HOUSTON (AP) - Controversy has risen over a plan for 10-acre low-income housing facility in Brazoria County.
Alvin and Liverpool residents are expected to voice concerns in a city council meeting Tuesday night about a plan to clear 10 acres for low income and homeless people near the border of the two cities.
The founder of the charity Archangels of Texas, Jill Rea, purchased the land in rural Brazoria County a few weeks ago. She posted on Facebook that she plans to “build a small community for low income and homeless” there. Neighbors left hundreds of comments voicing their concerns.
Part of the controversy was over a photo Rea posted showing a tent set up on the property.
“Nobody’s staying in it,” said Rea, showing Fox 26 the tent’s contents. “It’s just a shed.”
Rea says she’s try to calm fears that a homeless encampment might be on its way to the land just off County Road 200.
“I would never put up a tent city—not out here,” said Rea. “No way. I did that, like I said, by accident in Alvin, but it was an accident.”
The accident Rea is referring to was a small homeless tent city that formed around the charity’s old location in downtown Alvin last winter. Since shutting down in March, they’ve been looking for a new location.
Word that this rural Liverpool road is the new location caused neighbors to speak out to city officials.
“A lot of people in the area are very upset that she’s trying to bring them here,” said Catherine Long, secretary for the City of Liverpool.
Long said she’s expecting a big crowd at Tuesday’s 6:30 p.m. city council meeting.
She says residents are not the only ones with concerns.
“The mayor and our council members have opposed the facility being brought here due to the lack of resources that we have to offer,” said Long. “We’re 15 miles from the nearest grocery store.”
Rea says her vision for the new Archangels of Texas location is not what you think.
“All we were thinking about doing at the moment was maybe moving some people out here that were low income—people that are in between trying to get their social security set up,” said Rea. “It’s just a transitional housing type of thing.”
So far all she’s had a chance to do is cut the grass and set up a gate.
“We’re a ways off from all of that,” said Rea. “A lot of that takes funding.”
Brazoria County officials say they’re working on setting up a meeting with Archangels of Texas about the future of the property.