LBB Proposal Released for TDHCA Budget

The Legislative Budget Board dropped their 2012-13 budget proposal this morning.  TDHCA’s sections can be found here (h/t Texas Tribune).  TDHCA’s budget is proposed to be cut 86.2%, including 65% of its General Revenue appropriations.

Notably on the chopping block: half of the housing trust fund and the entire “Homeless and Housing Services” budget.  The proposed elimination of the homeless services budget comes on the heels of a National Alliance to End Homelessness report that the homeless population of Texas is 36,761 strong, including a 15% uptick in the family homeless population.

Meanwhile, the “Texas Conservative Coalition Research Institute,” a group presided over by Rep. Warren Chisum (R-Pampa), issued a report stating “TDHCA should be eliminated because it does not fulfill a core role of state government and performs many roles that are duplicated at other agencies and by the private sector.”  No analysis accompanied this recommendation.  This suggestion, of course, runs contrary to the recommendation to continue the agency another 12 years just issued by the Sunset Commission.  The sunset commission recommendation was based on an extensive study of the department by Sunset staff.

The LBB proposal is not the final budget, of course, but has the danger of framing the debate as a “starting point” for discussion.  This should be rejected.  In these economic times, TDHCA’s homeless services and housing trust fund resources are needed more than ever.

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