The developer of a low-income housing project proposed for Hwy. 6 and Jackrabbit Road withdrew his application April 16 following a heated Copperfield Coalition meeting.
More than 100 people attended the community gathering to voice opposition to the proposed 180-unit apartment complex, which would have been developed by Bonner Carrington.
“We aren’t proposing what you are concerned about,” said Stuart Shaw, president of Bonner Carrington. “We don’t come to your neighborhood, or anyone’s neighborhood, to hurt. We help.”
Anthony Cecala, coalition president, said the addition of low-income housing would affect Copperfield residents’ lifestyles and commutes.
“These low-income housing units need to be put in a place that would benefit [the residents] better, like in the city limits, where they can get social services and catch a bus,” Cecala said. “Out here it doesn’t make sense.”
There are several low-income housing projects under consideration in Northwest Houston through the Texas Department of Housing and Community Affairs, but not all of them will be approved. Companies that file an application for the program compete with others around the state for credits, which are sold to construct the complex up to standards and keep the rent affordable for 30 years. This year, the TDHCA received 162 applications for the program, requesting $181.3 million in tax credits. There is no more than $55 million available for 2012.
Cecala also voiced his concerns about increased crime if another low-income complex were to be built in Copperfield.
“With low-income housing, you do have very good people who are down on their luck, but there is also the bad element that follows them,” he said. “Those are the people we need to worry about. Those are the people who will bring our neighborhood down.”
Several Copperfield residents, along with state Sen. Dan Patrick, R-Houston, state Rep. Allen Fletcher, R-Tomball, and state Rep. Dwayne Bohac, R-Houston, voiced their concerns about the proposed project.
Patrick, whose senate district includes Copperfield, said since legislators do not have the power to stop the proposed project—they can cast votes for or against the complex—he typically sides with the will of the people.
“I’m also a capitalist and free enterprise guy, so if a person says ‘I want to build a senior nursing home,’ I am not one to stop them from pursuing their business,” Patrick said. “But they have to have the support of the community, and it’s clear he doesn’t have support from this community. That’s why he’s withdrawing tonight.”