The Fort Worth City Council voted Tuesday to allocate $19.7 million of the city’s $173 million American Rescue Plan Act funding to four projects supporting community development, affordable housing, tech innovation, and early childhood education.
The council allocated $3 million to contract with CDFI Friendly America, LLC to create a Fort Worth branch that would establish community financial institutions throughout the city that are more responsive to the needs of their immediate neighborhood. This could involve investing in business start-ups, home loans, health clinics or community centers.
The council also allocated $4.2 million to cover the cost of selling the land needed to build the Evans & Rosedale Urban Village project to developer Hoque Global for $36. That project will bring 292 apartment units, 20 town homes and a much needed grocery store to an area of the city with few community services.
District 8 council member Chris Nettles expressed his enthusiasm for the project by opting to forego his planned remarks and pass the measure quickly.
Also, $2.4 million will go to fund an effort by the University of North Texas Health Science Center to bring the technology accelerator program TechStars to Fort Worth. The partnership hopes to create an incubator for innovative companies within the city.
The largest allocation of $10.1 million will help fund two projects promoting early childhood education, and a series of affordable housing projects built by Fort Worth Area Habitat for Humanity.
Child Care Associates will get $2 million to renovate the Gwendolyn C. Gragg Child Development Center, and another $5 million to build a new early childhood learning center in the Stop 6 neighborhood. Fort Worth Housing Solutions will get $1.6 million to help with infrastructure improvements on both projects.
Fort Worth Area Habitat for Humanity will get the remaining $1.5 million to buy 14 lots and build 25 affordable homes in the area around JPS Hospital at South Main Street and East Allen Avenue.