Midland Council Looking At Solutions To Affordable Housing Crisis 03/07/13
CBS 7 News
March 7, 2013
MIDLAND, TX - Finding housing continues to be a headache for Midlanders and finding low-income housing is near impossible. City leaders are getting creative to solve the problem. Affordable housing was a hot topic at today's Midland City Council retreat. City leaders agree, regulating rent prices is not the answer.
"Iím not sure there's a role for the city in terms of how much a business wants to charge for the service they provide, that is not what city government does," said John James, Midland City Councilman.
But council members say they are going to explore other options. One is lobbying in Austin for funding from the state housing tax credit program.
"They need to look at their formulas for how they invest in various regions and make investments where the economy is thriving the most because its very clear, oil and gas is driving the Texas economy," said Councilman James.
Another focus is possibly expanding incentive programs through the Community Development Block Grant.
"We have the CDBG which does purchase land to be given to non profit developers to build affordable housing, there are 3 non profits that are going to be looking at that," said Michael Trost, Midland City Councilman.
Council didn't take any action today, however City staff will begin to explore these initiatives. For now, City leaders say they will continue to encourage development, which in return should stabilize the housing market, bringing rent prices down.