Mayor's Office Press Release
Agreement Between City and HUD Resolves Fair Housing Findings
March 9, 2018 -- The City of Houston and the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development today announced a joint agreement designed to expand housing choice and mobility for lower income residents, including those experiencing homelessness and victims of Hurricane Harvey.
This agreement resolves HUD’s previous fair housing findings against the city and outlines city strategies for addressing its affordable housing needs.
Among the provisions of the agreement are a request for HUD technical assistance that will facilitate the city’s ability to ramp up for the influx of federal disaster funds and ensure an equitable recovery for Houston’s most vulnerable residents. Approximately $5 billion in Community Development Block Grant Disaster Recovery funds have already been allocated to the State of Texas for areas impacted by Hurricane Harvey.
“If there is a silver lining to Harvey’s devastating cloud, it is that the amount of federal funding headed our way will allow us to reimagine the kind of city Houston can be,” said Mayor Sylvester Turner. “We are not looking to bounce back from Harvey, but to bounce forward to a more just and more resilient city – a city of complete communities where all residents can find quality homes in neighborhoods with the economic and educational opportunities necessary to build a successful life.”
Other provisions of the agreement:
- Recognize the city’s pilot voucher mobility program and stipulate its continuance, with a proposed target of serving 350 voucher holders during the pilot period
- Recognize the Houston Housing Authority as a key partner in addressing the city’s affordable housing and homeless services needs and set forth a plan for provision of federal funds to HHA for programs to assist families made homeless by Hurricane Harvey
- Acknowledge that affordable housing is needed in all areas of Houston and stipulate the city Housing and Community Development Department's submission to HUD of the city’s multifamily priorities policy and a site selection policy prioritizing, among other factors, high opportunity areas for consideration of Resolutions of Support or No Objection to multifamily developers seeking low income housing tax credits
“Today, we announce a positive agreement that works to expand housing options for lower income Houston residents, especially in neighborhoods with better performing schools and higher paying jobs,” said HUD Secretary Ben Carson. “We’re pleased the City is committed to making sure taxpayer-supported affordable housing development be supported and encouraged in a fair and inclusive manner.”
“We are pleased with the agreement,” said city Housing and Community Development Director Tom McCasland. “It will facilitate the department’s ability to develop a comprehensive housing plan, with input from Houston’s many communities, and will place Houston on track to becoming a city where every resident has a home they can afford in a community where they can thrive.”