Tuesday, March 17, 2009


Texas Senate Bill 950 put forward by Senator Royce West in this session of the Texas Legislature expands funding for affordable housing development in our state. During this time of economic crisis, this bill will help struggling Texans obtain a safe, decent, affordable place to live. It will also stimulate the economy by creating home construction jobs and encouraging other public and private investment in affordable housing.

Here's the brilliant part: The bill establishes a flat $10 "document recording fee" on real estate documents that will generate an estimated $40 million per year for housing programs that serve low-income Texas families. These funds will go into the Housing Trust Fund (currently funded at just $5 million annually) and establish a stable and reliable source of funding for the development of affordable homes.

Here's the urgent part: SB 950 will be heard in the Senate Intergovernmental Relations Committee TOMORROW - Wednesday, March 18th at 9:30 am or upon final adjournment of the Senate in Room E1.028.

Here's the action part: If you are in or around the Capitol Wednesday morning or afternoon, please put a card in support of SB 950. If you or your organization is located in a committee member’s district (Senate Intergovernmental Relations Committee, please call that member encourage their support of SB 950 NOW!

Committee members include: Vice Chair, Senator Robert Nichols (512-463-0103, representing (Conroe Nacogdoches, Anderson, Angelina, Cherokee, Hardin, Henderson, Jasper, Montgomery, Newton, Polk, Sabine, San Augustine, San Jacinto, Shelby, Smith, Tyler)

Senator Mario Gallegos, Jr. (512-463-0106, Houston--Harris County)

Senator Dan Patrick (512-463-0107, Houston, Katy, Tomball, Humble--Harris County)

Senator Jeff Wentworth (512-463-0125, San Antonio, Kyle, Dripping Springs, Austin--Bexar, Comal, Guadalupe, Hays, Kendall, Travis Counties)

When you call, here's what to say:

· Introduce yourself and your organization
· If true, highlight that your organization serves the Senator’s constituents or, if true, highlight the fact that you are one of the Senator's constiuents.
· State that SB 950 will be heard in Senate IGR on Wednesday the 18th
· Encourage the Senator’s support of SB 950 and urge them to vote in favor of the the bill in committee
· Thank the staffer to whom you talk for their time and for passing this message along to the Senator

Please act now!

For more details on this important legislation, contact me at ljames@CentralDallasMinistries.org or visit http://www.tdhca.state.tx.us/housing-center/docs/08-SLIHP.pdf for more information.

Thank you, Senator West!


Anonymous said...

I hope people are paying attention to the water battles going on in this State. It directly affects everyone and all development needs to be sustainable. I hope CDM is on top of this. Dallas can't afford to be at the mercy of people like T. Boone Pickens.

Is this plan like what Dallas Habitat is trying to do?

Larry James said...

Not sure, as I haven't talked to them about this, but I would expect that they are supporters. You might call them and ask.

Greg said...

One of the programs under this Housing Trust Fund has been the Bootstrap Loan Program which we have accessed here in Tyler to partner with our Habitat affiliate to accelerate the pace of affordable housing construction. It works! But, the program just ran out of funds for our region, so we're very interested in getting the funding re-authorized for this program.