, Limited Liability Companies (LLC), each of which is engaged in the development of supportive housing for homeless, formerly homeless and at-risk veterans. Owned and operated by Cantwell-Anderson, Inc., a California Corporation, the various Cloudbreak companies which make up the Cloudbreak Communities brand have successfully completed the development of nearly 3,000 housing beds in over 2,000 units located in five states and coalesced a myriad of support service providers to deliver needed care to the veteran residents. Another 700+ units are under active or planned development.
About the Federal Home Loan Bank of Dallas
The Federal Home Loan Bank of Dallas is one of 12 district banks in the FHLBank System created by Congress in 1932. FHLB Dallas, with total assets of $32.7 billion as of June 30, 2013, is a member-owned cooperative that supports housing and community development by providing competitively priced loans and other credit products to approximately 900 members and associated institutions in Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, New Mexico, and Texas. For more information, visit the FHLB Dallas website at fhlb.com.
National Equity Fund, Inc. (NEF) is a nonprofit Chicago-based affiliate of the Local Initiatives
Support Corporation (LISC) and one of the nation's leading syndicators of Low Income Housing Tax Credits (LIHTC). For more than 25 years, NEF has played an integral role in creating affordable housing options, revitalizing communities and strengthening local economies. It has invested $10.2 billion in close to 2,200 LIHTC developments, creating 131,500 affordable rental homes for low-income families and individuals. For more information, visit www.nefinc.org.
The photos are also available via AP PhotoExpress.
Source:Federal Home Loan Bank of Dallas