Tuesday, September 26, 2023
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Texas Knows Low-Income Housing Program Promotes Segregation, Watchdogs Say

DALLAS (CN) - The Texas Department of Housing admits its Low Income Housing Tax Credit program perpetuates and exacerbates racial segregation in Dallas and other big cities, but refuses to change it and continues to exclude minorities from "higher opportunity, predominantly white or non-minority areas," The Inclusive Communities Project claims in Federal Court.

The complaint cites a study from the defendants Texas Department of Housing and Community Affairs, which states: "The Department's funding allocations, as well as the allocations under the Bond Review Board's (BRB) Bond Program should promote racial integration, however, the continued failure of these entities to evaluate the implications of prior and current funding decisions permits the Department and the BRB to disproportionately allocate federal low income housing tax credit funds and the tax-exempt bond funds to developments located in impacted areas (above average minority concentration and below average income levels)." (Parentheses in original.)

The defendant's study of itself continues: "Furthermore, QAP [Qualified Allocation Plan - which determines where the tax credits are distributed] provisions requiring multiple notifications to state and local political officials and neighborhood organizations are feared to enable 'Not-In-My-Backyard (NIMBY) opposition to developments that are propose in non-impacted areas (above average minority concentration and below average income levels).

"The vast majority of low income housing tax credits and tax-exempt bonds that fund developments in the Dallas, Fort worth, Austin and Houston metropolitan areas have been placed in impacted areas. ... The Department's funding decisions arise directly out of the QAP. In recent years, the QAP has continued to place low income individuals in impacted areas, further adding to the concentration problem in most cities today."

The citations come from the defendant's report to the Texas House of Representatives Committee on Urban Affairs.

Plaintiffs demand an injunction and costs. They are represented by Michael Daniel and Laura Beshara.

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