TDHCA Sunset Recommendation #4: Diversify board composition

As previously discussed here at Texas Housers, TDHCA is currently undergoing Sunset Review.  We are presenting recommendations for ways to improve TDHCA that have been endorsed by a broad range of stakeholders in TDHCA’s activities.

Issue:

The composition of the TDHCA Board needs to be modified to include representation of particular constituent groups.

Background:

Representation of the needs of the very lowest income Texans are needed on the Department’s Board.  There is a need to have board representation to address the issues facing residents of small rural communities, people with disabilities and those receiving housing assistance in Texas.  Texas local government codes governing housing authorities provides for the appointment of at least one board member who is a recipient of the public housing authority (as also required by federal laws governing public housing: the Quality Housing and Work Responsibility Act of 1998 act requires that the board of directors of a PHA include at least one member who is directly assisted by the PHA).  The Texas Department of Housing and Community Affairs board operates as a public housing authority and consequently a position should be designated in the statute.

Recommendation:

Amend the government code to provide for specific board representation from the following categories:

  • Rural areas (defined as a city less than 10,000 in population not adjacent to a MSA or an unincorporated area of a county less than 20,000 in population)
  • People with disabilities
  • TDHCA public housing authority voucher recipients

The perspectives of these constituencies would contribute to the board’s discussion of TDHCA’s programs.

This Recommendation is Endorsed By:

  • Advocacy, Inc.
  • Association of Rural Communities in Texas
  • Center on Disability and Development – Texas A&M University
  • Easter Seals Central Texas
  • Motivation Education & Training, Inc.
  • Texas Association of Local Housing Finance Agencies
  • Texas Council for Developmental Disabilities
  • Texas Center for Disability Studies-UT
  • Texas Low Income Housing Information Service

Habitat Texas and the Texas Association of Community Development Corporations declined to endorse this recommendation, but both organizations support making TDHCA comply with all current legal requirements regarding board composition, which in this case includes filling the seventh board seat for a PHA resident.