Affordable housing in Houston: Grand Park Square in the South Union neighborhood promotes “development without displacement”

HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) – The city of Houston is grappling with a housing affordability crisis. The average price for a family home is currently 32% more expensive than last year.

A couple brings investment in new, affordable homes to an older community within the Loop. Furthermore, they said they are doing so without evicting people who have lived there for decades.

“The perception of this area is poor. It was a war zone,” Kevan Shelton said.

This reputation is under construction. Shelton, the co-founder of Park Street Homes, grew up in the South Union neighborhood. He said he’s building the community he wants to see.

“The only way to turn something bad into something good is to do something. So we decided to do something,” Kevan said.

He and his wife Ayesha created Grand Park Square. Phase one has 16 standard houses. From this autumn, affordable housing will be offered in phase two.

“Apartment prices are astronomical. Being able to offer a community product that is affordable and convenient to all local amenities in the city of Houston is a game changer, I think,” said Ayesha.

Her company works with organizations like Houston Land Bank and Midtown Redevelopment to obtain land at a discounted rate. That helps even out construction costs and allows them to sell new homes within the loop starting at around $200,000.

The Sheltons said their approach to sanitation will also protect people living in older homes.

“We believe in development without displacement. There were no houses here on all the land we are developing on. It was barren land. So we take the raw, unfinished lots with no infrastructure built on them and build apartments there as opposed to demolishing existing houses,” Kevan said.

“We are from the community. We are from the church. We host events that benefit the community and we work with community organizations,” Ayesha said. “So, that’s not coming into the neighborhood and extracting the value. This is a coming into the neighborhood and an added value and also an added value for the people who already live here.”

Grand Park Square is located at Loop 610 and Cullen Boulevard.

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Copyright © 2022 KTRK-TV. All rights reserved. Affordable housing in Houston: Grand Park Square in the South Union neighborhood promotes “development without displacement”

Dais Johnston

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