A pair of new bills would it make a lot tougher to build affordable housing in Texas, reports Lydia DePillis of the Houston Chronicle.
The first bill comes from first-term Republican state Rep. Valoree Swanson, whose district in northern Harris County between Tomball and The Woodlands has put up substantial resistance to affordable housing development. Her predecessor, Debbie Riddle, said low-income housing "is not wanted" in her district, and in her campaign Swanson promised to "stop low-income government housing."
The bill amends the law regarding applications for low-income housing tax credits — the main way the federal government subsidizes affordable housing — to include a requirement that the developer "conspicuously identify the development as 'low-income government-subsidized housing'" in communications with local officials and neighborhood groups.
And, then there's the second bill.
Filed by Rep. Don Simmons and finance committee chairwoman Sen. Jane Nelson — both from wealthy Dallas suburbs — it would prohibit localities from imposing any "ordinance, order, policy, or other measure that imposes, directly or indirectly, a fee or other charge on new construction for the purposes of offsetting the cost or rent of any unit of residential housing."
Read the Houston Chronicle story for more details.