What makes a good community? Good schools? Good roads? Low crime rates? Good job opportunities? At B/CS Habitat, we believe the heart of the community is its residents. When its residents are empowered to invest in their own homes and futures through homeownership, they become the agents of change for a better community.
For more than 25 years, B/CS Habitat has been building homes throughout Bryan/College Station. In 1989, we started out building on single lots as we were able to acquire them. With each home built, a family in our community moved from substandard housing and into a place they can call home.
In 1999, we had an opportunity to build 15 houses in our first subdivision, Miracle Place. Since then, B/CS Habitat has built several more subdivisions including Sharon’s Court with 41 houses, Angel’s Gate with 105 houses and Faith with 24 houses. What we have witnessed in these subdivisions humbled us. We ventured into building subdivisions because we could build more homes by leveraging our resources. What we did not foresee was how creating a subdivision changed a neighborhood.
B/CS Habitat broke ground on the Sharon’s Court, located on the west side of the railroad tracks in Downtown Bryan in 2003, and Angel’s Gate in 2006.
The City of Bryan is investing millions of dollars in a Capital Improvement Project to pave new roads, add new sewer lines and street signage in the streets surrounding Angel’s Gate and Sharon’s Court. Homeowners around the two subdivisions are rehabilitating their homes. Property values have increased, and people who never considered living west of the railroad tracks are starting to purchase homes.
Victor Gonzalez, B/CS Habitat’s first homeowner whose house backs into Angel’s Gate, testifies to the positive impact the subdivision has had in his neighborhood.
“This used to be a rough neighborhood. The change started in 1990 when the City of Bryan began tearing down government rental housing. After Sharon’s Court went up in the early 2000’s and Habitat started building Angel’s Gate, there was an increase of police presence. The City also built a skate park and put in a pool in the neighborhood. Overall, I see more families walking around. There are a lot more kids and more activity in the parks. It’s safe, and people know each other more. Other people in the neighborhood are also keeping their places cleaner, fixing up their homes.”
B/CS Habitat is not the sole contributor to the turnaround of the neighborhood west of Downtown Bryan. The City of Bryan’s elected officials and staff as well as local residents and businesses have also poured time and money into the neighborhood.
But by building these subdivisions, B/CS Habitat empowered 146 homeowners to invest in the well-being of their families and community. Angel’s Gate and Sharon’s Court have made west of Downtown Bryan a more attractive place to live. Our exiting Board member, Martin Walker states it best, “Habitat fills the need for not just the family, but also for a neighborhood, and for the city.”