Charles and Whitney Coats are staff members at B-CS Habitat for Humanity. Both graduated from Texas A&M’s Bush School of Government and Public Service in 2010. Whitney attended TAMU for undergrad as well and is a Bryan native.
To the Editor,
In response to Benjamin Lopez’s article “Making B-CS a Home” we’d like to welcome Aggies back to Aggieland. This community is a great place to set down roots; after graduation, we did just that! As Aggies, now we’re working to make it even better for our residents through our work at Bryan-College Station Habitat for Humanity.
Even understanding all the benefits of living in B-CS, we would like to make one thing very clear. Every Aggie who makes this community home potentially increases the cost of housing for our lowest income residents, pushing this vital segment of our population farther away from their jobs and livelihoods by bidding up prices in the housing market, rental and ownership alike. But it does not have to be this way. If you make the move back to Aggieland, we ask that you join B-CS Habitat for Humanity in advocating for greater flexibility in zoning and ordinances so that we can continue to have and improve our housing affordability for everyone who makes this community great!
If you have lived elsewhere and are considering a move back to B-CS, you have most likely encountered tight supply and higher prices in the housing markets of larger cities. Although the prices you see in Aggieland may be affordable for you by comparison, they are not affordable for everyone already here. These larger cities have become less affordable as they have grown because they did not deal with their land use regulations. We want to ensure that Aggieland does not follow that trend.
There is a growing need for affordable housing in our community, far beyond one nonprofit's capacity to satisfy. We believe that increasing the flexibility in both cities' zoning and building codes is one of the best ways to increase the supply of decent and affordable housing here. But we need your help. We need fellow Aggies, devoted to public service, to call upon their neighbors and city councils to allow for more housing options for current residents and new ones alike.
Contact us if you want to get involved in making sure Bryan and College Station can be a great community for all Texas A&M students, graduates, employees and fans. Gig 'em!