In it, he said, quote: "Public housing numbers will
diminish...". Many people voted for him based upon that
then he has done nothing but lobby for the exact opposite, growing the
numbers to include 1,000 additional mixed income units, despite
continued vocal public opposition.
already has an oversupply of housing.
to the recent independent Housing
Market Survey paid for with CDBG
funds, Galveston has over 7,000 vacant units. We lost 20% of our
population. We did not lose houses. In fact, many homeowners
their homes at 50 cents on the dollar and left for safer locations,
only to be bought up by investors who turned them into yet even more
rentals. There are also now hundreds of additional low income tax
credit units going in, also with HUD money. We do not need
money to further add to that oversupply, unfairly competing with the
private sector that is already struggling hard enough to make a living,
paying high property taxes, high maintenance costs in a coastal
environment, and high multiple insurance policies in a high risk
area--and having to offer even lower rents.
3) There is no requirement
finance GHA's "mixed income housing".
GHA signed a settlement agreement with Lone Star Legal Aid (LSLA)
to: "...immediately commence seeking funding from HUD to
provide Replacement housing on a 1 for 1 basis...in the most
4) GHA has proven time and again that they cannot be trusted.
Prior to the storm, their
projects were high in crime, trash, and poorly maintained, inspiring
very little public confidence in their ability to manage.
They have refused to this day
to supply the requested plan to City Council in return for the $25M,
instead a board member publicly demanded "my $25 million
They knew funds were earmarked
for construction only, yet they tried to get approval for "soft costs"
They applied to the State for 303
vouchers for Katrina victims, while a board member publicly claimed
they were looking for only 3 families.
They sought the assistance of
Federal Mediators to help build consensus in a community largely in
opposition to their expansion plans. When the mediators told them they
needed to listen to public comment, they tried to block the report from
public view. Only after a formal request to and ruling from the Texas
Attorney General was it released.
They claimed to City Council that
their first 40 units at the Oaks would be for elderly. They
are not, they are open to anyone.
They refused to comply with
requests from Planning to reconnect the streets at the Oaks to the
surrounding neighborhood, and face the houses out.
They are being sued by homeowners
at the Oaks for alleged insurance fraud.
They claimed they could not
replace public housing with Section 8 vouchers. Nov. 2011 GHA
did exactly that by converting 198 former public housing residents to
Section 8. See
They fired their Executive
Director 6 months ago, and have not replaced him.
Their board includes an ex-felon
with no experience. While it may be legal, is it wise?
They insist upon replacing public
housing in the worst census tracts, concentrating poverty, segregating
minorities, limiting access to good jobs and education, against HUD's
If the HGAC gives the $25 million
to GHA, it is in effect stating that GHA is:
Exempt from the Laws of Mother
Nature, (rebuilding public
housing in a flood zone, in violation of Federal Executive Order 11988).
Exempt from the Economic Laws of
Supply and Demand, (adding to
the oversupply of 7,000 vacant units on the island, see Housing Market
Exempt from the Civil Rights laws
(to affirmatively further fair
housing, not concentrating poverty and not segregating minorities).
Exempt from abiding by the Will of
the People (Galveston City
Council's recent decision to not fund GHA's mixed income housing scheme
with the $25 million).
And as an aside, please consider the current situation in Galveston:
No Permanent City
Manager. Previous "City Manager of the
Year" for the State of Texas was fired
No Permanent Police Chief
No Permanent Executive Director
of Public Housing
No Economic Development Director
Port Director is actively looking
for another job
Petition to recall the Mayor
failed for lack of signatures, many
claiming fear of retribution if they signed
Is this really the place you want to give $25 million of taxpayer money for
public housing? I don't. Oppose the $25 million to GHA.