Houston Supportive Housing Development Sparks Debate

Critics say a proposed apartment building would negatively impact the neighborhood’s walkability.

1 minute read

April 12, 2024, 8:00 AM PDT

By Diana Ionescu @aworkoffiction


Google street view of grassy lot next to brick church with elevated freeway on other side in Houston, Texas.

The requested variance would allow the developer to fit a 13-story building in the lot adjacent to the St. John's United Methodist Church. | Google Maps / 2019 Crawford St.

A proposed apartment building in Houston is spurring discussion about the city’s building code — and where supportive housing for formerly unhoused residents should go. As R.A. Schuetz explains in the Houston Chronicle, the nonprofit developer in charge of the project is requesting a variance to build closer than 25 feet from the property line to accommodate the supportive housing project.

“But lawyers representing the owners of a block of land nearby have protested that the variance would make the area less pedestrian-friendly, which is the purpose of the city rule limiting how close buildings can be to property lines.” The nonprofit, Bread of Life, says it plans to provide pedestrians with a six-foot wide sidewalk.

“The building that would require the variance would be the second of a two-phase project to bring more permanent supportive housing to the block bounded by Crawford, Gray and Jackson streets and the Pierce Elevated, according to Planning Commission documents.”

Wednesday, April 10, 2024 in Houston Chronicle

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