The Texas Legislature on Monday gave final approval to a bill that would allow the construction of new housing in the construction zone in the state.

The bill was approved by the House Rules Committee, where Texas House Speaker Joe Straus, R-El Paso, was a member, and the House Finance Committee, which is controlled by Straus.

It also cleared the Senate, where a bill sponsored by Sen. John Whitmire, R.I., passed on a 26-14 vote.

House Speaker Joe Strickland, R, Houston, said the bill will allow Texas to build affordable housing for the long term and allow local governments to develop their own plans for the development of the zone.

In addition, the bill would create a new Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) to oversee development of affordable housing and provide grants to local governments for affordable housing projects.

House Bill 1183 would create two new housing agencies: the Texas Housing Authority (THA) and the Texas Urban Housing Development Agency (UTAHDA).

It would allow THA to oversee the design and construction of affordable units in Texas housing and will provide grants for affordable projects.UTAHTA would be responsible for developing affordable housing, while THA would oversee the construction, marketing, financing, and sale of affordable properties.

The THA’s role would include developing housing for individuals and families that meet a range of needs.UTahDA would provide technical assistance to local housing authorities, such as the Texas Municipal League (TML) and Tenderloin Community Development Corporation (TCDC).UTAHDEVOREWORKS The bill provides that THA shall develop a comprehensive plan to determine the most appropriate means for facilitating the construction and operation of multifamily housing.

It also requires the THA and UTAHDA to identify, evaluate, and develop appropriate policies and programs that support the goals of these programs.UTA, in consultation with THA, shall develop and report on the most effective and efficient means for the construction or operation of affordable rental housing.UTAMC shall also develop and implement policies and procedures that support and protect the interests of the tenants and the communities that receive housing provided in such affordable housing.

The Department of Transportation (TxDOT) shall also conduct studies and make recommendations to the Texas Department of Planning and Development regarding the development and implementation of comprehensive policies and protocols for the design, development, operation, and management of affordable multifamily development.UTDOT shall develop policies and recommendations for the use of the public land for the transportation of transportation services, including the issuance of transportation service permits, in accordance with the laws and regulations of Texas and the United States.UTAPOSITE ASSESSMENT AND REPORTINGThe bill would authorize THA $50,000 per year to conduct a baseline assessment of the effectiveness of the housing development program.

It would also provide THA with $10,000 to cover costs related to the annual assessment.UTHA, THA or UTAPOSITY ASSESSMENTSUTAH would determine the average number of units for each type of multifamilies that would be built in the development zone.UTABANDA would determine how many of each type would be constructed and would report to the state, the city, and UTAPosites on the results of its analysis.UTADA would establish an independent contractor to design and build the units, and THA-TLA would design and install the units.UTASOURCE: AP story: The Legislature votes to grant developer $1 million for affordable building plan (AP)

Tags: Categories: activity