PLATINUM2023

Avenue Community Development Corporation

Investing in people, homes and communities

aka Avenue   |   Houston, TX   |  http://www.avenuecdc.org

Mission

Avenue's mission is to invest in people, homes and communities to advance equity and opportunity for all Houstonians.

Notes from the nonprofit

Please contact us at [email protected] or (713) 864-8099 to learn more or join us for a tour of the areas where we work. We have so much we are proud of, and so much yet to do. We welcome your partnership and ideas and invite you to join Avenue in securing Houston's future as a world-class city of healthy, vibrant, and economically diverse neighborhoods.

Ruling year info

1993

Chief Executive Officer

Ms. Mary Lawler

Main address

3517 Irvington Boulevard

Houston, TX 77009 USA

Show more contact info

EIN

76-0380602

NTEE code info

Housing Development, Construction, Management (L20)

Housing Rehabilitation (L25)

Other Housing Support Services (L80)

IRS filing requirement

This organization is required to file an IRS Form 990 or 990-EZ.

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Communication

Blog

Programs and results

What we aim to solve

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Avenue’s purpose is to build wealth and health equity through safe housing, homeownership and neighborhood revitalization. Through an inclusive process, Avenue supports and promotes healthy, vibrant and economically diverse neighborhoods where conditions enhance the quality of life, and where all people have the opportunity to thrive and reach their full potential.

Our programs

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

What are the organization's current programs, how do they measure success, and who do the programs serve?

Affordable Housing; Management of Residential Real Estate Program; Community Outreach

Avenue believes in the power of place. We know that home is more than a house or apartment. Home includes the community in which that house or apartment was built. Home includes the neighbors that live not just next door, but down around the block. Home is the school down the street, the store on the corner, the bus stop.

We also know that the state of one’s home, of one’s community, has a powerful impact on an individual’s health and well being. Zip code, as much as income level or genetic code, is one of the most powerful determinants of life expectancy and other health outcomes.

Therefore, Avenue seeks to improve the lives of Houstonians by investing in their neighborhoods. Using a place-based approach, we work directly with residents to identify needs, develop consensus on a vision for the future, and create action plans to get there. We build affordable housing, provide education and counseling to help families build wealth, and support communities in achieving the goals they set for themselves, in education, infrastructure, public safety, health, and more.

Population(s) Served
Adults

HOMEOWNERSHIP EDUCATION
Pre-Purchase Education: eight-hour classes cover the full home purchase process, from assessing readiness, managing credit, obtaining a mortgage, the homebuying process (making an offer, inspections, negotiations, surveys, appraisals, closing), down payment assistance options and basic homeowner information. Classes are offered at our HomeOwnership Center 3 times per month on Saturdays in English and Spanish for a total of 36 times per year, and online class 24 hours a day year-round.
One-on-One Counseling: addresses short-term barriers to homeownership, including credit issues, debt-to-income ratios, creating a savings plan, reviewing mortgage products, and finding available subsidies. Sessions are offered 60 times a week year-round, with 3,200 appointment options made available per year.
Post-Purchase Education: combines one-on-one counseling with seminars covering a range of topics from home maintenance to property tax protest, with 100 individual sessions an

Population(s) Served
People of African descent
Multiracial people
People of Latin American descent
Economically disadvantaged people
Immigrants

Where we work

Our results

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

How does this organization measure their results? It's a hard question but an important one.

Number of low-income families housed in affordable, well-maintained units as a result of the nonprofit's efforts

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served

Adults

Related Program

Affordable Housing; Management of Residential Real Estate Program; Community Outreach

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Number of volunteers

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served

Adults

Related Program

Affordable Housing; Management of Residential Real Estate Program; Community Outreach

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

Avenue welcomes and incorporates volunteers throughout its operations. In 2018, more than 1,000 volunteers provided more than 14,000 hours of assistance to Avenue’s programs.

Number of clients attending pre-purchase homebuyer education classes.

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served

Adults

Related Program

Affordable Housing; Management of Residential Real Estate Program; Community Outreach

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Our Sustainable Development Goals

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Learn more about Sustainable Development Goals.

Goals & Strategy

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Learn about the organization's key goals, strategies, capabilities, and progress.

Charting impact

Four powerful questions that require reflection about what really matters - results.

Avenue's mission is to build affordable homes and strengthen communities. We improve our communities to enhance the quality of life of working families, and to promote healthy, vibrant, and economically diverse neighborhoods to ensure Houston's future as a world-class city. We strive to address community needs on two levels – at the level of the individual/family, and at the level of the community at large. Our two over-arching goals are to:

1) Support low-income households in attaining a stable, healthy, and sustainable living situation.

2) Revitalize and stabilize low-income communities by improving the area's overall livability and quality of life across sectors.
In our target areas we work not only to develop affordable homes, but also to promote inclusive and vibrant communities in which residents of all income levels have the opportunity to thrive.

In all our activities, Avenue works to effect considered, proactive planning and investment that promote economic opportunity and an enhanced quality of life in the communities we serve.

1) Avenue supports low-income households in attaining a stable, sustainable living situation by:

a) Developing and maintaining affordable homes.
We develop safe, quality homes accessible to low- and moderate-income families. We use green building techniques to create environments that are healthy and energy-efficient. We develop a range of housing options, for purchase and for rent, that support the sustainability of diverse, mixed-income communities. We also help rehabilitate the homes of very low-income veterans, seniors, and disabled persons.

b) Providing asset building services to families.

We offer asset building services to help low- to moderate-income Houstonians improve their financial circumstances. Our Homeownership Center provides HUD-certified homebuyer education, home preservation and foreclosure prevention counseling, and financial capability coaching. Through these services we help Houstonians strengthen their finances by learning how to improve credit scores, increase savings, pay down debt and build assets.

c) Delivering supportive services to residents.

We provide a range of services to support the residents of our affordable rental complexes. Services for children include after-school tutoring, computer labs and other enrichment activities. Services for adults include financial workshops, exercise and recreational activities, parenting clubs, health and nutrition classes and more.

2) Avenue revitalizes low-income communities and improves the area's overall livability and quality of life by:

a) Running intensive community building and engagement and resident leadership programs.

We bring residents and community stakeholders together to collaboratively address critical social needs in the neighborhood. We encourage and develop grassroots leadership and activism, supporting residents to advocate for the resources they need and build the communities they envision. We provide support to community-led projects that seek to improve educational opportunities and outcomes, health, public safety and mobility, and that nurture environmental stewardship, historic preservation and local arts and culture.

b) Supporting local economic development initiatives.

We aim to expand economic opportunities for area residents by working with local businesses to increase revenue, attract investment and create jobs. We spurred the creation of the Greater Northside Chamber of Commerce and a new branding and marketing campaign for the Near Northside to promote the area and attract visitors, business and visibility. Through façade improvement grants, and commercial corridor art projects, we support the local business corridor in its redevelopment and growth.

Avenue's organizational capacity is strong, backed by 29 years of experience in supporting and uplifting vulnerable communities in Houston. Our Executive Director, Mary Lawler, has led the organization since 1996. The senior management team consists of six directors who are not only experts in their fields (Asset Building, Community Building & Engagement, Finance, Development & Communication, Rental Housing, Single Family Housing), but also skilled managers, able to take on a variety of important roles at the organization as needed. Our depth of management has enabled us to meet the financial and operational challenges inherent in the boom and bust cycles of Houston while maintaining steady, healthy growth.

Avenue's active Board of Trustees works closely with executive staff in strategic and operational planning and monitors the organization's programming and property development year round through bimonthly meetings. A third of the current board members live in our target area and offer extremely valuable perspectives in guiding our work.

Avenue's financial health is excellent. We maintain a strong balance sheet that permits us to initiate and sustain major development projects. Furthermore, we have developed diverse funding streams to bolster our long term sustainability. More than 60% of Avenue's income is self-generated through fees and rental revenue. Other revenue sources include foundations, corporations and individuals.
We are proud to have earned the rating of Exemplary from NeighborWorks America, a national non-profit created by Congress to fund a network of 230 local organizations across the United States. This rigorous annual review analyzes Avenue's financial, programmatic and organizational operations. We have earned an Exemplary rating consecutively every year since our first review in 2002 when we became a NeighborWorks Charter Member.

Avenue has a proven track record in affordable housing development, resident engagement and community revitalization in Houston's Greater Northside. To date, we have leveraged $124 million in investments in greater Northside, including the development of 214 single-family homes, 800 rental units and 200,000 square feet of commercial space. We currently provide over 600 families a year with homebuyer education and financial coaching. In 2019, we coordinated 261 partner organizations and 18,950 volunteers in implementing 92 special projects. Our sustained, targeted investment strategy has resulted in visible, lasting improvements in the community we serve.

To date, Avenue has leveraged $124 million in investments in greater Northside, including the development of 214 single-family homes, 800 rental units and 200,000 square feet of commercial space. Between 2010-2017, we coordinated 264 partner organizations and 20,000 volunteers in implementing 200 projects and programs. We currently provide over 1,000 families a year with homebuyer education and financial coaching.

In 2020, we:

• Operated 800 affordable rental units.
• Constructed and sold 6 affordable single-family homes.
• Developed 79 new affordable rental units and preserved 130 affordable rental units.
• Rehabilitated 7 homes owned by very low-income homeowners in need.
• Provided 1,048 households with homebuyer education and/or counseling.
• Processed 251 subordinate loans to low-income homebuyers, to make their mortgages more affordable.
• Counseled 55 homeowners in foreclosure prevention; 42 of these clients were able to retain their homes.
• Provided 242 households with rental and mortgage assistance.
• Provided $1.8 M in direct assistance funds in partnership with Harris County to 1,393 households.
• Spent 107 hours making over 16,000 calls to ensure community members filled out the Census.
• Engaged over 100,000 people and engaged over 45,000 people virtually.
• Hosted 7 Drive-Thru Events serving over 5000 families.

There is no shortage of need in the Houston area, and more work remains to be done. Our vision is to promote healthy, vibrant and economically diverse neighborhoods to ensure Houston's future as a world-class city. We proactively seek opportunities to extend our reach, our learning, and our impact.

How we listen

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Seeking feedback from people served makes programs more responsive and effective. Here’s how this organization is listening.

done We demonstrated a willingness to learn more by reviewing resources about feedback practice.
done We shared information about our current feedback practices.
  • How is your organization using feedback from the people you serve?

    To identify and remedy poor client service experiences, To identify bright spots and enhance positive service experiences, To make fundamental changes to our programs and/or operations, To inform the development of new programs/projects, To identify where we are less inclusive or equitable across demographic groups, To strengthen relationships with the people we serve, To understand people's needs and how we can help them achieve their goals

  • Which of the following feedback practices does your organization routinely carry out?

    We collect feedback from the people we serve at least annually, We take steps to get feedback from marginalized or under-represented people, We aim to collect feedback from as many people we serve as possible, We engage the people who provide feedback in looking for ways we can improve in response, We act on the feedback we receive

  • What challenges does the organization face when collecting feedback?

    It is difficult to get the people we serve to respond to requests for feedback, Staff find it hard to prioritize feedback collection and review due to lack of time

Financials

Avenue Community Development Corporation
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Operations

The people, governance practices, and partners that make the organization tick.

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Connect with nonprofit leaders

Subscribe

Build relationships with key people who manage and lead nonprofit organizations with GuideStar Pro. Try a low commitment monthly plan today.

  • Analyze a variety of pre-calculated financial metrics
  • Access beautifully interactive analysis and comparison tools
  • Compare nonprofit financials to similar organizations

Want to see how you can enhance your nonprofit research and unlock more insights? Learn More about GuideStar Pro.

Avenue Community Development Corporation

Board of directors
as of 03/07/2023
SOURCE: Self-reported by organization
Board chair

Michael "Tate" Barkley

Bain & Barkley

Term: 2018 - 2024

Cassandra Silvernail

Marie Arcos

Viola Solomon

Donna Espadas

Stephen J. Bryant

Jesus DeAnda

Michael "Tate" Barkley

Janis Brackett

John Price

Frances Valdez

Cathryn Martinez

Richard Campo

Elgin Weaver

Winnie (Man Wai) Kwok

Alexandra M. Clements

Daniel Ortiz

Meena Rupani

Board leadership practices

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

GuideStar worked with BoardSource, the national leader in nonprofit board leadership and governance, to create this section.

  • Board orientation and education
    Does the board conduct a formal orientation for new board members and require all board members to sign a written agreement regarding their roles, responsibilities, and expectations? Yes
  • CEO oversight
    Has the board conducted a formal, written assessment of the chief executive within the past year ? Yes
  • Ethics and transparency
    Have the board and senior staff reviewed the conflict-of-interest policy and completed and signed disclosure statements in the past year? Yes
  • Board composition
    Does the board ensure an inclusive board member recruitment process that results in diversity of thought and leadership? Yes
  • Board performance
    Has the board conducted a formal, written self-assessment of its performance within the past three years? Yes

Organizational demographics

SOURCE: Self-reported; last updated 2/28/2023

Who works and leads organizations that serve our diverse communities? Candid partnered with CHANGE Philanthropy on this demographic section.

Leadership

The organization's leader identifies as:

Race & ethnicity
White/Caucasian/European
Gender identity
Female

Race & ethnicity

Gender identity

Transgender Identity

Sexual orientation

Disability

No data

Equity strategies

Last updated: 02/16/2022

GuideStar partnered with Equity in the Center - an organization that works to shift mindsets, practices, and systems to increase racial equity - to create this section. Learn more

Data
  • We review compensation data across the organization (and by staff levels) to identify disparities by race.
  • We ask team members to identify racial disparities in their programs and / or portfolios.
  • We analyze disaggregated data and root causes of race disparities that impact the organization's programs, portfolios, and the populations served.
  • We disaggregate data to adjust programming goals to keep pace with changing needs of the communities we support.
  • We employ non-traditional ways of gathering feedback on programs and trainings, which may include interviews, roundtables, and external reviews with/by community stakeholders.
  • We disaggregate data by demographics, including race, in every policy and program measured.
  • We have long-term strategic plans and measurable goals for creating a culture such that one’s race identity has no influence on how they fare within the organization.
Policies and processes
  • We use a vetting process to identify vendors and partners that share our commitment to race equity.
  • We have a promotion process that anticipates and mitigates implicit and explicit biases about people of color serving in leadership positions.
  • We seek individuals from various race backgrounds for board and executive director/CEO positions within our organization.
  • We have community representation at the board level, either on the board itself or through a community advisory board.
  • We help senior leadership understand how to be inclusive leaders with learning approaches that emphasize reflection, iteration, and adaptability.
  • We measure and then disaggregate job satisfaction and retention data by race, function, level, and/or team.
  • We engage everyone, from the board to staff levels of the organization, in race equity work and ensure that individuals understand their roles in creating culture such that one’s race identity has no influence on how they fare within the organization.