HOUSTON - New affordable housing units just opened in Greenspoint, creating more homes in a desperate shortage of affordable housing in the Houston area, but the need is growing once again, as inflation is pushing rent and home prices out of reach for many.
"I was actually looking into homes when I was living in a two-bedroom, and the prices were too high," said Pamela Maradiaga, a mother of two.
"I looked at apartments, and they wanted $1,700 for a two-bedroom. I got a two-bedroom here and I like it," said Ross Holmes.
Tenants are finding relief from rising rent and home prices in the new Richcrest Apartments in Greenspoint which has 288 units of affordable housing for households earning between 30% and 60% of the area's median income.
Richcrest Apartments were built with federal disaster recovery funds from Hurricane Harvey and private investment from Dallas-based developer AMTEX.
"Your investment gives people hope that they can meet their immediate needs, and the foundation on which to build their lives," said State Representative Senfronia Thompson (D - Houston).
Houston lost about a quarter of its affordable housing in the flooding of Hurricane Harvey. Now high inflation has forced the Houston Housing Authority to reopen the waitlist for affordable housing for the first time in five years.
"Over the course of the first 48 hours, we had over 25,000 applicants in need of affordable housing," said Houston Housing Authority Chairman Larence Snowden.
Currently, 10 public housing waitlist properties are open in the Northside, Third Ward, and the Museum District.
But with a growing demand for affordable housing, Richcrest tenants say they know how lucky they are.
"What I pay now for a three-bedroom is so affordable. I love it here," said Maradiaga.
To qualify, Richcrest tenants must have household incomes at or below certain limits, plus have a monthly income of two and a half times the rent.
For a family of three, the household income limit to qualify is $47,800.
People can apply in the Richcrest office or through the Richcrest Apartments website.