The Brownsville Housing Opportunity Corporation and Housing Authority of the City of Brownsville cut the ribbon Wednesday on Poinsettia Gardens at Boca Chica, a 150-unit low-income housing development that looks like anything but.
The development at 341 Oak St. just off Boca Chica Boulevard is a $24 million project that got its impetus in 2016 when the housing authority decided to become its own builder and launched the housing opportunity corporation, Carla Mancha, housing authority CEO said.
In 2016, Brownsville was one of 10 communities in the country and three in Texas to receive a $500,000 Choice Neighborhood Planning Grant, Patricio Sampayo, HACB past president and Wednesday’s guest speaker, said.
After two years of planning, HACB and the BHOC submitted their application and received $20 million in tax credits to launch the project, which broke ground in September 2019.
“You don’t want to congratulate too many people at a groundbreaking so you don’t jinx the project, but this is a ribbon-cutting,” Sampayo said. “Looking out here at the buildings and the clubhouse, and more importantly our families, is just an unbelievable feeling,” he said. “Today I can congratulate everyone involved.”
The project involved working with residents of central Brownsville’s Buena Vida neighborhood and its families “to find out what they really wanted,” Sampayo said.
“This is your project,” he said, recognizing the residents and resident commissioner Laura Villareal. He added that the project had been more than five years in the making and stands as an example of what can be accomplished when people work together as a team.
Mancha credited Precinct 1 Brownsville City Commissioner Nurith Galonsky Pizana with being a longtime supporter of the housing authority and the Buena Vida neighborhood dating to before she became a commissioner
Galonsky characterized the Buena Vida Neighborhood as an “exemplary community,” saying Poinsettia Gardens is a great example of what “people working together for the betterment of the community” can accomplish.
The development includes one-, two- and three-bedroom units, a clubhouse, workout center, Biblio Tech digital library and broadband connectivity throughout.
Written by Gary Long – The Brownsville Herald