State Rep. Israel remains neutral on Housing Tax Credits

added 8/8/16: Statement from State Representative Celia Israel explaining her stand on affordable housing, released 8/8/16 (PDF)

A developer plans to build up to 90 (originally 120) apartments on Oak Creek Drive between the MoPac Self Storage/creek and the back yards of Pegasus homes. They plan to offer reduced rent (“affordable housing”) on a number of the units  and are seeking housing tax credits. Housing Tax Credit FAQs Competitive Housing Tax Credits

Housing Tax Credits are high competitive; one way to improve chances of a project being approved is by getting letters of support from the City Council and State Representative. Both the developer and Northwood (with nearby supporting neighborhoods) have contacted the City Council and our State Representative to explain our positions and ask for their support.

Wonderful news! Earlier this week, Representative Israel decided to remain neutral. We are deeply grateful to her for her decision.

Following is a copy of an email that neighbors who emailed her office about this issue received (please do NOT call or email her any more; the Neighborhood Association officers are sending a thank you).

After much deliberation and listening to all sides of the issue, I have decided not to support the project located at 3300 Oak Creek Drive in its application for tax credits from the Texas Department of Housing and Community Affairs.

Lack of affordable housing remains a major impediment to our quality of life and our future economic viability, but this project didn’t meet guidelines essential to a successful community endeavor. My first duty is to the constituents of House District 50, and aspects of this project caused me some concern.

When projects are presented to me, I ask many of the same questions you have raised:

What are the impacts to traffic and transportation safety?
What is the current AND future access to Capital Metro transit service?
What do neighbors who should be a part of any development’s success think about the project?

Thank you for contacting our office. I pledge to stay engaged with you in the months ahead, and I hope you will join me at future community engagements to keep the conversation going about topics important to our community.

Do not hesitate to contact my office at (512) 463-0821 if you ever need anything. I serve on both the Transportation and Elections committees, and our office is always available to help on state issues important to you and your family. Please know that my office is your office, as the Capitol belongs to the people of Texas.

Sinceramente,
Celia Israel
Texas State Representative, HD 50

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