Photo: Alina Simone
Guadalupe Neighborhood Development Corporation
GNDC board members, homeowners and community leaders break ground on a new development.
The Guadalupe Neighborhood has long been threatened by encroachment through the last several decades by over-zoning to facilitate industrial development, by proximity to downtown which makes it attractive to developers and speculators, and most recently by gentrification which would drive out lower income residents. So in 1979 when local officials proposed to condemn 14 families’ homes for a park and shopping area around the historic French Legation, neighborhood residents, with the help of the local church, organized to oppose the measure. The immediate threat to residents’ homes along with fear of ensuing speculation over adjacent homes mobilized the neighborhood. Their efforts not only succeeded in defeating the proposal, but also in securing the $600,000 dollars intended for the French Legation Park to preserve and create more affordable housing in their neighborhood.
The new Guadalupe Neighborhood Development Corporation (GNDC) used these funds to stabilize their community by building new houses, converting long-time renters to homeowners, making home improvement loans, and helping dozens of residents obtain repairs from city and county programs. GNDC has been a key contributor to the neighborhood’s current vital character, giving long-time residents new reason to take pride in their community and prompting many former residents to “come home to Guadalupe.” GNDC’s latest project is to build twenty-four homes which will be sold to low-income families.
GNDC has been a key contributor to the neighborhood’s current vital character.
Before I moved to this duplex I lived in a one bedroom apartment; yes, me and my four children! I paid $575 for rent, and I was working two jobs: a temp job and a part time job. I’d get home at maybe 10 or 11 p.m. When I found out about GNDC housing it was like an early Christmas present! I grew up right here on Second Street and I’ve always wanted to move back home.
(right) Dianna Aguilar and her daughter Ashley and (below) their GNDC built duplex
I pay $316 a month for this place and that helps a lot. I honestly thought when I was living in that apartment that I was never going to get anywhere. It’s really changed my attitude. Now I feel I have a lot to live for. My temp job landed me a full time permanent job. Now I work for Texas Department of Human Services so I’m much better off. I am also enrolling at ACC this fall to start on an associates degree.

I wanted something better for my kids and this is a big stepping stone for me. Being here is amazing; it’s lifted up all of our spirits.