In early May, the Federal Home Loan Bank of Dallas (FHLB Dallas) joined its member, Texas Capital Bank, to celebrate the grand opening of Harmony House, a 128-unit facility for working homeless men in Houston, Texas.
Harmony House’s mission is to provide housing for at-risk homeless men, who have barriers to housing and employment.
The $7 million project broke ground on April 1, 2021 to build a brand-new state-of-the-art facility next to its 28-year-old former facility.
“When thinking of how to accomplish this project, we wanted to provide a safe haven for these men where they could shower, wash clothes and acclimate themselves back into the workforce and society,” said Harmony House Chief Operating Officer Preston Witt.
According to Meg Pohodich, CEO at Harmony House, the old facility was aging and caught fire during construction of the new facility, increasing the need to open it.
“We’ve been running a worker dorm for about 28 years now, but it’s in an older building,” said Ms. Pohodich. “There’s a lot of interest in our housing model, but we weren’t proud to show off our old building even though it was important and helpful to our community. Now, we can show off a beautiful new building with a bigger impact thanks to the Affordable Housing Program.”
In 2018, Harmony House was awarded a $750,000 Affordable Housing Program (AHP) subsidy from Texas Capital Bank and FHLB Dallas to provide gap funding for construction of the project.
“The funds were vital,” said Ms. Pohodich. “They continued to help us move forward and continue construction to help us stay on schedule. We would have had to take a construction loan and pay a mortgage.”
AHP funds are intended to assist FHLB Dallas members in financing the purchase, construction and/or rehabilitation of owner-occupied, rental or transitional housing and housing for homeless individuals. The funds must be used to benefit households with incomes at or below 80 percent of the median income for the area.
“Affordable Housing Program funds make a significant impact on communities, especially underserved populations such as homeless individuals and families,said Effie Dennison, Texas Capital Bank Executive Vice President and Director of Community Development. “We are thankful to partner with FHLB Dallas to help improve living conditions for Houston-area families in need by investing in Harmony House’s mission.”
For 2021, FHLB Dallas awarded $18.5 million in subsidies to 26 affordable housing projects. The subsidies will help create 2,113 new or rehabilitated housing units, including more than $7.5 million for 986 units in Texas. Between 1990 and 2021, FHLB Dallas has awarded $344.6 million in AHP and homeownership
set-aside programs and assisted nearly 60,000 households.
“It’s always exciting to see an affordable housing project open its doors to the community,” said Greg Hettrick, FHLB first vice president and director of Community Investment. “We are proud to work with Texas Capital Bank to assist Harmony House with opening its new building that will support its valuable mission of providing housing for working homeless men.”
Ms. Pohodich added that it feels like a dream come true to have the project complete.
“There were a lot of times we weren’t sure we were going to make it to the end, but we are finally here,” she said. “We now have a new building to show all of our hard work and dedication to these men that we serve.”
To learn more about the AHP, visit fhlb.com/ahp.