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The Agreement

Drawing from previous studies, the Third Ward Comprehensive Needs Data Report,
the Third Ward Complete Communities Action Plan, and community forums,
we're drafting the CBA around some key needs.

We want decent, permanently affordable housing in the Innovation District and Third Ward for our people through RMC owned properties, community efforts, and policy that reverses the trend of residential displacement in Third Ward.

Affordable Housing

Create a housing fund in partnership with the Houston Community Land Trust 1 to help 1,000 households of existing and long-time residents, who earn 50% or less of the Area Median Income, achieve and sustain homeownership (in multifamily housing buildings) by 2030. 2

Build and sustain 400 permanently affordable units in or adjacent to the Innovation District accessible to existing and long-time residents of Third Ward, who earn between 30% to 50% AMI (families making $15,253.50). 3 4

For all properties associated with Rice Management Company’s portfolio in any way, maintain the following practices to ensure housing security for vulnerable renters:

  • take rent before fees,
  • limiting fee accruals based on income,
  • accept rent payments via check and money order,
  • accept Housing Choice Vouchers,
  • engage in affirmative marketing aimed at low and moderate income people,
  • allow right of first refusal upon death of the primary lease holder for a member of the household, and
  • provide a right to cure period of at least 60 days for tenants.

Fund housing placement and mobility services until 2040 for those who are experiencing homelessness in 77004.

If Rice Management Company owns land where residential properties currently exist, ensure 0 net units of affordable housing are lost due to the Innovation District for the next 50 years. 5

Fund an Accessory Dwelling Unit accelerator program that creates 100-150 new ADUs in zip code 77004 by 2030.

Agree to work with the coalition to identify and implement local policies that create renter protections in Houston. 6

1 “Utilize tools such as community land trusts” in order to achieve the top-priority goal to “secure long-term housing affordability and prevent involuntary displacement” (Third Ward Complete Communities Action Plan, p. 32).

2 A total number of 2019 Third Ward renter households made 50% or less of area median income in the year 2015; however, only 1170 two-bedroom units were affordable to rent for Third Ward families making 50% of area median income. (Third Ward Complete Communities Action Plan, p. 31).

3 “Develop partnerships between local organizations and Housing and Community Development (HCDD) for the construction of affordable single-family infill housing” (Third Ward Complete Communities Action Plan, p. 32).

4 In order to achieve the goal “Build Housing for All,” a top priority project is to “incentivise mixed-use developers to include set-asides for housing that is priced below market” (Third Ward Complete Communities Action Plan, p. 32).

5 “Success [of building housing for all] will be measured by ensuring there is no net loss of affordable housing in the Third Ward and that affordability is maintained in the long- term” (Third Ward Complete Communities Action Plan, p. 30).

6 “A housing advocacy team will be created to continue to advocate for policies that prevent displacement, support existing residents, and encourage the construction of housing as identified in the housing plan” (Third Ward Complete Communities Action Plan, p. 31)

We want existing and long-time Third Ward residents to have funds, contracts, skills, tools, protections, and space needed to operate small businesses in the Innovation District and Third Ward that bring vitality, stability, and needed services to our people.

Black Businesses

We want African American residents and legacy residents of the historic Third Ward to determine the neighborhood’s legacy by restoring our historic sites, organizing celebrations of our history and culture, and leveraging technology to document and share our stories.

Cultural Preservation

We want the Innovation District to address barriers to employment for Third Ward residents, and we want all workers at the Innovation District to be justly paid, safe, and empowered on the job.

Economic Opportunities for Residents

We want to educate Houstonians of all ages to be technical experts, creative artists, critical thinkers, and engaged members of equitable communities, by implementing curriculums, services, and programs that center Houston’s Black history and future.


We want to build and operate grocery stores, restaurants, gardens, farms, kitchens, and policies that provide our people with plentiful, affordable, and healthy food in the Third Ward and Innovation District.

Food Access

We want to co-build a technology ecosystem where our people can thrive.

Tech Entrepreneurship

We want to sign a Community Benefits Agreement that includes enforcement parameters aimed at 1) keeping community members engaged informed and 2) ensures success of the signed agreement.

Accountability and Shared Ownership