Pe­ti­tion op­poses pro­posed PG hous­ing

Texarkana Gazette - - FRONT PAGE - By Karl Richter

The op­po­si­tion to pro­posed af­ford­able-rent hous­ing de­vel­op­ments in the Pleas­ant Grove neigh­bor­hood of Texarkana, Texas, has or­ga­nized a pe­ti­tion drive to try and stop them.

A group call­ing it­self Res­i­dents Against Tax Credit Hous­ing had got­ten more than 900 sig­na­tures on its pe­ti­tion as of Fri­day af­ter­noon, or­ga­nizer Amy War­ren said. The pe­ti­tion does not call for any spe­cific ac­tion but states the group’s stance on the is­sue, she said.

“It just ba­si­cally states that we as cit­i­zens and home­own­ers and res­i­dents of north of I-30 do not wish for these hous­ing projects to be built,” War­ren said.

At is­sue are a pair of apart­ment com­plexes pro­posed by de­vel­oper MVAH Partners to be built us­ing low-in­come hous­ing tax cred­its as a main source of fund­ing.

Low-in­come hous­ing tax cred­its do not pro­vide tax breaks to de­vel­op­ers. In ex­change for re­ceiv­ing tax cred­its, de­vel­op­ers agree to of­fer rents re­duced ac­cord­ing to a for­mula based on an area’s me­dian house­hold in­come. De­vel­op­ers sell any tax cred­its they are awarded to in­vestors to cover most of the cost of con­struc­tion. MVAH’s pro­posal does not in­clude any re­duc­tion

of its prop­erty taxes or any other lo­cally as­sessed tax.

MVAH is seek­ing the City Coun­cil’s sup­port in ap­ply­ing for the cred­its. A state agency awards such tax cred­its on a com­pet­i­tive ba­sis, and lo­cal sup­port would in­crease MVAH’s chances of re­ceiv­ing them.

At its meet­ing Mon­day, the coun­cil will con­duct pub­lic hear­ings on the mat­ter. Af­ter each, the coun­cil will vote on a res­o­lu­tion stat­ing sup­port for MVAH’s tax credit ap­pli­ca­tion.

MVAH may ap­ply even with­out the coun­cil’s sup­port but would not pro­ceed with the apart­ments with­out be­ing awarded the tax cred­its, ex­ec­u­tive Darren Smith has said.

Op­po­si­tion is based on con­cerns about best use of the land and needed in­fra­struc­ture improvements, not on a de­sire to keep any kind of per­son out of the neigh­bor­hood, Ward 6 Coun­cil Mem­ber Josh Davis has said.

Both apart­ment com­plexes would be in Ward 6. One­hun­dred-seven units would be built at Clear Creek Drive and Sum­mer­hill Road, and 96 would be built at Gal­le­ria Oaks Drive and Cowhorn Creek Road.

Statis­tics show that af­ford­able-rent hous­ing low­ers the value of the homes in the sur­round­ing ar­eas, and va­cancy rates show that there is not a large de­mand for it in the area, War­ren said.

The group is also con­cerned that the com­plexes would not pay their fair share of taxes and that streets in their present state could not ac­com­mo­date a higher vol­ume of traf­fic. Par­ents who want ac­cess to the Pleas­ant Grove In­de­pen­dent School do not nec­es­sar­ily have to live in the dis­trict, War­ren said.

War­ren said she sees gov­ern­ment in­cen­tives as nec­es­sary, but they are not ap­pro­pri­ate in this case.

“It’s def­i­nitely a nec­es­sary thing that gov­ern­ment help fam­i­lies that are in need. I do not nec­es­sar­ily think they need to be built on these two spe­cific pieces of land be­cause I do not think it’s the high­est and best use for those pieces of land,” she said.

For more in­for­ma­tion about the pe­ti­tion, call War­ren at 903-277-8822.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from USA

© PressReader. All rights reserved.