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Candidates' Comments:
Public Housing?

Mayoral Candidates:

Joe Jaworski - start

1. Will you support a regional strategy designed to build any new Public Housing units throughout the entire County strictly in high-opportunity neighborhoods?

No Response from the Candidate, yet.

2. Are you willing to challenge the Conciliation Agreement and ask HUD for assistance in order to implement a regional opportunity-based Public Housing plan?

No Response from the Candidate, yet.

3. Will you support building all 569 units in this city?

No Response from the Candidate, yet.

4. Will you support building all 569 units in mixed-income developments in this city?

No Response from the Candidate, yet. 

5. Will you support using Section 8 Vouchers instead of building more units?

No Response from the Candidate, yet.

6. Will you support using Moving-to-Opportunity Vouchers, that help voucher holders find accommodations in high-opportunity neighborhoods, on the Mainland, instead of building more units?

No Response from the Candidate, yet.
 
Joe Jaworski - end



Beau Rawlins - start

1. Will you support a regional strategy designed to build any new Public Housing units throughout the entire County strictly in high-opportunity neighborhoods?

Yes. The GOGP has pointed out many times that Federal lawsuits brought by the ACLU, NAACP and local housing authority residents against HUD have resulted in the court-ordered "regionalization" of local public housing. Forcing 95% of all Galveston County's public housing residents to live on a barrier island is morally unjustifiable.

2. Are you willing to challenge the Conciliation Agreement and ask HUD for assistance in order to implement a regional opportunity-based Public Housing plan?

Yes. I will support the GOGP's lawsuit and ask our city council to do the same. In all likelihood GHA, LSLA, Appleseed, and HUD will come to the bargaining table once the GOGP lawsuit is filed. When that happens, I will steadfastly demand the implementation of the proven "Moving to Opportunity" voucher program which provides counseling and assistance to the recipients.

3. Will you support building all 569 units in this city?

No. I grew up in Galveston in subsidized housing. We have to use our existing housing stock - not build more housing! How can we ask the government for taxpayer money to build homes on an island that has over 7,000 homes that are vacant or in need of repair? That's crazy!

4. Will you support building all 569 units in mixed-income developments in this city?

No. Government should not compete with private landlords. Our current Mayor says that some landlords should be put out of business. I always thought that we lived in a country where the free market decided who prospered and who did not. I would like to see the Section 8 enforcement records of the GHA under the current leadership. If GHA did their job correctly, there should be no "slums" for GHA families to live in.

5. Will you support using Section 8 Vouchers instead of building more units?

I was the first candidate for Mayor to endorse the use of vouchers and to say no to all new public housing.

6. Will you support using Moving-to-Opportunity Vouchers, that help voucher holders find accommodations in high-opportunity neighborhoods, on the Mainland, instead of building more units?

Yes. Families who have participated in the MTO program have shown to graduate from high school and college at a higher rate and engage in less risky activity than those in public housing. Current plans will force GHA residents to live in two of the worst economic census tracts in the county

Beau Rawlins - end



Greg Roof - start

1. Will you support a regional strategy designed to build any new Public Housing units throughout the entire County strictly in high-opportunity neighborhoods?

Yes, it is my position that public housing should be diluted across a multi-county area. Housing is a metropolitan issue that crosses many jurisdictions. Galveston Island should not be required to shoulder the burden of a regional problem.

2. Are you willing to challenge the Conciliation Agreement and ask HUD for assistance in order to implement a regional opportunity-based Public Housing plan?

The City of Galveston is not a party to the conciliation agreement. That agreement violates the federal mandate to deconcentrate poverty. As your mayor, I cannot legally and will not ethically permit the reconstitution of public housing on Galveston Island.

3. Will you support building all 569 units in this city?

 No. I will not permit a single unit of public housing to be rebuilt because we already have more public housing than our island can sustain.

4. Will you support building all 569 units in mixed-income developments in this city?

No. The supply of housing stock on the island is sufficient to meet demand for the foreseeable future. A government injection of still more housing will decrease the property values of all of our homeowners and business owners.  Furthermore, it will damage the tax base of our city, school district and community college district, making it more difficult to provide a good education and better city services for us all. 

5. Will you support using Section 8 Vouchers instead of building more units?

Section 8 housing, which property owners and qualified renters chose to participate in, is one form of opportunity-based housing I will support. Why? It keeps property on the tax rolls, allows property owners the ability to improve their rental houses and gives the recipient a choice on where to locate. That choice may or may not be in the city of Galveston.  Market forces then nudge the renter to chose a location that provides the greatest opportunity to acquire vocational training and/or a degree and ultimately a job so that they may become self-supporting and then leave the section 8 program. The program is structured in a manner that benefits the community and the individual seeking assistance.

6. Will you support using Moving-to-Opportunity Vouchers, that help voucher holders find accommodations in high-opportunity neighborhoods, on the Mainland, instead of building more units?

Yes. The whole goal of housing assistance is to help families get back on their feet and be self-supporting. We can not condemn our community or our citizens to a public housing program that provides no chance at a better life

Greg Roof - end



Lewis Rosen - start

1. Will you support a regional strategy designed to build any new Public Housing units throughout the entire County strictly in high-opportunity neighborhoods?

Of course, a regional strategy makes sense and may be part of the overall solution to Galveston’s public housing needs, but because I do not feel we should build any new public housing structures at all, the question is moot. The real solution is a voucher program that includes choice for the people who need housing, and that would not require new construction.

My overall housing platform is straightforward and simple:

  • Use vouchers to meet our public housing needs immediately. Get people in homes, and use existing inventory on or off the Island to make it happen.
  • Sell the property formerly used for the rundown and poorly managed public housing buildings, making it available for economic development.
  • Do everything we can to create better housing for middle-income families, to grow our population and help ensure the people who work here live here.
2. Are you willing to challenge the Conciliation Agreement and ask HUD for assistance in order to implement a regional opportunity-based Public Housing plan?

Yes, I have maintained from the very beginning that the city should have challenged that agreement. It just does not make sense that we should rebuild the same number of units we had when our population was larger, and it has been shown over and over again that isolating public housing tenants in multi-family units is not good for their health, education, safety or well-being (particularly in the same locations they lived in before the storm).

3. Will you support building all 569 units in this city?

No. As I said when I began my campaign for Mayor, I am firmly convinced our public housing needs can be met with a sound, legal and well-managed housing choice voucher program, and no new buildings are needed, let alone 569.

4. Will you support building all 569 units in mixed-income developments in this city?

I repeat: From the information I’ve seen, no new buildings are needed, mixed-income or otherwise. 

5. Will you support using Section 8 Vouchers instead of building more units?

That is my point, which I’ve raised now for months, to whoever will listen. Unfortunately, no one at the Housing Authority or City Hall appears to be listening. I am a proponent of vouchers, whether they fall into the narrow category you’ve defined as Section 8 or some other category. It just makes good common sense: If the city has an inventory of eligible residences, and if vouchers can help make those homes available to families in need, we should implement a voucher program immediately and get those people in those houses. It comes with a caveat, though–landlords must be willing to keep their properties in safe, livable condition, and the Housing Authority must do its job of monitoring both the homes and the people who live in them. It may well be that the Housing Authority can help property owners improve or rehab their units as well, thus improving our neighborhoods.

6. Will you support using Moving-to-Opportunity Vouchers, that help voucher holders find accommodations in high-opportunity neighborhoods, on the Mainland, instead of building more units?

See previous answer. It is a little-known fact that other cities provide public housing opportunities here in Galveston, and we should investigate that possibility; public housing tenants should not be forced to live in Galveston if they would rather live elsewhere.

Lewis Rosen - end


District 1:

Cornelia Harris Banks - start

1. Will you support a regional strategy designed to build any new Public Housing units throughout the entire County strictly in high-opportunity neighborhoods?

No Response from the Candidate, yet.

2. Are you willing to challenge the Conciliation Agreement and ask HUD for assistance in order to implement a regional opportunity-based Public Housing plan?

No Response from the Candidate, yet.

3. Will you support building all 569 units in this city?

No Response from the Candidate, yet.

4. Will you support building all 569 units in mixed-income developments in this city?

No Response from the Candidate, yet. 

5. Will you support using Section 8 Vouchers instead of building more units?

No Response from the Candidate, yet.

6. Will you support using Moving-to-Opportunity Vouchers, that help voucher holders find accommodations in high-opportunity neighborhoods, on the Mainland, instead of building more units?

No Response from the Candidate, yet.

Cornelia Harris Banks - end



Tarris Woods - start

1. Will you support a regional strategy designed to build any new Public Housing units throughout the entire County strictly in high-opportunity neighborhoods?

No Response from the Candidate, yet.

2. Are you willing to challenge the Conciliation Agreement and ask HUD for assistance in order to implement a regional opportunity-based Public Housing plan?

No Response from the Candidate, yet.

3. Will you support building all 569 units in this city?

No Response from the Candidate, yet.

4. Will you support building all 569 units in mixed-income developments in this city?

No Response from the Candidate, yet. 

5. Will you support using Section 8 Vouchers instead of building more units?

No Response from the Candidate, yet.

6. Will you support using Moving-to-Opportunity Vouchers, that help voucher holders find accommodations in high-opportunity neighborhoods, on the Mainland, instead of building more units?

No Response from the Candidate, yet.

Tarris Woods - end


District 2:

Charles Chris Gonzales - start

1. Will you support a regional strategy designed to build any new Public Housing units throughout the entire County strictly in high-opportunity neighborhoods?

No Response from the Candidate, yet.

2. Are you willing to challenge the Conciliation Agreement and ask HUD for assistance in order to implement a regional opportunity-based Public Housing plan?

No Response from the Candidate, yet.

3. Will you support building all 569 units in this city?

No Response from the Candidate, yet.

4. Will you support building all 569 units in mixed-income developments in this city?

No Response from the Candidate, yet. 

5. Will you support using Section 8 Vouchers instead of building more units?

No Response from the Candidate, yet.

6. Will you support using Moving-to-Opportunity Vouchers, that help voucher holders find accommodations in high-opportunity neighborhoods, on the Mainland, instead of building more units?

No Response from the Candidate, yet.

Charles Chris Gonzales - end



Rusty Legg - start

1. Will you support a regional strategy designed to build any new Public Housing units throughout the entire County strictly in high-opportunity neighborhoods?

Yes.

2. Are you willing to challenge the Conciliation Agreement and ask HUD for assistance in order to implement a regional opportunity-based Public Housing plan?

Yes.

3. Will you support building all 569 units in this city?

If, and only if the State makes us.

4. Will you support building all 569 units in mixed-income developments in this city?

No. 

5. Will you support using Section 8 Vouchers instead of building more units?

Yes.

6. Will you support using Moving-to-Opportunity Vouchers, that help voucher holders find accommodations in high-opportunity neighborhoods, on the Mainland, instead of building more units?

Yes.

Rusty Legg - end



Teresa Banuelos - start

1. Will you support a regional strategy designed to build any new Public Housing units throughout the entire County strictly in high-opportunity neighborhoods?

No Response from the Candidate, yet.

2. Are you willing to challenge the Conciliation Agreement and ask HUD for assistance in order to implement a regional opportunity-based Public Housing plan?

No Response from the Candidate, yet.

3. Will you support building all 569 units in this city?

No Response from the Candidate, yet.

4. Will you support building all 569 units in mixed-income developments in this city?

No Response from the Candidate, yet. 

5. Will you support using Section 8 Vouchers instead of building more units?

No Response from the Candidate, yet.

6. Will you support using Moving-to-Opportunity Vouchers, that help voucher holders find accommodations in high-opportunity neighborhoods, on the Mainland, instead of building more units?

No Response from the Candidate, yet.

Teresa Banuelos - end



Richard Batie - start

1. Will you support a regional strategy designed to build any new Public Housing units throughout the entire County strictly in high-opportunity neighborhoods?

No Response from the Candidate, yet.

2. Are you willing to challenge the Conciliation Agreement and ask HUD for assistance in order to implement a regional opportunity-based Public Housing plan?

No Response from the Candidate, yet.

3. Will you support building all 569 units in this city?

No Response from the Candidate, yet.

4. Will you support building all 569 units in mixed-income developments in this city?

No Response from the Candidate, yet. 

5. Will you support using Section 8 Vouchers instead of building more units?

No Response from the Candidate, yet.

6. Will you support using Moving-to-Opportunity Vouchers, that help voucher holders find accommodations in high-opportunity neighborhoods, on the Mainland, instead of building more units?

No Response from the Candidate, yet.

Richard Batie - end


District 3:

Elizabeth Beeton 
- start

1. Will you support a regional strategy designed to build any new Public Housing units throughout the entire County strictly in high-opportunity neighborhoods?

Yes.

2. Are you willing to challenge the Conciliation Agreement and ask HUD for assistance in order to implement a regional opportunity-based Public Housing plan?

Yes, I would ask HUD and the fair housing advocates - who, to a great extent, are being allowed by HUD and the state to decide these issues - to support a regional approach. I don't know that a "challenge" to the Conciliation Agreement is the right term, because the Conciliation Agreement does not in fact require that the 569 replacement units be built only on the island, although it has been misrepresented that way. Little effort has been made to negotiate with mainland communities about accepting some public housing and that needs to be explored.

3. Will you support building all 569 units in this city?

Given the island's demographics, it would be very difficult for the city to replace all 569 units here and also satisfy the legal obligation to affirmatively further fair housing by deconcentrating poverty.

4. Will you support building all 569 units in mixed-income developments in this city?

No. 

5. Will you support using Section 8 Vouchers instead of building more units?

Yes.

6. Will you support using Moving-to-Opportunity Vouchers, that help voucher holders find accommodations in high-opportunity neighborhoods, on the Mainland, instead of building more units?

Yes. Ironically, the Conciliation Agreement does require the city to use federal funding to relocate low-income homeowners to the Mainland if they wish to move, but the Agreement is being relied on as an obstacle to offering the same opportunity to residents of public housing.
 
Elizabeth Beeton - end



Sheryl Rozier - start

1. Will you support a regional strategy designed to build any new Public Housing units throughout the entire County strictly in high-opportunity neighborhoods?

Yes.

2. Are you willing to challenge the Conciliation Agreement and ask HUD for assistance in order to implement a regional opportunity-based Public Housing plan?

Yes.

3. Will you support building all 569 units in this city?

No.

4. Will you support building all 569 units in mixed-income developments in this city?

No. 

5. Will you support using Section 8 Vouchers instead of building more units?

Yes.

6. Will you support using Moving-to-Opportunity Vouchers, that help voucher holders find accommodations in high-opportunity neighborhoods, on the Mainland, instead of building more units?

Yes.

Sheryl Rozier - end


District 4:

Dianna Puccetti - start

1. Will you support a regional strategy designed to build any new Public Housing units throughout the entire County strictly in high-opportunity neighborhoods?

I support the concept of regional strategies and working together to address issues. That said, supporting a regional strategy on housing requires partners within the region that also support a regional housing strategy.  Galveston County has clearly stated that the County is not interested in becoming involved in managing or building public housing in the unincorporated areas of the County. As for individual communities, the City of Galveston has no power or jurisdiction outside the Galveston city limits to force movement of units to the Mainland. All communities within Galveston County currently have Section 8 vouchers in use by public housing recipients.

2. Are you willing to challenge the Conciliation Agreement and ask HUD for assistance in order to implement a regional opportunity-based Public Housing plan?

The Conciliation agreement is akin to a court order stating that 569 units of public housing will be built back on the Island. To challenge the agreement and defy the order would not only be a costly legal process, but it would also put the non-housing money that has been granted to the city for projects like the Wastewater Treatment Plant, roadway improvements and other infrastructure projects at risk. The city has already begun spending those funds and they would have to be paid back and other hundreds of millions forfeited – not only for Galveston Island but for this whole HGAC region.

3. Will you support building all 569 units in this city?

The Conciliation Agreement requires that 569 units be built on the Island. This fact has been clearly represented to the City through written correspondence from both the State of Texas and from HUD officials. The Assistant Secretary of HUD, even spoke face-to-face in Galveston with two council members who question the fact, to reinforce that 569 public housing units will be built on the Island.

4. Will you support building all 569 units in mixed-income developments in this city?

The Galveston Housing Authority has adopted a plan that includes the 40 units at the Oaks; approximately 50 scattered sites, which are in the process of being selected, negotiated and purchased and the remainder as units on the Housing Authority property at Magnolia Homes and Cedar Terrace. A question still remains if the previous Oleander Homes site will be an active part of the housing plan or if it will be sold to a private party. I support mixed income developments. Many Galveston neighborhoods are already diverse with mixed income families. The mixed use concept provides support to those individuals in terms of social counseling to assist them in achieving personal goals to move in, up and out of public housing.  Mixed income housing development is an opportunity for the city and should not be mired with fear of change and the potential for success in building a healthier and stronger population.
 
5. Will you support using Section 8 Vouchers instead of building more units?

I support Section 8 Vouchers but HUD controls how many vouchers can be issued so the question poses a response that is not an either or solution.

6. Will you support using Moving-to-Opportunity Vouchers, that help voucher holders find accommodations in high-opportunity neighborhoods, on the Mainland, instead of building more units?

Yes I support Moving-to-Opportunity Vouchers. The number of vouchers available is controlled by HUD and are limited.

Dianna Puccetti - end



Gil Lopez - start

1. Will you support a regional strategy designed to build any new Public Housing units throughout the entire County strictly in high-opportunity neighborhoods?

Yes.

2. Are you willing to challenge the Conciliation Agreement and ask HUD for assistance in order to implement a regional opportunity-based Public Housing plan?

Yes.

3. Will you support building all 569 units in this city?

No.

4. Will you support building all 569 units in mixed-income developments in this city?

No. 

5. Will you support using Section 8 Vouchers instead of building more units?

Yes.

6. Will you support using Moving-to-Opportunity Vouchers, that help voucher holders find accommodations in high-opportunity neighborhoods, on the Mainland, instead of building more units?

Yes.

Gil Lopez - end



Norman Pappous - start

1. Will you support a regional strategy designed to build any new Public Housing units throughout the entire County strictly in high-opportunity neighborhoods?

Rawlins and I are the only elected officials that tried to get an elected Board to sue the signers of the conciliation agreement. Our goal was to protect GISD funds by stopping the conciliation agreement. Its terms will harm our school district’s finances and ability to effectively educate all our students to the same level of achievement. We wanted to force the appropriate authorities to implement a regional solution and to spread the responsibility of educating economically disadvantaged children throughout the county and not force all of them into GISD. The current conciliation agreement is in direct opposition to recent court decisions that mandate a regional approach to existing public housing. I have supported, and ask all citizens to support, the GOGP’s lawsuit that will be filed as soon as the GHA plans are approved – as they have not even been submitted yet, it may be a while…

2. Are you willing to challenge the Conciliation Agreement and ask HUD for assistance in order to implement a regional opportunity-based Public Housing plan?

I have a long record of promoting this in print and in public forums.

3. Will you support building all 569 units in this city?

I will never cast a vote for GHA to build, own, or manage one unit more than currently exists. Government should not compete with private enterprise – except in very rare circumstances. Housing is not one of those exceptions.

4. Will you support building all 569 units in mixed-income developments in this city?

I will oppose all new development that is government funded or subsidized - unless it leads to home ownership. The world, with the exception of China, is broke. We need to look to Galveston’s existing private industry for future economic growth. It is beyond offensive that some want to build a $200 million project that is managed by a firm in another state and competes with local landlords. I plan to place our current businesses and citizens welfare in front of the welfare of people that do not live here and companies that do not operate here. 

5. Will you support using Section 8 Vouchers instead of building more units?

I have a long record of promoting vouchers and the “Moving to Opportunity” program. Vouchers allow people to move to where they can find the best wages for their labor. If local businesses want to have a local labor market that meets their needs, they should increase their wages. Public housing merely traps people in a location where their choices for work are forever limited. Vouchers allow people to move to where the best opportunities are for them and their family.

6. Will you support using Moving-to-Opportunity Vouchers, that help voucher holders find accommodations in high-opportunity neighborhoods, on the Mainland, instead of building more units?

Absolutely yes! Let people live where they choose and are able to prosper. Do not trap economically disadvanatged people in Galveston simply because you want to have unlimited, endless access to low-wage labor and not have to compete with higher wage providers that they could work for if they had a voucher. Giving people a choice of where they can work and live allows them to seek higher wages and better opportunities. The rules of public housing deny people the ability to seek higher wages and better opportunities. Public housing has been a failure in Galveston and in the entire country. I will not repeat that mistake!

Norman Pappous - end


District 5:

Jeri Kinnear - start

1. Will you support a regional strategy designed to build any new Public Housing units throughout the entire County strictly in high-opportunity neighborhoods?

No Response from the Candidate, yet.

2. Are you willing to challenge the Conciliation Agreement and ask HUD for assistance in order to implement a regional opportunity-based Public Housing plan?

No Response from the Candidate, yet.

3. Will you support building all 569 units in this city?

No Response from the Candidate, yet.

4. Will you support building all 569 units in mixed-income developments in this city?

No Response from the Candidate, yet. 

5. Will you support using Section 8 Vouchers instead of building more units?

No Response from the Candidate, yet.

6. Will you support using Moving-to-Opportunity Vouchers, that help voucher holders find accommodations in high-opportunity neighborhoods, on the Mainland, instead of building more units?

No Response from the Candidate, yet.

Jeri Kinnear - end



Bill Quiroga - start

1. Will you support a regional strategy designed to build any new Public Housing units throughout the entire County strictly in high-opportunity neighborhoods?

Yes.

2. Are you willing to challenge the Conciliation Agreement and ask HUD for assistance in order to implement a regional opportunity-based Public Housing plan?

Yes.

3. Will you support building all 569 units in this city?

No.

4. Will you support building all 569 units in mixed-income developments in this city?

No. 

5. Will you support using Section 8 Vouchers instead of building more units?

Yes.

6. Will you support using Moving-to-Opportunity Vouchers, that help voucher holders find accommodations in high-opportunity neighborhoods, on the Mainland, instead of building more units?

Yes.

Bill Quiroga - end



Terrilyn Tarlton - start

1. Will you support a regional strategy designed to build any new Public Housing units throughout the entire County strictly in high-opportunity neighborhoods?

Yes I will. It makes absolutely no sense not to give individuals and their families the freedom to seek the best living place to raise their families, educate their children, and to find the best payable job possible.

2. Are you willing to challenge the Conciliation Agreement and ask HUD for assistance in order to implement a regional opportunity-based Public Housing plan?

Yes. I strongly believe that this is the best time to negotiate with HUD on behalf of “all the citizens” of Galveston to find the best possible solutions to public housing for all parties concerned.

3. Will you support building all 569 units in this city?

No. Why would we want to play a part in determining where a person/family must live, limiting their opportunities to find good paying jobs, and from enrolling their children in the best school possible. 

People who live in housing units have rights too and no one should dictate to them how or where they should live, nor from limiting their abilities from getting ahead and living the American Dream.


4. Will you support building all 569 units in mixed-income developments in this city?

No, the City of Galveston hasn’t even managed to be able to keep the middle class families from leaving the island in droves. How then would they be able to help people of lower income to strive to become part of the middle class, if the middle class is already on the endangered species list at City Hall?

5. Will you support using Section 8 Vouchers instead of building more units?

Yes, so far this seems to be one of the best solutions for ensuring that people with lower incomes have the rights and the choices to decide what they believe are in the best interest for themselves, and their own family. Vouchers give individuals the freedom to find the best paying jobs possible and the ability to choose a home where they can prosper, raise a family, and to live the American Dream.

6. Will you support using Moving-to-Opportunity Vouchers, that help voucher holders find accommodations in high-opportunity neighborhoods, on the Mainland, instead of building more units?

Yes, I am for ensuring that all lower income families have the freedom from all the Special Interest Groups here in Galveston that want to dictate to them what “they believe” to be the best place for them to live and to work. Lower income individuals and their families deserve the right to choose where they believe they can find the best paying jobs, the best education, and the best housing for their own individual needs and desires.

Terrilyn Tarlton - end


District 6:

Michael Poe - start

1. Will you support a regional strategy designed to build any new Public Housing units throughout the entire County strictly in high-opportunity neighborhoods?

Yes. What's good for Galveston city is good for our county as well. A larger selection of "high opportunity neighborhoods" would certainly offer more opportunity.

2. Are you willing to challenge the Conciliation Agreement and ask HUD for assistance in order to implement a regional opportunity-based Public Housing plan?

Yes.

3. Will you support building all 569 units in this city?

No, I don't think the majority of voters in my district would want me to.

4. Will you support building all 569 units in mixed-income developments in this city?

No, I don't think the majority of voters in my district would want me to.

5. Will you support using Section 8 Vouchers instead of building more units?

Yes.

6. Will you support using Moving-to-Opportunity Vouchers, that help voucher holders find accommodations in high-opportunity neighborhoods, on the Mainland, instead of building more units?

Yes, as I answered in question 1, more neighborhoods = more opportunity.


On a side note; I think a property owner who is approved/chooses/enrolled to accept Vouchers as part of a rent program should be required to maintain the property in a responsible and attractive manner. Is it not (in some way) a privilege to be assured a rental income? I've seen many homes, apartments, duplex's etc. etc. in terrible shape. I don't know exactly how to institute this but there must be a way to start. I mean really what does a coat of paint and a new set of steps cost?

All landlords should have pride in a community they have an investment in don't you think?


Michael Poe - end



Marie Robb - start

1. Will you support a regional strategy designed to build any new Public Housing units throughout the entire County strictly in high-opportunity neighborhoods?

Yes.

2. Are you willing to challenge the Conciliation Agreement and ask HUD for assistance in order to implement a regional opportunity-based Public Housing plan?

Yes.

3. Will you support building all 569 units in this city?

No.

4. Will you support building all 569 units in mixed-income developments in this city?

No. 

5. Will you support using Section 8 Vouchers instead of building more units?

Yes, but I would prefer Moving-to-Opportunity Vouchers.

6. Will you support using Moving-to-Opportunity Vouchers, that help voucher holders find accommodations in high-opportunity neighborhoods, on the Mainland, instead of building more units?

Yes.

Marie Robb - end



Mike Varela - start

1. Will you support a regional strategy designed to build any new Public Housing units throughout the entire County strictly in high-opportunity neighborhoods?

The short answer is yes. I believe that the city of Galveston should not be the only place in this county that should have a large percentage of public housing. If the current plan goes forward, 12% of Galveston residents will be recipients of public housing.

2. Are you willing to challenge the Conciliation Agreement and ask HUD for assistance in order to implement a regional opportunity-based Public Housing plan?

From what I understand, the Conciliation Agreement is between the Federal Government and the State of Texas. I would have to educate myself a little further before I answer this question to be sure that I may not jeopardize any money that Galveston may receive for infrastructure. What I can tell you is that the state should not be telling the City of Galveston what it can and cannot do. 

3. Will you support building all 569 units in this city?

I am not in support of building any additional public housing on Galveston Island. If we are required to provide public housing, we should use the voucher system and direct the money that was to be used in building these new structures towards renovating some of the many vacant homes on the island.  This would get these homes back on the tax roles, and if I understand it correctly, the property owners would be able to evict a tenant if the Housing Authority is not doing their job in professionally managing the property, which has been a problem for them in the past. 

4. Will you support building all 569 units in mixed-income developments in this city?

See my answer for Question #3. 

5. Will you support using Section 8 Vouchers instead of building more units?

Again, I would be in support of using the vouchers, as I stated in Question #3.

6. Will you support using Moving-to-Opportunity Vouchers, that help voucher holders find accommodations in high-opportunity neighborhoods, on the Mainland, instead of building more units?

You are basically asking the same question. Yes, I support any voucher system that does not require building more public housing units. I do not feel that Galveston should shoulder the entire burden of public housing. Public housing puts a strain on our school system, public servants (fire and police), hospitals, etc.  If we ever want to attract middle income families back to this island, we must provide quality schools in safe neighborhoods. 
 
I appreciate the opportunity to answer your questions concerning public housing. And I admit, public housing is a big issue right now that will most assuredly play a big role in the upcoming election, but please keep in mind that there are many other issues that are just as important and need to be addressed as well. Roughly fifty percent of the property in Galveston is currently off the tax roles, which is a huge problem in my opinion. We must also find a way to attract middle income jobs. I feel that City Hall needs to be more business friendly. We have too many regulations on the books that stifle the growth of Galveston, and are discouraging to new businesses. In my district, in particular, we need to find a way to encourage development while protecting the natural beauty of our wetlands. I believe the wetlands play a vital role in protecting the west end of the island.  These are just a few of the other issues I feel are important if we ever hope to get Galveston on the right track. Thanks for the opportunity.


Mike Varela - end


Election 2012 - Voter Information Guide









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