Charles and Whitney Coats: Promoting More Housing, More Options, More Access

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Strong Towns members Charles and Whitney Coats are a husband and wife duo doing important work to increase housing opportunities in their home state of Texas. After spending two years in the Peace Corps in the Republic of Georgia (where they saw firsthand what it was like to live in a walkable, traditionally-designed neighborhood) to working for Habitat for Humanity today (where they help neighbors who wouldn’t otherwise be able to to access homeownership), Charles and Whitney are passionate about serving others and building strong towns.

They’ve been actively bringing Strong Towns conversations and ideas into their work at Habitat for Humanity and educating their colleagues about this message of financial resilience, built from the bottom up. They even started a podcast to discuss housing issues with fellow Texans.

The Coats are also involved in statewide efforts to reform housing policy. Charles serves on the board of a group called Texans for Housing, which is currently working to promote more flexible zoning laws, eliminating parking minimums and other steps that will enable more Texans to access and afford their own homes.

In this episode of the Bottom-Up Revolution podcast, hosted by Rachel Quednau, Charles and Whitney share their insights on how to speak to people from different political persuasions and geographic backgrounds to find common ground on housing issues, and how to make arguments for Strong Towns principles in a manner that can best be received by the leader or resident being appealed to. For Charles and Whitney, efforts to build stronger towns start with the simple act of loving your place, observing where your neighbors struggle, and then taking the small steps to make life better and more resilient for all.

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