Open Government Project
A Government Watchdog Group
State of Texas
City of Galveston
Public Interest Groups
What if this town said, "We don't Want
any Extra Units"?
by David Stanowski
21 July 2011
Is just building the 569 Public Housing units an option? Is there an objection by "the authorities" to building them without tax-credit and market-rate units in a mixed-income development?
"Does Council have the authority to say we don't want to do that?" Elizabeth Beeton
"But, there is nothing anywhere in any agreements that forces Galveston to build extra units, to go along with these Public Housing units." Elizabeth Beeton
"The statute is clear that we cannot build back a concentration of poverty." Toni Jackson, Director, Affordable Housing & Government Relations Sections - Coats, Rose
We are very happy that GHA's outside counsel has confirmed, on the record, that they "cannot build back a concentration of poverty."
If the dialog in the following short video between Councilmember Elizabeth Beeton and Toni Jackson seems confusing, allow us to translate the bureaucratic double-talk.
Many census tracts in the City of Galveston have a high degree of poverty, so if GHA was actually using HUD's rules, no Public Housing should be built in any of them. However, the GHA, and the Mayor, want to build in them, so they must attempt to "dilute" the effect of putting more people living in poverty, i.e. the people who will live in the new Public Housing units, into these census tracks by building one tax credit unit plus one market rate unit for every Public Housing unit built. The futility of this approach will be addressed in an upcoming video, but that won't stop them from trying!
The answer, of course, is to build Public Housing units in low-poverty census tracts which are west of 43rd Street, in this city, but most are on the Mainland. However, since they don't want to do it the right way, they devise these convoluted schemes to try to justify putting Public Housing in unacceptable census tracts!
That was easy to understand; wasn't it?