State issues

Texas realtors association oppose housing trust fund bill

A broad cross-section of Texans supporting the expansion of state funding for the Texas Housing Trust Fund testified on the half of a bill by Senator Royce West at the Texas Capitol yesterday.

Senator West’s bill would establish a $10 fee to be collected for each real estate document filed in Texas with a county clerk. The Texas Comptroller estimates that this will provide $25 million per year (based on the current depressed real estate economy) for funding affordable housing through the state housing trust fund.

The lone opposition among dozens of witnesses was the associate general counsel of the Texas Association of Realtors. Saying repeatedly that the realtors supported the housing trust fund, she nonetheless made clear their opposition to the imposition of a $10 fee on real estate document filings.

Texas Association of Community Development Corporation’s executive director Stephen Carricker pointed out that at a recent closing on a home which he sold, a $10 document filing fee would be small indeed in comparison to the 8% commission that the realtor collected.

I started my commitment to housing justice for people and communities with low incomes in 1975 in Austin's Clarksville community. These years of working side-by-side with dedicated community leaders to find solutions to housing and community development challenges have taught me some things and I’m learning new things every day.

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