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Coming to Aggieland: Community housing for adults with special needs

WeBuilt is opening a chapter in Aggieland, planning to build a community of independent living for adults with special needs.
Posted at 6:48 PM, Jun 05, 2024

COLLEGE STATION, Texas (KRHD) — WeBuilt is opening a chapter in Aggieland, planning to build a community of independent living for adults with special needs.

  • Webuilt started in 2020 in Oregon and has now spread in different locations throughout the country.
  • The living community is expected to open Summer 2026.
  • It is expected to house 20-30 individuals with an up-front investment of $175,000-$250,000 and a lower-than-average monthly rent.

BROADCAST TRANSCRIPT:

A new kind of community is coming to Aggieland.

“It's all about is how do you transition special needs adults, that go from being an environment where they're told what to do all the time, to being able to be independent and live their lives," Joe Toeniskoetter said.

Toeniskoetter is the Director of Webuilt Aggieland — a new nonprofit coming to Aggieland that provides community while encouraging independence for adults with special needs.

“I have a special needs son who's 28 — what happened with him is, he always figured he was going to live at home the rest of his life, then his siblings grew up and they moved out," he said.

"When his youngest brother moved out, we really sensed that he had a lot of restlessness, and wanted to become wanting to get out and experience life on his own.”

That’s how Joe got involved with Webuilt — the nonprofit started in 2020 in Oregon, and has since spread to several different locations, and now College Station.

“The other aspect I think is so important in Brazos Valley, is the community of Aggieland — there's so many opportunities and so many organizations that want to be involved, and we're going to involve them.”

Webuilt Aggieland held its first interest meeting this weekend — with lots of interest.

“We’re building from the ground up," Toeniskoetter said.

"We're looking at some lots and vacant lots now within the Brazos area.”

Right now, Joe says they are modeling the community after this project in Oregon and are hoping to house 20-30 individuals — he says the upfront cost is a bit steep, but it will allow them to keep a lower monthly rent.

“Right now somewhere between $175,000 and $250,000 — unfortunately, we have to charge to be able to build it, but then once we do that there will be a monthly rent if we're hoping to be below average rent.”

Joe says they are also looking for public funding opportunities to try to lower that price.