Beyonce and Kelly Rowland

Affordable Housing for All

Affordable housing for all! Beyonce and Kelly Rowland spearhead a new affordable housing project in Houston. Beyonce, the power performer who has dominated our ears for the past two decades, and Kelly Rowland, the stylistic songstress and close friend, have reunited. Still, it’s not a Destiny Child reunion, but it’s more divine than that. They’re teaming up with Harris County and the non-profit organization Bread of Life to convert a gymnasium into 31 housing units in midtown.  

Bread of Life is fully committed to serving the city of Houston, founded in 1992 by Pastors Rudy and Juanita Rasmus. The non-profit went from serving hot meals to the homeless in downtown Houston. To later becoming a fixture in the downtown area providing much-needed services, resources, and support to families in need and the homeless population. Bread of Life works closely with Beyonce’s BeyGOOD, a public charity foundation. Beyonce, Tina Knowles-Lawson, and Bread of Life have coordinated domestic and global anti-hunger initiatives and supported natural disaster victims. 

Knowing all that, it only makes sense that this team of forces would come together to develop such an impactful cause. County leaders announced that the project would launch in October at an estimated cost of $8.4 million, but 85.7% is supposed to come from the American Rescue Plan. Besides the support of this awesome team, it is said that developers will employ case managers, peer, and service specialists and provide transportation, health, and well-being services to the complex’s residents. Let’s hope that’s true because that would be so helpful to residents that don’t have access.   


What About Homelessness? 

Homelessness is a major issue. According to USA Fact, The HUD’s definition of homelessness includes sheltered and unsheltered people. 

  • Sheltered people live in domestic violence shelters, transitional shelters, safe havens serving homeless individuals with severe mental illness, or hotels/motels.
  •  Unsheltered people live outdoors, in cars, abandoned buildings, or places not meant for human habitation.
  • People staying with friends are only considered homeless if they cannot stay there for longer than 14 days.

USA Facts also state More than half a million people experienced homelessness in America last year. The Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) counted around 582,000 Americans experiencing homelessness in 2022. That’s about 18 per 10,000 people in the US, up about 2,000 people from 2020.

With that being said, Midtown is a central neighborhood of Houston that’s combating homelessness. It’s located west-southwest of Downtown and is said to be one of the best places to live. Showing you that two things can be true. It can have a large homeless population and be an ideal place to live. It also shows it would be a good place to have affordable housing, so they, too, can benefit from an efficient neighborhood.

According to Axios Houston,  From Jan. 25-27, volunteers counted 1,242 people living unsheltered on the streets — a 17% decline since 2022. The count also found 2,028 people staying in shelters, an increase of 18% over 2022.

Stats will constantly change because there are so many variables to consider. Still, one thing for certain is Houston has a lot of initiatives to decrease homelessness and provide affordable housing, and they’ve done so successfully. 


How Does Homelessness Tie Into Affordable Housing? 

When housing costs are more affordable and available, there’s a lower likelihood of households becoming homeless, and households who become homeless can exit homelessness more quickly and with a greater chance of sustaining a home long-term.

The importance of housing affordability is living in a stable, adequate home that is affordable. This will help yield many opportunities and stronger outcomes for children, youth, and adults.  A stable home can provide a platform for improved employment, health, and education outcomes. 

Generally, housing is “affordable” if it costs less than 30% of the resident household’s income; for example, for a household with $2,000 monthly income, a unit is affordable if it costs $600 or less. Housing may be affordable to people exiting homelessness through a variety of tools. 



So again, the importance of affordable housing is critical. So kudos to anyone who takes a more social tack with their housing efforts. And in this case, that’s Beyonce, Kelly Rowland, Bread of Life, and the city of Houston.

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