New Hope Housing at Brays CrossingHouston, Texas

New Hope Housing at Brays Crossing elevates and dignifies single room occupancy (SRO) housing by offering its 149 residents quality, affordable housing that contributes to its neighborhood. The project is a redevelopment of the derelict HouTex Inn, a 1964-vintage motel built to house NASA contractors. The seven buildings are organized around five courtyards and two gardens that stretch the length of the property. The size and intimacy of each courtyard encourages a sense of community among the 15 to 20 neighbors who share it.


The project’s most prominent features are four powder-coated steel murals by Chicana artist Carmen Lomas Garza that enliven the 500 foot long sound wall along the adjacent freeway. Based on Mexican cultural themes, the murals are a nod to the neighborhood’s Hispanic heritage. Their cutout patterns cast animated, dappled light onto the courtyards and porches behind them. The murals subtly secure the property, create an attraction for Gulf Freeway commuters, and beautifully express the culture of Houston’s historic Second Ward neighborhood.

“What was really interesting about it was [that] the kind of porch-like spaces hotels often have [became] a series of outdoor landscape spaces.” – Jennifer Yoos, FAIA, Texas Society of Architects 2015 Design Award Juror



Preservation Houston 2017 Pier & Beam Future Landmark Award

Texas Society of Architects 2015 Design Award for Residential Architecture

AIA Houston 2011 Design Award for Renovation and Restoration

Urban Land Institute 2011 Award for Excellence: The Americas [Video]

Urban Land Institute 2011 Houston Development of Distinction Award for Affordable Housing [Video]

Keep Houston Beautiful Mayor’s Proud Partner Award 2011

Architect Magazine 2010 Annual Design Review Live Award

Houston Business Journal 2011 Landmark Award for Community Impact & Public/Private Partnership

Builder Magazine 2011 Builder’s Choice Grand and Special Focus Award for Adaptive Reuse and Public Art categories [Full PDF Text]

Builder Magazine 2011 Builder’s Choice Design & Planning Award

“Houston 175: 1836 through Now,” August 2011, AIA Houston Chapter: Architecture Center Houston

“Public/Service Architecture for Everyone,” October 2010, AIA Houston Chapter: Architecture Center Houston

Texas Architect, September/October 2015, “New Hope Housing at Brays Crossing”

Architect Magazine, 28 June 2012, “New Hope Housing at Brays Crossing”

Houston Architectural Guide, 3rd Edition, AIA Houston, 2012

Architect Magazine, November 2010, “Annual Design Review 2010: Live: Award: Brays Crossing” by Lindsey Roberts

Texas Architect, September 2010, “Portfolio: Multi-Family,” by Noelle Heinze [Full PDF Text]

Culture Map Houston, 9 June 2010, “Public Housing that Approaches Boutique Hotel Style: New Hope’s Brays Crossing Fights Stigmas with Art” by Steven Thomson

Houston Chronicle, June 2010, “Art elements enhance housing complex,” by Douglas Britt [Full PDF Text]

Semana News, 20 June 2010, “Una Comunidad para comenzar la vida,” by Mily Duran [Full PDF Text]

Houston Commercial Real Estate News, 26 May 2010, “New Hope for Affordable Housing” [Full PDF text]

Ultimate East End, 26 May 2010, “Houtex Inn reborn as colorful Brays Crossing,” by Michael Golden [Full PDF text]

Houston Chronicle, 26 February 2010, “Putting Art to Work” by Lisa Gray [Full PDF text]