Karisa King of the San Antonio Epress News has an incredibly researched and very disturbing story in Sunday’s New York Times and Texas Tribune. The interactive maps are stunning at: http://www.texastribune.org/library/data/tax-credit-housing-locations/
Plans to build a low-income apartment complex for seniors in one of San Antonio’s most fashionable neighborhoods had been posted for barely a week in January when the fury began.
Residents feared that the 68 rental apartments, which were competing for federal tax credit subsidies, would spoil the affluent Stone Oak neighborhood. In a storm of e-mails, calls and letters to local and state officials, they predicted unpleasant results: lower property values, more traffic and an increase in crime.
“It just didn’t fit with us,” said Francisco Martinez, president of the Mount Arrowhead Homeowners Association, one of about a dozen groups that opposed the apartments. “These are single-family homes. Anything that takes away from that takes away from why we bought into it.”
By March, the neighbors had prevailed. The project and any chance of public subsidies this year were dead.
Federal housing programs are designed to break up concentrations of poverty and discourage segregation. To lift low-income residents out of poverty, policy makers increasingly focus on the links between neighborhoods and access to jobs, good schools, transportation and safe streets.
But in Texas — which gives neighbors a significant say in where subsidized housing can be built — those policy objectives are largely being foiled, as the dynamics in Stone Oak illustrate. Subsidized apartments are being built disproportionately in impoverished neighborhoods with high concentrations of minority residents, according to an analysis by The San Antonio Express-News and The Texas Tribune.
Read the whole story via Low-Income Housing Program Compels Building in Poor Texas Areas – NYTimes.com.
Neighborhood associations are the deal breakers for affordable housing in Texas. Do other states do a better in locating affordable housing in high opportunity areas? Perhaps you can report on that next.
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