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Advocate editorial board opinion: Housing project would benefit city at no cost

By By the Advocate Editorial Board
Feb. 11, 2012 at 5:03 p.m.
Updated Feb. 10, 2012 at 8:11 p.m.


VOICE YOUR OPINION

Phone 512-475-1672, or email Elizabeth Yevich at elizabeth.yevich@tdhca.state.tx.us at the Texas Department of Housing and Community Affairs.

Most people know it's no secret that Victoria has a lack of housing and lodging, especially since the Eagle Ford Shale drilling began. We need more housing.

We urge the city council to seriously consider adopting three resolutions that would increase the chances for an Indiana company to acquire federal housing tax credits in competition with Corpus Christi and Ingleside. The city would incur no monetary responsibilities for the proposed affordable housing project.

Indiana-based Pedcor Investments wants to build Stockbauer Landings Apartments - a multi-family rental complex off John Stockbauer Drive. The complex would have about 150 units.

Income levels that would qualify for these apartments range from $12,000 to about $25,000. A family maximum income cap would be about $40,000, and prospective renters' prior convictions and charges, as well as credit and rental histories, would be taken into account.

However, the company is competing against six other projects in this region - five in Corpus Christi and one in Ingleside. The funding comes through the Texas Department of Housing and Community Affairs, but only one will be awarded the money.

The resolutions, if all three are passed, would give Pedcor 20 points in the scoring. Resolution 1 would proclaim an economic initiative for the location - one point; Resolution 2 would label the site for community revitalization - one point; and Resolution 3 would commit to use development funding through the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development - 18 points.

We understand city staff is reluctant to label the area as a "revitalization" site, noting that it is a highly-sought after area.

We also understand that line of thinking. On the other hand, consider downtown Victoria in comparison to any area in the city. Downtown Victoria is going through revitalization through the city's own cognition. The area is a success in our eyes.

This proposed project for affordable housing also can be considered a gift horse. Young workers and families can find affordable housing with this project. And, if the project is approved, the city would have spent no money to get it. But, to be approved, the developers will need all the points they can get. And that means the city council needs to approve the resolutions because a single point in this competition can make all the difference.

We urge the Victoria City Council to take advantage of this opportunity and approve all three resolutions when it meets Feb. 21.

This editorial reflects the views of the Victoria Advocate's editorial board.

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