HUD and Houston Reach Fair Housing Agreement
HUD and the City of Houston 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.
The agreement requires the City of Houston to adopt multifamily priorities and a policy for objectively evaluating federally supported affordable housing developments in all areas of Houston; to seek to invest additional funds in homeless assistance programs; and to encourage more landlord participation in Houston's housing voucher program.
Specific provisions of the agreement include:
- Broadening Voucher Mobility—HUD and the City of Houston recognize that landlords’ reluctance to rent to voucher holders may pose a barrier to mobility in Houston. The City will continue to implement a Voucher Mobility Pilot program to encourage landlords in all areas of the City to rent to qualified families regardless of their source of income. Working with an existing nonprofit organization and local housing authorities, the City will pursue the goal of facilitating mobility of 350 voucher holders in neighborhoods with high-performing schools.
- Investing in Homeless Assistance—The Houston Housing Authority (HHA) is a key partner in addressing the City’s affordable housing needs. The City has/will invest a combined nearly $3 million from various sources to support individuals and families experiencing homelessness. In addition, the City will work to secure $2 million in disaster assistance to match $2 million in private funding to HHA to help victims of Hurricane Harvey who became homeless.
- Developing a Low-Income Housing Tax Credit Site Selection Policy—The City and HUD agree that affordable housing is needed in all areas of Houston, including high opportunity areas like District G. During the two-year term of the agreement, the City will develop and adopt an objective policy for evaluating Resolutions of Support or Resolutions of No Objection for affordable housing applications supported by the Low-Income Housing Tax Credit (LIHTC) Program. For example, the City will not permit veto or special points for any individual City Council member in the approval process for LIHTC applications.
- Developing an Affordable Housing Strategy—The City will seek comprehensive technical assistance from HUD to meet its obligations under the Fair Housing Act to affirmatively further fair housing. This technical assistance will also help ensure that any current or future disaster recovery funds be fairly applied to help all the citizens of Houston.