BRENHAM CITY COUNCIL LEARNS ABOUT BRENHAM JUNCTION COMMUNITY HOUSING PROJECT

  

The Brenham City Council was informed Thursday about a prospective mixed-income community housing development on the west side of town.

Trinity Housing Development Vice President Michael
Vogel shares details with the Brenham City Council
on Thursday about Brenham Junction, a 48-unit
mixed-income community housing project west of
Westwood Lane along Highway 290.

Trinity Housing Development Vice President Michael Fogel spoke to the council about Brenham Junction, a 48-unit, non-age-restricted complex proposed on the north side of Highway 290, west of Westwood Lane. 

The item was only for discussion so no action was taken, but the developer will soon seek a resolution of support from the council so that it can receive tax credit funding through the Texas Department of Housing and Community Affairs to build the project.  It also intends to ask for a property tax abatement from the city and county.

Fogel said having purely market rate apartments would be a riskier investment due to rising interest rates and costs, but supplementing the development with tax credit funding is a steady way to support bringing in more housing.   

Of the 48 one- to three-bedroom units at Brenham Junction, Fogel said half of them are planned to be bound to tax credit rent and income restrictions at or below 60 percent Area Median Income (AMI).  Fourteen units will be full market rate, and the remaining 10 would be for what he called workforce housing, or 80 percent AMI.

Trinity Housing Development is currently working on another project in Brenham, that being Brenham Trails on South Market Street, a 49-unit apartment complex with one- and two-bedroom units to lease for seniors 55 and older.  Fogel said while Brenham Trails did not need an abatement, things are different now from when that project got started.

Fogel said the tax credit funding would finance a large portion of the project to help provide the reduced rent tied to income levels.  However, without the property tax abatement, he said he would have to do fewer market rate units and underwrite them at “an unrealistic rent level.”

Brenham | Washington County Economic Development Director Susan Cates said $689,000 in tax credits are being requested for this project.

Fogel said Brenham Junction would not be Section 8 or public housing, and instead would be privately owned and operated by them for the duration of the 30-year abatement agreement.  Income levels for applicants and residents would be reviewed annually.  He said the project would take a few years to get underway, but before leasing begins, there would be effort to recruit local applicants.  He also noted TxDOT’s plans to improve the Highway 290 – Highway 36 interchange and said that would not impact this development. 

The state will not grant funding to the developer without a council resolution showing support for the project.  The deadline for the developer to receive that resolution is March 1st.

A view of Brenham Junction's proposed location along Highway 290, west of Westwood Lane.
(courtesy Trinity Housing Development)
The income brackets for Brenham Junction and the associated unit pricing.
(courtesy Trinity Housing Development)

5 Comments

  1. Veto this NOW. Our schools are already 20+ percent over-represented by low socioeconomic students. There is a tipping point.

  2. The state will not grant funding to the developer without a council resolution showing support for the project- because Brenham already has such a high density of government housing it exceeds the limit allowed by regular state application process. Brenham already has within the top five percentile of affordable government housing per person- so the state forces the city of approve it and assume the problems that come with such a high number of government units per citizen.

  3. Low income housing is only the beginning of the end of Brenham. Just like Houston. Chose wisely.

    1. Brenham has a strong tradition of providing subsidized housing for its community and has historically done much more and much better than other towns its size. That’s why state law allows our City Council to exercise veto power here and other towns don’t have that. Blinn has also shared in that tradition and has thousands of dorms where most junior colleges have few or none at all. That’s the community-minded spirit is that made Brenham what it is.

      Want to turn Brenham into Houston? Do nothing. Let the Houstonians go on bidding up all our land and housing and displace the locals, especially young people just starting out in life. That’s what’s happening right now and it’s a generational crisis. It leaves the young adults just starting out their careers with no option other than to move away if they want to put down roots and further their careers. It also robs our businesses of home-grown talent. This is why business owners are complaining that they can’t find good help! It’s left town. Even as Houston transforms our town into its retirement community, it transforms our youth into Houstonians.

      If you’re trying to identify this community’s existential crisis, there it is. A small apartment project on the outskirts of town isn’t a cure-all but that’s also why it’s not conceivably a threat. Provided we don’t give them some huge abatement. We shouldn’t be giving hand-outs but we shouldn’t be getting in their way either.

      1. Subsidized housing would not be a necessity if employers paid a “livable wage”. Put the blame for this costly entitlement program gone wild squarely where it belongs; on the businesses who really want to enslave workers rather than empower them. Affordable housing is another subject that is worth exploring. We need to put an end to entitlements, freebies given to both businesses and individuals. If a man won’t work (a conscious choice not to work) then he shouldn’t eat! That’s Bible! Argue with God on the merits of that sentiment and it should apply to con man politicians as well as to the general public. I am so sick and tired of my hard earned money being taxed to death to support hand outs when a proper “hand up” would end the poverty mindset. Why should you and I work while others stay home with free cell service, free medical benefits and a free check in the mailbox with nothing else to do but lay on their backs with their legs up in the air, breeding! Men used to be man enough to provide for and care for their own children. Welfare (a helping hand) is for people to use as a temporary fix for a temporal problem. It was never intended to be a life strategy for survival. Christians support the idea of help for those who need it but not for those whose only interest is to game the system. And politicians are the middle man hustlers and harlots that promote these Anti-Christian, man- made solutions for a lack of integrity, self esteem and honest labor on the part of those who game the system. God is our (their) Refuge and ever present help in the time of trouble. I don’t think we signed up for that task.

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