BCS Habitat staff begin advocacy campaign in DC and Austin
Thousands of people in our community live without basic housing essentials most of us take for granted. Things like a comfortable, affordable home able to efficiently contend with the tough Texas elements, a stable living environment to call their own and raise a family. B/CS Habitat is working every day to fix this problem in our community and, thankfully, we aren’t alone. There are many federal, state and local programs, opportunities and initiatives that work to encourage individuals and organizations like Habitat to identify and serve families and individuals with severe housing needs. This partnership between Habitat and our government is crucial: without it, many working families in our area will continue to live without decent shelter and a stable place to call home.
BCS Habitat staff left to right: Homebuyer Relations Coordinator Victor Gonzalez, Loan Originator and Closing Coordinator Charley Coats, Executive Director Andy York and ReStore Sales Manager Ian Wilkinson
Understanding this, we are working to increase the visibility of what we do for our community by talking with elected representatives at the city, state and federal levels about the impact of Habitat on their constituents. This winter, Habitat staff and our affiliate’s first partner family homeowner, Victor Gonzalez, traveled to Washington, DC and Austin, TX to raise awareness of the severe need for affordable, sustainable housing in our community and to promote specific federal and state programs. These grants and loan programs provide land development assistance for Habitat and also impact individual homebuyers. On average, more than half of all new B/CS Habitat homeowners received at least some federal funding to make their homes more affordable. In addition, close to half of new B/CS Habitat homeowners are approved for Texas Bootstrap loans, a “pay-it-forward,” zero-percent interest loan that provides vital capital to Habitat’s loan program, allowing more families to be served in our community every year. By working together, Habitat and our elected officials can provide the most affordable housing option possible for the families we serve.
To truly tackle the housing problem in Bryan/College Station, we can’t just build homes – we must raise awareness and advocate for policies that promote sustainable, affordable homeownership. We have begun a dialogue with elected leaders but we need you to also support legislation that helps us help families. At a time of such political division, let’s work toward fixing a problem we can all agree upon: building a stronger community by providing affordable and sustainable homeownership for low-income, working families.
B/CS Habitat would like to thank the staffs of Senators John Cornyn and Ted Cruz and Congressman Bill Flores in Washington and State Representative Kyle Kacal in Austin for meeting with us and hearing our first homeowner Victor’s story.