Houston area representative, pledging to ‘Stop Low-Income Government Housing,’ files bill

Elected on a pledge to “Stop Low-Income Government Housing” (see campaign ad above),  Real Estate Broker and State Representative Valoree Swanson (R-Dist. 150) has moved to make good on that pledge by filing HB 1792.

The legislation amends the application and scoring procedures for Low Income Housing Tax Credits (LIHTC) administered by the Texas Department of Housing and Community Affairs (TDHCA).

The bill is perhaps the most expansive Not In My Back Yard (NIMBY) legislation ever filed.

Rep. Swanson’s district encompasses a portion of northern Harris County formerly represented by State Representative Debbie Riddle. Rep. Riddle had long fought against Low Income Housing Tax Credit developments in the district.

HB 1792 provides for a major expansion of the power of neighborhood associations to object to and block affordable housing developments. It requires applicants for LIHTC funds to notify neighborhood associations, any part of whose boundaries lie within 5 miles of the proposed development. The bill increases the negative scoring points assigned neighborhood associations which go toward determining the award of funds for affordable housing through TDHCA’s competitive scoring process.

The bill also removes the awarding of any positive points supporting applications for affordable housing. Under current law neighborhood associations and community groups that want to support an application for affordable housing can award positive scoring points.

The proposed legislation requires notification of all neighborhood associations that have any portion of their boundaries within five miles of any application to TDHCA as follows:

(b) Notice provided under Subsection (a)(9) must:

(1) be given at least 90 days before the date the application is submitted to the department;

(2)  name the development and conspicuously identify the development as”low-incomegovernment-subsidized housing”;and

(3) contain a description of the development and an independent study of the development’s anticipated effects on local schools, area crime rates, infrastructure, governmental expenditures, population density, area property values, and the revenue of local, state, and federal governmental entities.”

Rep. Swanson also campaigned on a promise that she, “Will fight Section 8 low-income housing” (see below).

The proposed legislation violates the Fair Housing Act (Title VIII of the Civil Rights Act of 1968).

 

swanson3