ItemPublic Facility Corporations and the Section 303.042(f) Tax Break for Apartment Developments(2020-08) Way, Heather K.This research report examines a recently adopted property tax exemption for private apartment developers available under Section 303.042(f) of the Texas Local Government Code. While the amendment received little notice when it was adopted, the use of this exemption is rapidly growing and delivering property tax breaks to apartment developers of close to $1 million a year per property on average—or an average of $7,400 a year per income-restricted unit. New construction projects are also eligible for a 100% sales tax exemption on construction materials, resulting in an additional, one-time exemption of $1.3 million on average per new apartment development. The costs of the tax breaks are large, and, on scrutiny, the public benefits are comparatively few. ItemEndangered: San Antonio's Vanishing Mobile Home Parks and a Path to Preservation(2020-01) Way, Heather K.; Fraser, Carol E.; Parra Davila, LizbethMobile home parks are vanishing in San Antonio at an alarming rate, with the closure of at least nine mobile home parks since 2014. Without intervention by the city, dozens more mobile home parks are at risk of closing, impacting the housing security of thousands of the city’s most vulnerable residents.Mobile home parks provide a critical source of unsubsidized affordable housing for the poorest and most marginalized residents of San Antonio. Close to 22,000 residents in San Antonio, or 1.5% of the city’s population, live in approximately 8,000 mobile homes, with most of these homes located in the city’s remaining 88 mobile home parks. When residents are displaced from their mobile home communities, many are unable to move their homes and confront hardship navigating a housing market with very few viable housing alternatives. ItemThe Low-Income Housing Tax Credit Program in Texas: Opportunities for State and Local Preservation Strategies(2018-12) Loney, Lauren; Way, Heather K.The Low-Income Housing Tax Credit (LIHTC) program is the largest affordable rental housing program in Texas and the United States. Close to 260,000 Texas families live in over 2,500 LIHTC properties across the state. As a result of weak preservation policies and programs, Texas has lost thousands of these affordable homes and, without sweeping policy and program changes, the state will lose thousands more. This report (1) highlights why so many LIHTC properties in Texas are at risk of being converted to market-rate rental properties, (2) provides an overview of Texas’ current preservation policies, (3) presents national best practices for LIHTC preservation; and (4) identifies strategies that Texas and cities could adopt to ensure the long-term affordability of LIHTC properties. ItemA Guide for Developing Community Land Trust Affordable Homeownership Programs in Texas(2018-07) Platts-Mills, ElizaThis Guide is intended primarily for affordable housing developers and parts of the Guide may also be helpful for the low- and moderate-income families they serve. The goal of the Guide is to introduce the Community Land Trust affordable homeownership program to readers who are not yet familiar with it, to connect readers to excellent national and Texas-specific CLT resources, to share best practices in place in Austin for appraising CLT homes and land, and to share Texas-specific CLT legal documents. ItemBest Practices for Incorporating Equity in Transit Oriented Development(2014-05) Entrepreneurship and Community Development Clinic, /When cities put affordability at the heart of their transit oriented development, they add an “e” to “TOD.” eTOD, or Equitable Transit Oriented Development, is oriented towards the people most likely to use transit the most: immigrants, people of color, zero-vehicle households, renters, and low and middle income households, by ensuring that existing affordable housing along the corridor is preserved and that new affordable housing opportunities are created to serve these groups. If Austin’s Project Connect, and the development that surrounds the new transit stations are oriented towards these core riders, the resulting transit oriented development should be both high performing and equitable. ItemThe New Starts Grant and Affordable Housing: A Roadmap for Austin’s Project Connect(2014-03) Entrepreneurship and Community Development ClinicThis report is intended to provide an overview of the ways in which affordable housing preservation and development impact the Federal Transit Administration’s New Starts Grant Process. It was written as a guide for Austin’s Project Connect, which is developing a high capacity urban transit project for three corridors: Riverside, Core, and Highland (“Austin New Starts Transit Project”). The information in this memo was derived from FTA’s New and Small Starts Evaluation and Rating Process Final Policy Guidance (August 2013), and FTA’s Guidelines for Land Use and Economic Development Effects for New Starts and Small Starts Projects (August 2013). ItemFair Housing Legal Toolkit for Permanent Supportive Housing Providers: Addressing Local Opposition to PSH Developments(2011-05) Way, HeatherThe Fair Housing Legal Toolkit was created for the Texas Supportive Housing Coalition to present ways in which fair housing laws can help coalition members confront opposition to the development of permanent supportive housing (“PSH”). The Legal Toolkit highlights proactive legal measures that PSH providers can take to counteract local opposition to the development of housing. The Toolkit begins with an overview of fair housing laws and a list of legal and administrative tools available to PSH developers. The next section discusses in more depth how the federal Fair Housing Act impacts government decisions concerning PSH. The toolkit ends with two appendices that discuss: (1) a case study from Dallas highlighting how fair housing laws can be used to help overcome community opposition to a PSH project; and (2) two recent legal developments that have resulted in heightened enforcement of local governmental obligations to affirmatively further fair housing. ItemFurthering Fair Housing Choices for Voucher Tenants in Austin(2010-09) Way, HeatherThe main purpose of this report is to examine best practices that have been implemented around the country to further fair housing opportunities for families with Housing Choice Vouchers. The report first provides an overview of the Housing Choice Voucher program, followed by the benefits of promoting desegregated housing for voucher tenants, along with a summary of how the program is administered in Austin by the city and the two area housing authorities. The next section of the report explores the barriers that stand in the way to creating fair housing choices for voucher tenants. The next section, the heart of the report, explores three core areas of best practices that could be adopted locally to further fair housing opportunities for voucher tenants in Austin. This section includes case studies for three cities (Dallas, Chicago, and Baltimore) with the most highly regarded voucher “mobility” programs—extensive programs that proactively seek to secure desegregated housing choices for tenants in high opportunity neighborhoods. In the final section of the report, we offer a set of policy proposals for Austin. ItemPreserving Austin's Multifamily Rental Housing: A Toolkit(2007-04) Way, Heather; Way, HeatherThis report was prepared at the request of HousingWorks Austin, a citywide affordable housing organization, to explore the policy tools being utilized by cities and states around the country to preserve affordable rental housing opportunities for low-income families.