Final recap of all housing related bills we followed in the Texas Legislature

I previously blogged about the fate of bills considered by the past session of the Texas Legislature that pertained to the Texas Department of Housing and Community Affairs (TDHCA). But, there were many more bills that related to the housing of lower income Texans that did not impact TDHCA. Here is a complete round-up of all the bills we worked on that we think impacted low-income Texans’ housing.

There is a color coding system to note whether we think a bill will help low-income Texans (first column) and reporting the fate of the bill (last column). If you just want to see what passed look at the bills with green in the right column.

Thanks to Robert Doggett, who did much of the work following these bills this session, for compiling this chart.

Housing Related Bills Given Attention by TxLIHIS*

KEY TO COLORS IN THE FIRST COLUMN

Bills in the first column shaded green are bills we think were good.

Bills shaded with yellow we have concerns about.

* While many more bills were filed and passed that were housing related, only bills that we worked on are listed.

Also, for simplicity, companion legislation is not separately listed (only one version of the bill is described).

Further, various issues were discussed with many offices but did not develop into filed legislation.  For example, issues relating to mobile homeowners were not taken up by the Legislature this session.  These homeowners have limited abilities and remedies, however, legislative offices did not consider these reforms to be a priority.  An estimated 2 million Texans reside in this housing, and Texas accounts for nearly 14 percent of all new manufactured housing shipments in the country.

KEY TO COLORS IN THE LAST COLUMN

Bills in the last column shaded green passed and became law.

Bill with no shading did not pass.

Bills shaded red were vetoed by the Governor.


Bill Number

Author / Sponsor

Brief description

Status

LANDLORD-TENANT BILLS

HB 882

Rep. Eddie Rodriguez / Sen. Eltife

Prohibits utilities from being interrupted unless for repairs, construction or emergency, regardless of how paid.  Allows tenant to go to JP court to get utility restored the same day if illegally cutoff.  (Eliminates need of legal aid attorney having to file suit in county/district court and obtain TRO, etc.)  Bill was agreed.

Signed by Governor

SB 83

(also HB 2577)

Sen. Nelson / Rep. Guillen

Expands right of tenant to terminate lease when non-co-tenant engages in family violence or when tenant is a victim sex assault on the premises.  Bill was agreed.

Signed by Governor

SB 1448

(also HB 1571)

Sen. West / Rep. Thompson

Enables tenants to obtain injunctive relief from JPs to remedy repair issues, and hearing is to be conducted within 6- 10 days.  (Modeled off eviction procedure.  Works for landlords.  Eliminates need of a legal aid attorney having to file suit in county/district court to obtain TRO, etc.)  Bill was agreed.

Signed by Governor

HB 1109

(also SB 716)

Rep. Anchia / Sen. Carona

An agreed fix to an error made last session by landlords in an omnibus bill that unintentionally granted tenants an extra day grace period before late fees could be charged.  Bill rolls the grace period back a day.

Signed by Governor

SB 1715

Sen. West / Rep. Giddings

Requires a smoke detector capable of alerting a hearing-impaired person be installed if requested by a hearing-impaired person.  Bill was agreed.

Signed by Governor

HB 883

Rep. Rodriguez

Eliminates additional lease penalties (“rent concessions”) for terminating early.  [Tenants are reluctant to challenge these in court for fear of paying opposing atty fees, but even the chair of committee acknowledged during the hearing that these provisions are illegal penalties.]

Reported from House B&I. Agreed to leave it there this session.

HB 881

Rep. Rodriguez

Allows a tenant to rescind the lease if the unit shown is substantially different than unit leased (e.g., tenant shown model unit in front of complex, but lease is actually for unit in back of property, less lighting, etc., and never shown unit until get the keys).

Pending in House B&I.  Agreed portion of bill relating to location of unit put in another bill but that bill did not pass..

HB 2824

Rep. Naishtat

Requires appointment of counsel for indigent parties who appeal eviction to county court.

Reported favorably from House B&I, but only enables appointment of pro bono counsel.  No opposition to amended version.

Amended bill placed into SB 408 which was signed by Governor.

HB 2427

Rep. Deshotel

Allowed tenants to terminate for loss of job or violent crime; elimination of “rent concessions”; notice before entry; reporting of debt by landlord to credit reporting agencies; right to cure rent default; reimbursement for landlord’s use of tenant’s utility services.

Assigned to House B&I.  Never seriously considered.

SB 1717

Sen. West / Rep. Y Davis

Prohibits tax credit owners from locking out or threatening to lock out tenants unless through a judicial process or if construction/repair or an emergency is ongoing.  Bill also prohibits owners from seizing personal property unless they earn the right through court or if the tenant abandons the unit.  ONLY applicable to tax credit properties.  Bill, as filed, had no opposition, and favored by Texas Department of Housing and Community Affairs.

HB 3165 laid on table subject to call of chair

SB 1717 passed Senate; passed House as amended with HB 3064 by Bohac

Not signed by Gov but allowed to become law.

HB 524

Rep. Christian

Removes tenant representatives from housing authority boards.

Reported favorably from House UA

HB 3993

Rep. Dutton

Removes protections passed previously to prevent predatory practices in lease-option contracts.

Reported favorably from House B&I

HB 3551

Rep. Bonnen

Shortens eviction timelines (Texas already has one of the fastest eviction processes in the nation).  Amended to merely require certain language be placed in the notice to vacate that was agreed and helpful to landlords and tenants.

Passed House.

SB 1398

Sen. West / Rep. Anchia

Removed city’s right to require permit to lease. Bill was agreed.

Passed Senate, reported from House Border.

HB 1931

(also SB 1869)

Rep. Thompson

Gave Section 8 voucher holders right to judicial review of terminations of assistance.

Pending in House UA.

HB 3261

Rep. Naishtat

Gave tenants notice before change in land use.

Pending in House UA.

AFFORDABLE HOUSING BILLS

HB 2450

Rep Craig Eiland / Sen. Lucio

Bill directs TDHCA to draft rules that would allow the agency to grant assistance (e.g., disaster) without having to clear title on a home whose owner is submitting an application for disaster recovery housing assistance.  (Heir property is often found in low income communities, which is often the ones in need of assistance.  The bill removes a serious impediment to getting help to those that need it most.)

Passed in House;

Passed in Senate as substituted.  (SB 2292 added)

Signed by GOVERNOR

HB 3064

Rep Dwayne Bohac

Bill requires all housing sponsors of multifamily developments who get funds from the state or the feds must submit a quarterly unit vacancy report to TDHCA and that TDHCA must supply that report to members of the Legislature if requested.

Ref. to Urban Affairs; bill language was tacked onto SB 1717 and approved by both chambers

Passed as part of SB 1717

HB 3163

(companion to SB 934)

Rep Yvonne Davis

Creates dedicated funding source for Housing Trust Fund by establishing document recording fee — $10 per document and mandates that funds be sent to TDHCA for purposes identified in statutory language on the Housing Trust Fund

Recommended for Local & Consent

HB 3168

Rep Yvonne Davis

Has TDHCA and GDEM establishing a pilot project to reconstruct or provide temporary housing for persons displaced by a natural disaster, essentially a Grow Homes, Part 2.

Rec. for Local and Consent in House; language tacked onto HB 2450 which was approved by both chambers

Signed by the GOVERNOR

HB 3540

Rep Yvonne Davis

Omnibus bill creating a Texas Housing Independence Campaign, task force, and various programs with multiple agencies designed to move elderly, disabled and homeless from state housing, to independent assisted housing.

Reported from Urban Affairs as substituted

HB 4094

Rep Yvonne Davis

A fair housing bill that creates a Governor’s Fair Housing Council with TDHCA and other state agencies and to be chaired by TDHCA.  Responsibilities include programs reviews and an annual report on the council’s progress.

Rec. for Local and Consent in the House

SB 679

(also HB 2296)

Sen Eddie Lucio

Bill makes substantial changes to the Texas Bootstrap Loan Program by changing award caps and total loan amounts, and sweat equity requirements of the owner-builder

Passed Senate; passed House as amended

Signed by the GOVERNOR

SB 950

Sen Royce West

Creates dedicated funding source for the Housing Trust Fund by establishing a document recording fee ($10) per documents dealing with real property.

PENDING in IGR

SB 2293

Sen. Lucio

Requires annual accounting statements be given to purchasers of homes, when the seller finances the sale of the home.

Ref. to Senate B&C.

SB 2288

Sen Eddie Lucio

Creates a Small Municipality and Rural Area Housing Development fund and program to be administered by ORCA.  Directs TDHCA to work with ORCA in identifying additional available funds for program. Creates a new division within TDHCA to work this initiative, includes language from SB 991, SB 1026, and SB 990, including adding a farmworker housing pilot project.

Passed Senate; Reported from House Border and Intergovernmental Affairs as substituted

SB 2291

Sen Eddie Lucio

Directs TDHCA to create a regional CDC for rural housing as a pilot program and a statewide CDC for migrant labor housing and the latter is to implement the findings from the TDHCA report issued in 2007 on migrant labor housing.

Ref. to IRT

SB 1449

Sen. West / Rep. Deshotel

New procedure established to assist cities to rehabilitate hazardous properties.  Agreed bill.

Passed Legislature.

Signed by Governor.

SB 2292

Sen Eddie Lucio

Creates a natural disaster housing reconstruction council and program of which TDHCA is an integral member both from a staffing and funding aspect.

Passed in Senate; Reported favorably from State Affairs.

Added to HB 2450 which passed and signed by Governor.

HB 2692

Rep. Rodriguez / Sen. Watson

Allows City of Austin to establish inclusionary zoning within one mile of a commuter rail station

Passed by Legislature.

Vetoed by Governor.

COLONIAS BILLS

SB 2253

(also HB 1656)

Sen. Zaffirini / Rep. Guillen

Assists colonias residents with utility connections despite failure of developers to properly plat property.

Passed by Legislature.

Signed by Governor.

HB 2833

Rep. Marquez / Sen. Shapleigh

Building codes applied to unincorporated areas.

Passed the Legislature.

Signed by Governor.

HB 2275

Rep. Raymond / Sen. Zaffirini

Task force to develop standards for subdivisions in unincorporated areas.

Passed by Legislature.

Signed by Governor.

HB 3929

Rep. Guillen

Eliminated limitations on border development which would create more colonias

Reported favorably from House Borders

FORECLOSURE AND LENDING BILLS

HB 80

Rep. Flynn

Enable Texas to regulate credit reporting bureaus

Reported favorably from House PIFS

SB 472

(also SB 439, HB 421, HB 3426, SB 475, HB 3482, HB 1471, SB 979)

Sen. Estes

Foreclosure procedure bills.  Provided better notice, longer opportunity to cure, and other improvements to foreclosure process from borrower’s perspective.

Significant time was expended on these bills – drafting, meetings, negotiations, hearings, etc.

Different versions passed House and Senate.

HB 1760

(also SB 1935)

Rep. Thompson

Extends statute of limitations for lending  claims brought in defense of foreclosure.

Pending in House B&I.

SB 1375

Sen Royce West

Creates the Texas Savvy Homeowner Program for mortgage loans administered by TDHCA or TSAHC.  Program is designed to educate homeowners on re-financing options and is mandatory prior to refi.

Passed Senate; reported favorably from Business and Industry in the House

HB 2675

Rep Yvonne Davis

Bill directs the department to create a foreclosure prevention program that offers information and assistance to homeowners in foreclosure or near to foreclosure due to adverse personal circumstances.  Directs the department to seek federal funding to run the program.

Ref. to Urban Affairs

HB 2761

Rep Trey Martinez Fischer

Bill would direct TDHCA to work with the Finance Commission to develop a foreclosure prevention assistance form that would be provided to all homeowners when they close a loan, when they default, when they receive a delinquent notice, or a right to cure letter.

PENDING in Pensions/Investments/

Financial Services

HB 2308

(also SB 1026)

Rep Yvonne Davis / Sen. Lucio

Essentially creates a single family loan program through TDHCA designed to serve low income families and designed to have extra protections against foreclosure (“Secure Loan Program”).  While legislation did not pass, Texas Department of Housing and Community Affairs favors the program and will attempt to implement it without legislative changes.

Passed in House; reported as substituted from Senate IRT

HB 2309

(duplicate of SB 980)

Rep Yvonne Davis

Creates forms to be filed by mortgage servicers with county clerks to contain information on real property foreclosure sales.  TDHCA is directed to collect and publish the data online

PENDING in Business and Industry

Bill was added to HB 3485 which was passed and then VETOED by the Governor

SB 723

(also HB 3589)

Sen. Lucio

Improved regulation of mortgage brokers

Referred to Senate B&C

SB 722

Sen. Lucio

Required counseling from independent counselor or attorney prior to closing nontraditional mortgage loan for $125,000 or less

Referred to Senate B&C

HB 10

Rep. Solomons / Sen. Averitt

Improved regulation of mortgage originators (required by federal law, but worked to ensure that borrower protections were fully included).

Passed the Legislature.

Signed by Governor.

HB 2694

Rep. Rodriguez

Mortgage servicer duties

Set on House Calendar

HB 3252

Rep. Miklos

Amended prerequisites for liability for violations of the laws related to high-cost home loans

Reported favorably from House PIFS

PROPERTY TAX ISSUES

HB 406

Rep. Rodrguez / Sen Carona

Improved protections for homeowners who lose home to tax (to the government or tax lender), and there are excess proceeds from the sale.

Passed Legislature.

Signed by Governor.

HB 1465

Rep. Paxton / Sen. Wentworth

Tax lien joinders (technical clean up).

Passed Legislature.

Signed by Governor.

HB 2897

Rep. Rodriguez

Tax exemption assistance.  Agreed bill.

Referred to House Ways and Means.

SB 2147

(also HB 4069)

Sen. Patrick

Changed the priority of tax liens consistent with other lienholders

Referred to Senate Finance

CONSUMER

HB 1572

Rep. Thompson

Placed a min statutory penalty for debt collection violations (e.g., threats of wage garnishment)

Pending in House PIFS

HB 3744

(also HB 3304, HB 3021, HB 3772)

Rep. Marquez

Regulation of payday and car title lenders (restrictions on use of credit service organization exception)

Pending in House PIFS