Homeowners upset over public housing plan in Galleria area

Property owners and parents gathered at Briar Grove Elementary Wednesday evening voicing their opinions on a new complex to be built on Fountain View. Parents are concerned too many new students will be brought in to the school.

HOUSTON—Briargrove Elementary School was packed with parents and property owners Wednesday evening who sounded off during a Houston Housing Authority public hearing on a proposed low-income development.

"What is the bottom line here," asked one woman. "They have no right to come to our school," another man said.

Most people in the room opposed an HHA plan for a development called 2640 Fountain View. Some of the parents said the 233-unit complex would funnel too many children to Briargrove which is already at capacity.

"There are 200 kids that get turned away here every year," said John Luman. "They sit in the library at 9 a.m. and hope that some kid doesn't show up."

HHA officials said the development would only bring roughly 42 to 60 new children to the school, but other opponents warned the complex might lower property values and cause an increase in crime. 

"People come in here and they steal the tires off of the Suburbans and we have people wandering around here," said Richard Caldwell. 

The proposal needs state and federal approval before moving forward.

It would cost about 51 million dollars to build and HHA hopes to break ground in the latter part of the year. 

One supporter of the development believes the housing authority is on the right track.

"For once, the housing authority is looking at a location where there's great access to opportunity, where there's jobs, where there's amenities," said Chrishelle Palay.


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