A Dallas fair-housing case could have a thing or two to teach Houston about discriminatory housing development.

Houston's Housing Authority (HHA) hasn't successfully built new affordable housing in ten years. A recent proposal to build a development in Houston's Galleria neighborhood, a wealthier section of the metropolis, wants to change that. However, the expected NIMBYism response has thwarted the attempt. Houston's mayor sided with the Galleria residents and effectively rendered the project dead.

Now the federal government is investigating the situation, and if they find Houston in violation of fair housing standards, they could force the city into compliance by withholding funding.

The recent SCOTUS decision to send the suit back to a lower court in the Dallas case came as a warning to other housing authorities to make housing available in high-opportunity areas or say goodbye to federal funding. As the Mayor continues to support his Galleria residents, the HHA may be stonewalled from building any affordable housing at all - and thus a lawsuit may be impending.

Since the Dallas ruling, Dallas city officials have taken steps to comply and are working to pass a citywide fair housing policy. Could Houston learn from Dallas's mistakes and implement its own fair housing policy? It could, but Mayor Turner doesn't appear to support that.

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