The opposition (or support) to construction of low-income housing you voice to your Texas State Representative will no longer be a factor in the development of these projects should a bill pre-filed by a Dallas-area lawmaker become reality.
HB 616, pre-filed by Texas State Representative Jeff Leach eliminates the use of community opposition (or support) letters written by State Reps as a negative or positive point factor by the Texas Department of Housing and Community Affairs in their point-system for awarding low-income housing credits.
The negative points associated with an opposition letter can effectively kill a developers application for tax credit-advantaged housing in your neighborhood.
Leach, an attorney focused on construction law and real estate, believes these community opposition (or support) letters represent “undue influence” by the Texas State Rep in the point-scoring system.
From his website:
“House Bill 616 – Prohibits Texas State Representatives from unduly influencing and picking winners and losers in the Texas Department of Housing & Community Affairs point-system for awarding low-income housing tax credits.”
However, a review of the facts taken from a Fort Bend -area Texas State Rep neutral letter tell a different story.
In his neutral community support letter dated March 31, 2014 State Representative Rick Miller wrote:
“My office has received both positive and negative support from various groups throughout the community …I choose to remain neutral in my stance because of the conflicting positions of my constituents.”
Apparently State Rep Jeff Leach equates constituent input as “undue influence”. We disagree and give Texas State Rep Jeff Leach one Pinocchio to commemorate the start of the 85th Legislature.