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. See the interim charge below:
- Low-Income Housing Tax Credit Program: Review existing regulations governing the Low-Income Housing Tax Credit Program and the Qualified Allocation Plan to determine whether regulations exist that unnecessarily increase the cost of developing and maintaining affordable housing. Make recommendations to provide regulatory relief and provide greater development of affordable housing in Texas.
Since the interim charges were released, the committee held two hearings, an organizational hearing on December 5, 2019 and a public hearing on January 28, 2020. TAAHP was invited to provide testimony at the Texas Senate IGR public hearing. Dan Kierce, RBC Community Investments and TAAHP Board President, Roger Arriaga, Executive Director of TAAHP, and Janine Sisak, DMA Development and President-Elect of TAAHP, had an opportunity to visit with the Senate IGR committee members prior to the hearing. At the hearing, Sisak testified to the legislative priorities for TAAHP, detailed below.
- Reduce the prescriptive nature of the 9% HTC Scoring Criteria by eliminating the requirement for letters of support and resolutions of support from local municipalities and state representatives. Additionally, to align with the market demand for needed affordable housing, we recommend removing regulatory language requiring TDHCA to incentivize developments in census tracts where there are no other existing tax credit developments.
- Reduce regulatory barriers in the 4% HTC program by requiring notification and conducting a public hearing to notify city official/staff to discuss the proposed HTC development in lieu of requiring a resolution of no opposition. Also, we recommend introducing and supporting legislation that limits TDHCA’s ability to consider school performance as a threshold or scoring item, particularly for middle and high schools. Alternatively, focus on the consideration of school performance at the elementary school level.
- Support legislation to provide a clear and consistent methodology for HTC development property appraisals to save taxpayers and affordable housing developers’ money in litigation costs. Instead, this revenue circulated back into upkeep of HTC developments or used to increase the supply of affordable housing.
- Study the development a State Tax Credit Program to provide gap funding or supplemental funding to the 9% or 4% HTC program – to assist in the preservation or increase supply of affordable housing developments across the state.
- Explore the process to draw-down bonds to help reduce interest carry costs for certain bond users.
Please click here to see the full text of the TAAHP Government Affairs Letter to the Senate Intergovernmental Affairs Committee.
To see both committee hearings, see the links below.