Building low-income housing in Texas is already hard to do, but a new bill is aiming to make it nearly impossible. Texas Representative Valoree Swanson has introduced a proposal giving more neighborhoods the ability to veto low-income housing.
As it stands, Texas state law requires would-be affordable housing developers to file LIHTC applications with relevant community leaders: the neighborhood association, school district board, mayor or city council member, and state representative of the district where the LIHTC-financed development would be built. Swanson’s law would expand that group to all neighborhood associations within 5 miles of a boundary of the district where the development would be built.
Moreover, the bill would grant all of those new gatekeepers the power to tack on negative points—and only negative points!—to an application. Neighborhoods committed to keeping out low-income families could scupper the construction of new affordable housing across Texas.