Archive for July 17th, 2017

What Housing

How many of the current ‘Stros are hitting .300 plus?

How can you be a big city newspaper and not have an editorial cartoonist? Just saying!

On July 7, Commentary said this:

The Chron has another front page story by Rebecca Elliott and Mike Morris on the problems at the City of H-Town’s housing agency.   The question Commentary has is how come nobody ever gets fired over there?

And this:

Can anyone tell Commentary where the buck stops on this mess? Oh, well!

Well, the Chron’s Elliott and Morris team had another front pager yesterday on the housing agency. Here are parts:

Despite repeatedly promising to address Houston’s affordable housing needs, city officials sat for years on more than $30 million in voter-approved housing bonds with little intention of using them.

Three times in the last 16 years, voters have agreed to let the city take on new debt to demolish blighted buildings, repair seniors’ homes or build new subsidized apartments.

Of the $53 million they approved, however, Houston issued and spent just $21 million, while the number of low-income families facing housing burdens grew by tens of thousands.

As of this month, some 44,000 families were on a waiting list for subsidized housing through the Houston Housing Authority alone.

Meanwhile, city officials have left roughly $3 million in housing bond proceeds furnished by local economic development zones unspent, allowing millions in interest to accumulate on the balance.

Even the bond money from those zones that Houston did spend often went to initiatives that lacked guarantees homes would remain affordable for low-income families for any period of time, let alone the decades it would take the zones to pay off their debt.

“It’s a failure of the city to invest in affordable housing,” Washington, D.C. lawyer and former federal housing official Sara Pratt said.

So why in the heck do we have a housing agency?

Here is more that is a bit disingenuous:

Despite receiving voter approval to issue $53 million in housing bonds since 2001, little more than half of the 2001 and 2006 bonds and none of the 2012 bonds have been used.

Former Mayor Annise Parker acknowledged she asked voters to sign off on the latest housing bonds with little intention of spending them.

“You need to have affordable housing on there as part of the package so that it’s sellable out in the community,” said Parker, recalling the political pressure she received from lawmakers and community leaders. “I don’t want to say that we did it with the expectation of not using it, but that’s in essence what we did.”

Now that’s how you get folks to have faith and trust in H-Town City Hall. I wonder if she is ever to going to run for office again?

And more:

Parker said Houston has not issued more housing debt in large part because it devoted most of its limited borrowing capacity to parks, police stations and community centers.

“We had higher priorities,” she said. “If you ask a district council member, ‘Do you want a new roof on your library, do you need new bathrooms in your community center in your park, or do you want more affordable housing’ what do you think they’re going to ask for?”

I wonder if Elliott and Morris will ask the 11 district council members that question?

Here is the entire article: http://www.houstonchronicle.com/news/politics/houston/article/City-sits-on-bond-funds-despite-affordable-11290134.php?cmpid=btfpm.

Like I said, why do we have a housing agency?

Carol and I shared in snagging a foul ball Friday night.  She kept the ball – cool.

Jose Altuve is hitting .350, Carlos Correa .321, Marwin Gonzalez .311, Josh Reddick .309, and SpringerDinger .306 of course and that is why we are at 62-30 with a 16 ½ game lead with 70 games left on the schedule.

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