Mission: Covenant was formed in 1998 to enhance the beauty, safety, and economic vitality of low-income communities by increasing their capacity to develop affordable housing, grow business enterprises and build family and community assets.
Programs: Community asset building through financing and design and development expertise for initiatives that create homes, jobs or educational opportunities for low-income households. Since 2000 covenants financing and technical assistance has facilitated the creation of over 500 jobs and 1949 affordable homes. 326 of these homes were developed as demonstration projects for low-income families, seniors and disaster relief victims featuring sliding scale rents starting at $330 and amenities designed to enhance quality of life, including free lift-equipped transportation. In 2016 covenant successfully completed development of 84 units of supportive housing serving homeless women and children for the womens home, and secured design and plat approval for an affordable senior housing community to be developed for the montrose center.
family asset building through financial education, coaching, savings matches and no interest loans that help households assess their financial status, develop a spending and saving plan, build good financial habits, access prudent financial services and acquire productive assets that yield long term stability such as a home or college education. Through 2016, 3,814 families with incomes averaging $23,000 have benefited from covenants financial education and coaching, and 693 have used smart saver individual development accounts (ida) savings matches to buy a home, capitalize a small business or attend college. At year-end 885 additional families were in various stages of progress toward building credit, buying a home or attending college.
asset building special projects covenant is the nonprofit sponsor of three asset-building initiatives: raise texas, bank on houston and the greater houston housing coalition. Raise texas promotes asset-based remedies to poverty statewide through research, advocacy and innovative demonstration initiatives. Bank on houston, founded by former city controller and current houston mayor annise parker, and now led by city controller chris brown, is a collaborative of the city of houston, federal reserve, fdic, united way and local financial institutions to help working families and individuals connect with affordable financial services. The greater houston housing coalition is a partnership of fannie mae and local banks to help homeowners connect with tools and opportunities to buy and maintain a home. Covenant provides staff support and administers the expenses of these three initiatives.