TAAHP is a trade organization whose members’ finance and/or develop affordable housing around the state of Texas. A key program used to finance affordable housing developments is the Housing Tax Credit (HTC) Program (formerly called Low-Income Housing Tax Credit (LIHTC)). The following priorities regard the HTC application process or HTC properties in place.
The Texas 86th Legislature commenced on January 8th, 2019 and will run for 140 days, ending May 27th, 2019. See the significant dates, listed from the Texas Legislative Council.
2019 TAAHP Legislative Priorities
Removal of HTC QAP Letters of Support by State Representatives – Texas statute requires letters of support from a State Representative of the district where a proposed HTC development will be constructed. The HTC program is an extremely competitive application process which evaluates awards based on a categorical point structure. Many application award scores are separated by less than a point – thus, every point counts. Letters of support from a state representative is worth up to 8 points (with -8 points given for letters of opposition). Not receiving these points can quickly disqualify an otherwise viable project for receiving an award. TAAHP recommends the removal of this statute, allowing developers to compete within the market for HTC awards for affordable housing developments. View Position Statement
HTC Property Tax Appraisals – Appraisal methods used for HTC properties by appraisal districts vary significantly across the state. For instance, appraisal districts unilaterally increased all appraisal values by 10 percent, including those for HTC developments. In other cases, appraisal districts have actually increased developments’ appraised value (and thereby tax liability) as the actual rental income for those properties declined. These significant appraisal increases have prompted numerous owners of HTC properties to protest and litigate their valuations, a costly and time-consuming exercise for both appraisal districts and property owners. TAAHP recommends linking the annual change in a property’s valuation to the annual change in net income as a means for evaluating a development’s tax liability and to ensure that an HTC development’s property tax burden does not outpace federally imposed rent restrictions.
Education Quality – TAAHP recommends the continuance of HB 3574 (from the 85th Legislative Session) on a permanent basis. This language prohibits the state housing agency from considering school performance in scoring item for housing tax credit applications. Until the 2018 QAP, TDHCA maintained a rule of not awarding tax credits to housing developments located in neighborhoods with lower-performing public schools. This action has resulted in a distinct favoring of developments in suburban areas since they are typically located near higher performing schools. As a result, more affluent suburban areas were heavily favored over central city neighborhoods and rural communities for HTC developments. This component removed critical housing resources in urban areas which are incurring the highest population growth and corresponding demand for affordable housing.
TAAHP will also follow legislation relating to the following topics:
- Housing (with special attention to Multifamily/Elderly Rentals)
- Property Tax
- State Bond Drawdown
- Disaster Recovery
- Workforce Development
Governor: Gregg Abbott
Lieutenant Governor: Dan Patrick
Speaker of the House: Dennis Bonnen
Housing related legislation is typically reviewed in the House Urban Affairs Committee and the Senate Intergovernmental Relations Committee.
Late last year, the Texas Senate released their 86th Interim Legislative Charges for each of their committees. For the Senate Intergovernmental Relations (IGR) committee, a review of the (LI)HTC program was listed as the committee’s top priority.
State Sen. Eddie Lucio is inviting the general public to testify in front of the Texas Senate Committee on Intergovernmental Relations (IGR) on issues such as affordable housing and infrastructure resiliency. Sen. Lucio chairs the Senate IGR Committee. TAAHP Executive Director Roger Arriaga and TAAHP members were invited to take provide expert testimony that could offer insight into measures that would increase the supply of affordable housing in Texas.