Texas State Representative Valoree Swanson recently introduced legislation that would change the way the state scores Low-Income Housing Tax Credit (Housing Credit) developments, a move intended to fulfill her campaign promise to end low-income housing development in Texas. Current law requires developers to notify stakeholders, such as community organizations, school boards and mayors, in the districts they choose to build Housing Credit developments. House Bill 1792 expands this rule to include stakeholders who live within a five-mile radius of the district boundaries, which allows neighboring communities to influence low-income housing developments outside of their jurisdiction. The bill would also allow all interested stakeholders to attach “negative points” to a Housing Credit application, but not positive points.
While it is unclear how far H.B. 1792 will advance due to its potential fair housing violations, this bill would give anti-development communities increased power to oppose the construction of affordable housing, which could restrict access to high-opportunity neighborhoods.