Housing Authority opens Hunter Plaza, adopts new name

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The Fort Worth Housing Authority has a new name: Fort Worth Housing Solutions.

The announcement was made Wednesday at the opening of the newly-renovated Hunter Plaza.

Since its creation in 1938 as the Housing Authority of the city of Fort Worth, FWHS has been administering affordable housing programs and support services in the city. FWHS’ business model has evolved to include an emphasis in the acquisition, development and management of multi-family property as a way to provide more affordable housing opportunities in Fort Worth.

“This is an exciting transition and one that has been in the making for years,” said Naomi W. Byrne, Fort Worth Housing Solutions’ president. “It’s an honor to lead an organization that has had its roots in Fort Worth for almost 80 years. Our mission remains strong and our success can be attributed to being responsive to the ever-changing markets and the reduction of federal housing funding, making progress through innovation, and meeting the needs of one of the fastest growing population centers in the United States.”

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The $29 million redevelopment of the old Hunter Plaza public housing tower downtown, at 605 W. First St., began in November 2014. The 11-story redevelopment includes 164 units. Fifty-five of the apartments will be public housing and workforce housing, while the others will rent at market rate.

“This is not your grandfather’s housing,” Byrne said in her speech. “We are changing the face of housing and our tenants are not what you might expect. We have recent college graduates wanting to live where they work, young families, to seniors with active lifestyles.”

The development’s public partners include the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, Texas Department of Housing and Community Affairs, city of Fort Worth and the Downtown tax increment finance district.

Private partners include PNC Bank, Stonehenge Capital, Community Bank of Texas and Bank of Texas, and Carleton Development LTD. BOKA Powell is the architect, and SEDALCO Construction the contractor.

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FWHS owns 1,001 public housing units, 2,777 affordable housing units and 665 market-rate units, administers 6,385 vouchers and operates a homeownership program.

www.fwhs.org.

Robert is a Fort Worth native and longtime editor of the Fort Worth Business Press. He is a former president of the local Society of Professional Journalists and was a freelancer for a variety of newspapers, weeklies and magazines, including American Way, BrandWeek and InformatonWeek. A graduate of TCU, Robert has held a variety of writing and editing positions at publications such as the Grand Prairie Daily News and InfoWorld. He is also a musician and playwright.

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