April 23, 2012
NYT Story on Siting of Affordable Housing in Texas
The New York Times, through its partnership with the nonprofit news organization Texas Tribune, published today a story on the powerful state law tools that support NIMBYism in the siting of affordable housing. Texas Tribune along with the San Antonio Express-News studied public records to learn the extent of the problem:
The examination of data from the Texas Department of Housing and Community Affairs, which administers the biggest federal housing subsidy program in the state, found that of $9.7 billion in tax credits awarded from 1990 to 2011, more than three-quarters subsidized the construction of apartments in neighborhoods mostly made up of poor blacks and Hispanics. Few units built with support from the Low-Income Housing Tax Credit program, which gives federal incentives to private developers to build or rehabilitate low-cost apartments, were in areas that are predominantly white.
The examination found that:
¶Of the 193,000 tax-credit units subsidized statewide, 78 percent are in census tracts where more than half of all residents are minorities. By comparison, only 59 percent of all rented apartments are in the same areas, according to census data.
¶Roughly 31 percent of the units across the state are in neighborhoods with high concentrations of minority residents — 90 percent or more — which is about twice the rate for all rental housing.
¶Eighty percent of the low-income apartments, but only 64 percent of all rented units, are in poor census tracts where residents earned less than the state median household income, $49,646.
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