Amid the ire of the city’s mayor, Seguin’s City Council voted 5-3 to support an affordable housing proposal at 1231 Court Street across from Texas Luthern University. The development is the first of its kind on the west side of the city.
“Since I’ve been in city government, the community as a whole and the realtors and anybody who’s trying to promote this community as a great place to be, has complained at the fact of the numerous and multiple public housing units we have in the city,” he said. “It’s been kind of a stain on our community, if I can say that.”
“I think it’d been one of the things our surrounding communities have used against us,” he said. “Per capita, we have three times the public housing that New Braunfels does. I think we have enough. I think if you want to have further ground you might try New Braunfels. I think there’s plenty of people there that might want to use this stuff.”
Mayor Kiel suggested that “social issues” are one of the reasons for his disapproval. “You say it’s $40,000 maximum household income. If it’s a married couple that’s $20,000 apiece that is some very low paying jobs, which means more than likely I think you will have single families and single people with maybe children or something,” he said. “I think you will probably have problems with the significant other showing up who are not married being a part of the situation … I don’t know how you’re going to police that. That’s going to be very difficult, but you will have unmarried couples there that probably are not legally part of what you would call the family unit.”
The community’s developer, LDG Multifamily, LLC first asked the Sequin City Council for a resolution of support that would enhance the company’s ability to be awarded with tax credit funding from the Texas Department of Housing and Community Affairs (TDHCA) in December 2018. At the Dec. 18 meeting, city staff requested that LDG Multifamily to speak to members of the surrounding neighborhoods as well as those at Texas Lutheran University.
Despite LDG Multifamily’s compliance with the request from city staff, Council Members Fonda Mathis, Penny Wallace and Jet Crabb all voted against it. Overall the Council vote was 5-3 in favor of the proposed development.
The affordable housing community is proposed to create 195 rental units. Residents who earn 60 percent of the Area Median Income (AMI) or less are eligible to apply for the complex. Sixty percent of the AMI for a family of four in Seguin is $40,080, according to Brown. Available units will include one-, two- and three-bedroom units, complete with amenities like a clubhouse, theater room, exercise room, business center, playground, swimming pool, sitting areas, patios and balconies as well as a community gathering area.