Reports and exhibits on the problems and issues related to low income housing and community development in Texas:

Renters, Air-Conditioning, and Extreme Heat in Texas (2023) – A brief about the severe shortcomings of governments and landlords in Texas to protect renters against the harmful effects of extreme heat. The report explores presents policy recommendations on the absence of a fundamental right to air conditioning for renters in Texas, the insufficient legal and administrative systems that fail to help tenants when their air conditioning is not working, the challenge of paying the high cost of energy for low-income households, and the ongoing struggle to get air conditioning in all public housing and income restricted rental units in the state of Texas.

Drainage Study Mid-Point Report (2023) – This project was designed to collectively work toward understanding the City of Houston’s drainage spending and infrastructure planning, to equip the community with the necessary data and knowledge to talk to local leadership about ensuring crucial and equitable planning and spending drainage funds in disinvested neighborhoods, which often flood due to historic lack of maintenance and improvements in their area. However, we quickly realized that there were many deficiencies in the City’s own drainage assessment methods, and that it was necessary to pivot the methods of the project to explore this as well.

The purpose of this mid-point report is to record what has been learned by the study group, what challenges we have identified in our approach, and what new questions have emerged about how the City operates and how Houston’s drainage infrastructure is developed, assessed, and maintained.

Emergency Rental Assistance in Texas: How it went and what happens now (2022) – A report on the factors that impacted the performance of local ERA programs in Texas. The U.S. Department of the Treasury’s ERA initiative was an unprecedented investment in eviction prevention that allowed state and local governments to stabilize low-income renters facing eviction during the COVID-19 crisis. After the majority of jurisdictions depleted their federal funds, it was critical to assess the successes and failures of ERA.

How to Make the 2023 Tax Credit Housing QAP Work Better for Low-Income Tenants (2022) – An explainer of the Low Income Housing Tax Credit (LIHTC) system, how awards are granted through the Qualified Allocation Plan (QAP), our Texas Housers recommendations on how to improve this system to create the most equitable housing for low-income households.

Eviction Diversion Tracker (2022) – a Texas Housers resource that allows users to understand and interpret data related to our efforts to make evictions in Texas rare and fair. The resource currently consists of two dashboards and updating reports:

  • Emergency Rental Assistance Dashboard: Tracks the efficiency and equitability of Covid-19 rent relief distribution in Texas.
  • Eviction Case Dashboard: Tracks new eviction cases and case rates in Texas’ 254 counties.

Ousted: The City of San Antonio’s Displacement of Residents through Code Enforcement Actions (2021) – a report alongside researchers with the UT Entrepreneurship and Community Development Clinic out of the UT School of Law.

Close Call With Disaster: Lessons from the Hurricane Laura evacuation of a HUD subsidized apartment in Galveston (2021) – a detailed schedule of what happened leading up to, during, and after Hurricane Laura from residents, city officials, and Sandpiper Cove management. The report also has interviews from residents on the day of the evacuation, as well as recommendations to ensure this kind of abandonment of residents does not happen again.

Evaluating the Effectiveness of the Emergency Rental Assistance Program in Texas v2.0 (2021) – In addition to tracking the progress of local ERA programs across the state and ranking them, Texas Housers identified several strategies that program administrators and government officials can undertake to ensure their ERA1 funds are allocated in an equitable and timely manner.

Evaluating the Effectiveness of the Emergency Rental Assistance Program in Texas v1.0 (2021) – Texas Housers requested information from each of the 36 jurisdictions that administer local ERA programs in Texas. Our report uses the information we received regarding the progress of ERA programs in their first months of operation to evaluate their ability to distribute funds in an equitable and timely manner.

Taking Care Of Texas during COVID-19 (2020) – a white paper with recommendations for statewide action that would help keep low-income renters and homeowners safe and to provide relief as they weather an economic downturn.

Keeping Texans housed during and after the COVID-19 crisis (2020) – a white paper calling on local government officials to adopt policies and practices that prioritize keeping Texans housed, provide resources for low-income renters to meet their obligations, and promote accessible transparent local government

Rental relief programs in major cities and counties (2020) – a white paper identifying the successes and failures in rental relief disbursement.

Unsafe. Unsanitary. Unequal. (2019) – Texas Housers has compiled more than a year of research into three reports that detail the segregation of Project Based Section 8 Rental Assistance in Houston.

A Costly And Unequal Burden (2018) – We look at the regulation changes in detail, map the most affected areas under the change, consider how the impact will compound over many years of disasters, and detail our concerns for the impact it will have on low- and moderate-income people.

Older Reports

No Good Choice for Houston’s Housing Choice Voucher Holders (2015) finds that in Texas’ largest city, families who use vouchers are mostly limited to living in low opportunity, minority-concentrated, unsafe neighborhoods.

The 2015 Texas Housing Tax Credit Report (2015) – examines the influence of state representatives and scoring procedures on the locations of tax credit housing.

The Border Low Income Housing Coalition Report (2015) – explores the issues facing Texan and Mexican colonias.

Closing the Gap or Closing the Door? is our report on the failure of Fannie Mae to give low-income and minority families in Dallas/Fort Worth access to home mortgage loans.

Living in Crisis Report (2000) explores the housing crisis in Texas and highlights innovate solutions.

The Public Housing Debate (1998) is our exploration of the history of public housing in Texas.