Texas Updates Plan to Reduce Low-Income Apartment Disparity

Texas Updates Plan to Reduce Low-Income Apartment Disparity

In response to a federal court ruling that found Texas pushes low-cost subsidized apartments away from affluent white neighborhoods and into poor minority areas, the state's housing agency has unveiled a plan to correct the disparity.

The Texas Department of Housing and Community Affairs (TDHCA) submitted the plan to U.S. District Court Chief Judge Sidney Fitzwater on May 18. The judge's ruling in March gave the housing department 60 days to propose the reforms. Fitzwater found the agency's policies unintentionally violated the Fair Housing Act by denying participants the choice to live in neighborhoods that are more racially and economically diverse.

The nonprofit group that filed the lawsuit in 2008, the Inclusive Communities Project, has until June 18 to respond to the plan. Until then, the housing department and Inclusive Communities are withholding comments.

The housing agency's plan would increase the number of points that developers can win for building in affluent areas, with the most points awarded to projects where schools and economic conditions are best. The plan also tightens requirements for winning extra funding to build in highly impoverished neighborhoods, a provision that was designed to spur economic growth in poor areas.