AUSTIN (Covering Katy News) – Texas State Rep. Gina Calanni (D-Katy) has filed a bill in the legislature that would make it easier to build affordable housing units in unincorporated areas of Harris County that are under the control of Houston due to the city’s extraterritorial jurisdiction.
Tax credits are frequently provided to developers to encourage the construction of affordable housing. Currently, the unincorporated areas of Katy and Cypress/Harris County, which Calanni represents, have to get approval from Houston before affordable housing can be built. Under her legislation, these areas would not need to seek Houston’s approval.
“HB 1881 will speed up the timeline for affordable housing projects in Houston’s ETJ, cut down on the paperwork, and remove an unnecessary requirement that slows new projects,” said Rep. Calanni. “This will accelerate the tax credit application process for affordable housing projects in the City of Houston’s Extraterritorial Jurisdiction (ETJ).” she added.
Houston usually fights efforts to beat-back its control over the unincorporated suburban areas but this bill has the support of the big city to our east.
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“This bill would be a great benefit to Houston and Harris County as we each develop new and higher quality affordable homes,” said Tom McCasland, Director of the Housing and Community Development Department of the City of Houston. “There’s no reason for the City of Houston to create an additional layer of bureaucracy for our friends in Harris County.”
Currently, Harris County and Houston have different criteria for issuing affordable housing tax credit resolutions that may conflict with each other. House Bill 1881 is designed to solve those problems.