State issues

TxLIHIS testimony on Senate housing studies

In an earlier post I listed the various studies related to housing being conducted by Texas Senate Committees during the interim between legislative sessions. I testified at several of the hearings conducted by the Texas Senate Intergovernmental Relations Committee. Below are links to download my testimony…

Intergovernmental Relations Committee

Study and make recommendations on Texas’ housing programs, with particular focus upon:

• Increasing the effectiveness of the Texas Department of Housing and Community Affairs’ (TDHCA) Housing Tax Credit (HTC) Program. Examine potential rule changes to the HTC Program’s Qualified Allocation Plan to give owners of mixed-income projects seeking low-income housing credits the same opportunity to receive credits that low-income projects have, thus helping cities address the problem of a lack of adequate quality affordable housing while enhancing central city revitalization;
Read my testimony

• Significantly improving homeownership rates by evaluating Texas’ efforts to address the growing housing need. Efforts should include assessment of the range of tools which may be used to help low-income Texans develop equity through homeownership. Tools should be evaluated in terms of their economic development impact, leverage of federal and private funds, and how they are utilized in other states; My recommendations

• Evaluating the progress of affordable housing programs within the state and developing recommendations to boost the capacity of non-profits to build increased affordable housing developments;

• Monitor the expansion of the Housing Trust Fund by the 80th Legislature; review the funds of other states to develop recommendations for a permanent funding source for the Texas Housing Trust Fund; Read my testimony

• Promote home-ownership through self-help initiatives such as the Texas Bootstrap Loan Program; (see my recommendations under homeownership charge)

• Assessing the existing use of state and federal housing funds in relation to statutory and budgetary mandates; Read my testimony

• Examining the incidence of health and safety violations and concerns for general habitability among multi-family and single-family rental properties across the state, including properties financed or supported by the state. Consider the adequacy of the existing authority conferred by the state upon local governments to address violations of habitability standards. Make recommendations for extension of local capacity for redress.

• Review title insurance requirements relating to the purchase of a home under an installment contract or contract for a deed. Study title insurance requirements and costs in Texas as compared to other states. Read Robert Doggett’s testimony on behalf of TxLIHIS.

• Study the shifting geographic nature of low-income neighborhoods in urban and suburban areas, focusing on factors that contribute to economic displacement of low income homeowners and factors that contribute to beneficial redevelopment of distressed neighborhoods. Read my testimony

I started my commitment to housing justice for people and communities with low incomes in 1975 in Austin's Clarksville community. These years of working side-by-side with dedicated community leaders to find solutions to housing and community development challenges have taught me some things and I’m learning new things every day.

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