Redevelopment where Avery Apartments once stood has made progress but faced challenges along the way.
On Feb. 11, Taylor Housing Authority (THA) CEO Ebby Green updated the City Council on the redevelopment of the Avery site. A development partner has been selected for the site.
“Our hope is that we can develop anywhere between 120 and 150 apartments at Avery,” said Green.
THA has been working with LIHTC Development Group as a consultant on the project. LIHTC’s Nathan Bondar was present during the demolition ceremony for the original Avery Apartments.
"I don't think I can ever recall a takedown ceremony. Usually it's a ground breaking," said Bondar in 2018. "That's a testament to the community in Taylor and how much everybody cares."
After working with LIHTC, THA put out proposals for a development partner and selected BGC Advantage from Ruston, Louisiana.
“We’re working on a contract with them,” said Green.
Mayor Pro Tem Gerald Anderson asked when construction could start. Green said once a contract is reviewed, THA could work with BGC on development. However, six months ago, THA realized that were was an obstacle in the way that prevents a specific answer.
THA has been under a review from the Office of Inspector General. The review is still being negotiated, and issues needs to be resolved before THA can go into development. The review started before Green came onboard in 2014.
“There were some things that were done by the prior administration,” said Green, “and we have to resolve those.”
Green added that they were going to have a call with the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development within the week.
THA also is working with a homeless coalition with the Texas Homeless Network to put together a coordinated entry system to identify people with needed services.
“What we’re finding is that there are more people coming in to look for affordable housing,” said Green. “That’s why we’re anxious to build those units at Avery because there is definitely a need now with COVID.”
Green added that THA is accepting applications for public housing. Application forms can be emailed to citizens but must be submitted in person at THA on Tuesdays and Wednesdays during 1-5 p.m. at the THA office at 311C E. Seventh St. in Taylor.
For more information, visit http://www.taylorha.org or call 512-352-3231.