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HUD approves $5 billion Hurricane Harvey recovery plan

Synopsis

The Texas General Land Office’s $5 billion Hurricane Harvey recovery plan has been approved by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.


Key takeaways

  • HUD has approved a $5 billion Hurricane Harvey recovery plan, submitted by the Texas General Land Office.
  • $250 million of the overall plan is earmarked for reconstruction, rehabilitation and new construction of affordable multifamily housing. Up to $25 million is available per development.
  • The General Land Office will be developing the application process for the development dollars.
  • Low-income housing advocates have filed a proactive discrimination complaint against the plan with HUD.

The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) approved a $5 billion plan of action June 25 submitted by the Texas General Land Office (GLO) for recovery and repair in the wake of Hurricane Harvey.

$250 million of the overall $5 billion plan is earmarked for the reconstruction, rehabilitation and new construction of affordable multifamily housing communities. This will help address the lack of affordable housing supply that has hit the Houston area and Texas coast since the destructive storm last August.

“The GLO is committed to its mission to expedite federal housing recovery assistance as quickly as possible to help those affected by Hurricane Harvey,” Land Commissioner George P. Bush said in a written statement. “Due to the GLO’s pre-planning and preparation, these federal recovery funds will be in the hands of Texans faster than in previous disasters.”

Developers, public housing authorities, local governments and not-for-profit developers are eligible to apply for these funds. Up to $25 million per development may be awarded.

Austin-based Texas Low-Income Housing Information Service filed a proactive housing discrimination complaint with HUD against the state, alleging the state plan, and Texas leaders, could divert disaster relief funds disproportionately away from low- and moderate-income people.

The organization argues that low- and moderate-income people and people of color should be prioritized in the plan as a civil rights issues. According to HUD, African-Americans and Hispanics occupy about half of Texas’ housing units but are less likely than white households to own their own home.

According to the state’s plan, 80 percent of funds allocated must address unmet need in the HUD-identified “most impacted and distressed” areas. A minimum of 51 percent of the units must be earmarked for 20 or more years of an affordability period for low- and moderate-income (LMI) individuals earning 80 percent or less of the Area Median Family Income (AMFI) at affordable rents. Other conditions apply as well, and can be found on page 84 of the report.

The program will be distributing funds for three years starting with the plan’s approval. The application process will be developed by the General Land Office.

The Texas Apartment Association and National Apartment Association will be monitoring the rollout of the process. For more information contact David Mintz, CAE at david@taa.org.

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