Texas State Representative Eddie Rodriguez (D-Austin) is making his priorities known on affordable housing. The District 51 representative, a district that covers the East and Southeast regions of Austin filed three separate bills in the House that address various issues that impact affordable housing.
If passed, House Bill 2185 would update Austin’s Homestead Preservation District (HPD) bracket eligibility to account for the growth it has experience since 2005, when Rep. Rodriguez passed House Bill 525, which enabled Austin to establish HPDs. Austin has been unable to expand its current HPD, which has restricted the amount of funds that can be set aside for affordable housing purposes.
Rodriguez also filed House Bill 2186 that would give local governments the option of allowing affordable housing tax credit developments to be built within two miles of each other — currently a restriction that limits how many units can be built in a given area.
In an attempt to revive the City of Austin’s attempt to ban landlords from denying rental applications due to a renter’s source of income (particularly related to Section 8 vouchers), House Bill 2187 would repeal the prohibition against local governments’ ability to ban discrimination against renters based on their income source.
Rodriguez says that the Austin area will continue to grow at a rapid pace and believes if these actions are not taken now that gentrification and displacement will continue at an alarming rate.