What’s affordable housing?

Housing policy is one of the main issues that local governments deal with. It encompasses several overlapping concerns. Making sure that everyone has a decent place to live is an important general priority. People are also interested in ensuring that economic diversity exists in specific cities, metropolitan areas, or neighborhoods. Last but not least, there is interest in maintaining specific communities and community ties without unduly displacing people.

The Fair Housing Act makes it illegal to make housing decisions based on seven protected classes: race, color, sex, national origin, religion, handicap or familial status. While the federal law sets the minimum protections, states and localities can add additional protected classes.


  • It costs the city of houston taxpayers roughly $117 million annually to provide social services to evicted families
  • Prohibit the eviction of school employees, families with children and child care center workers from evictions during the school year
  • Amend the Texas constitution to allow for the speaker of the house and lieutenant governor to appoint 4 of the 7 members to the Texas Department of Housing and Community Affairs
  • Amend the Texas constitution to allow for municipal rent control ordinances
  • Amend the Texas constitution to allow for municipalities to pass ordinances prohibiting discrimination of source of income for housing vouchers
  • Reform the public input points so that legislators, home owners associations, local governments, tenants and the public all receive the equal amount of points
  • Security Deposit and Move in Fees:
    • Cap the security deposit for apartments within the city of Houston so that they are not more than 1 month rent similar to 16 other U.S. states
    • Allow renters signing a 6 month or longer lease to pay their security deposit in monthly installments
    • Cap move-in and monthly fees for apartments within the city of Houston for renters with service animals
    • Do a feasibility study and pilot study requiring renters to purchase private insurance for security deposits
  • Pass a credit check ordinance limiting the negative impact of incorrect credit checks on families ability to rent
  • Prohibit LGBT discrimination for housing similar to 21 other US states
  • Explore the possibility of using cooperatives as a solution to manufactured housing
  • Pass an ordinance prohibiting rent-bidding online platforms
  • Requires landlords to pay renters’ moving costs if they are evicted without cause or are forced to move because of a rent increase of 10 percent or more.
  • Require landlords disclose flood history
  • Require Landlords To Regularly Share Bedbug History With Tenants
  • Do a 1 year pilot study capping rent increases for low-income seniors to 2% annually similar to other US cities
  • Create a pilot program similar to New York City and the United Kingdom allowing tenants to have their monthly rent used towards their credit score
  • Eliminate or reduce the developer subsidy for luxury apartments and condominiums. This could lower real estate speculation and money laundering
  • Do a 1 year pilot study increasing fees based on percentage or length of stay for short-term-rentals (airbnb) inside the 610 loop to fund affordable housing
  • Do a 1 year pilot study on sealing eviction records older than 4 years for specific housing issues

Texas Constitution
Code – Local Government Code
Chapter – 214 Municipal Regulation of Housing and Other Structures
Section – 214.902 Rent Control
Chapter – 250 Miscellaneous Regulatory Authority of Municipalities and Counties
Section – 250.007 Regulation of Rental or Leasing of Housing Accommodations

Code – Health and Safety Code
Chapter – 388 Texas Building Energy Performance Standards

Code – Government Code
Chapter – 2306 Texas Department of Housing and Community Affairs
Section – 2306.024 Board Members: Appointment and Composition

Code – Property Code
Chapter – 94 Manufactured Homes Tenancies

Code – Occupations Code
Chapter – 1201 Manufactured Housing

NCSL – Texas Mobile Home Landlord and Tenant Duties

NLIHC – Texas Legislature Bans Local Ordinances Protecting Voucher Holders from Discrimination

Dallas Observer – Dallas City Council Divided on Housing Equity, United in Wanting Austin to Butt Out

Dallas Observer – A Mysterious New Landlord Is Making Life Hell for the Residents of an Irving Mobile Home Park

FAQ – Texas Department of Housing Tax Credit Application

Dallas Morning News – Dallas is on track toward a better housing code

Dallas Morning News – Renters have options when the air conditioner doesn’t get fixed

Dallas Morning News – Dallas is pushing in the right direction on affordable housing

Dallas Morning News – Affordable housing projects in low-income areas face tough road under new Texas tax-subsidy rules

Austin Chronicle – New state law blocks Austin housing ordinance

Chillicothe News – City considers ways to ensure proper condition of rental housing

Chicago Tribune – Facing the heat without air conditioning, by circumstance or choice

Texas Observer – The House Always Wins

Texas Observer – Trailer Park Ploys

Houston Chronicle – Map: Did Texas tax credits reinforce segregation?

Houston Chronicle – Goals unmet for affordable housing tax credit program in Texas

Houston Chronicle – Housing policies played key role in Sunnyside’s decline, report says

City Lab – Texas Refuses to Follow Fair Housing Rules

City Lab – What the Supreme Court’s ‘Disparate Impact’ Decision Means for the Future of Fair Housing

City Lab – How Fair Housing Will Turn Liberal Cities Conservative

City Lab – The Other Affordable Housing Crisis

City Lab – The Berlin Borough Buying Out Private Landlords

Affordable Housing Finance – Texas Legislature Eyes Big Changes to QAP

How state legislators can improve fair housing compliance in Texas

NLIHC – Texas Advocates End Legislative Session with Affordable and Fair Housing Victories

Austin Chronicle – New state law blocks Austin housing ordinance

Austin Chronicle – Austin Apartment Association reacts to Council ban on discrimination

Austin Chronicle – Landlord lawsuit and housing research frame housing crisis

The Atlantic – How Housing Policy Is Failing America’s Poor

The Atlantic – Donald Sterling and Other Landlords Openly Discriminate Against Low-Income Renters

The Atlantic – The U.S. Supreme Court Barely Saves the Fair Housing Act

The Atlantic – Supreme Court vs. Neighborhood Segregation

New York Times – Tax-Subsidy Rules Bode Ill for Affordable Housing in Low-Income Areas

New York Times – Mayor de Blasio’s Plan Aims to Spur More Affordable Housing in New York

Truth Out – To Limit Housing Discrimination, Close Affordable Housing Loopholes

Truth Out – A Year Later, Feds Inch Forward on Fair Housing

Pro Publica – Living Apart: How the Government Betrayed a Landmark Civil Rights Law

NPR – Denying Housing Over Criminal Record May Be Discrimination, Feds Say

NPR – When Residents Take Ownership, A Mobile Home Community Thrives

NPR – Home Sweet Mobile Home: Co-Ops Deliver Ownership

Forbes – Housing Discrimination: The Next Hurdle For LGBT Couples

Texas Tribune – Tribpedia: Housing And Community Affairs

Pew – States, Cities Tackle Housing Crisis for Low, Moderate Income Families

Pew – As Rent Skyrockets, More Cities Look to Cap It

Tax Policy Center – Tax Incentives for Economic Development: What is the Low-Income Housing Tax Credit?

Next City – How Cities Are Preserving Affordable Housing

Next City – Cities Where a Big Chunk of Affordable Housing Could Soon Disappear

Next City – What Texas Ruling Means for Fair Housing

Next City – Nashville Affordable Housing Advocates Score Two Victories

Next City – Pittsburgh Ready to Launch City’s First Community Land Trust

Next City – New Package of Bills Aims to Stop Tenant Harassment in NYC

Next City – How Baltimore’s Promising Vacant Properties Program Is Working

Next City – Seattle Starts $21M Loan Fund to Promote Affordable Housing Near Transit

CBPP – Policy Basics: Section 8 Project-Based Rental Assistance

Vox – 76 percent of people who qualify for housing aid don’t get it

Vox – Julian Castro’s going to run HUD, but HUD doesn’t really run federal housing policy

Vox – Everything you need to know about the affordable housing debate

Yes Magazine – Meet the Farmworker Who Helped Win Rent Control in California’s Wine Country

Statesman – Austin mobile home owners face vanishing space

Statesman – Reactions: Gov. Greg Abbott signs SB 267 into law

Statesman – ‘Austin-bashing’ bill on housing vouchers headed to Gov. Greg Abbott

National Multi Family Housing Council – Rent Control Laws by State

KUT – Austin Bans Discrimination Against Voucher-Holding Renters

KUT – Austin Requires Smart Thermostats In All New Homes

Urban Institute – Landlord discrimination restricts the use of rental vouchers

Lawyers Committee for Better Housing – Locked Out: Barriers to Choice for Housing Voucher Holders

National Bureau of Economic Research – Childhood Housing and Adult Earnings: A Between-Siblings Analysis of Housing Vouchers and Public Housing

Urban Institute – Using cash transfers to expand housing choice

Slate – How Bernie Sanders Made Burlington Affordable

Salt Lake Tribune – Without full property rights or renters’ rights, Utah mobile-home owners need legal aid, advocates say

City Will Guarantee Legal Counsel To Low-Income Tenants In Housing Court

With renters at risk, Houston must require landlords to disclose flood history [Editorial]

New Law Will Require Landlords To Regularly Share Bedbug History With Tenants

Los Angeles considering providing attorneys to tenants facing eviction

Houston woman who exposed scam still waits for repairs

HUD disciplines Houston housing program

City awards $10M in incentives for luxury condo tower — $173,400 for each unit

Should U.S. Cities Ban Winter Evictions?

‘It Does Something to Your Soul When Everyone Losing Their Homes Looks Like You’

New Victorian rental laws: How 1.5 million renters will be affected

Warning On Empty Investment Houses: Rent, Sell Or Pay More

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