Distributing Disaster Relief Funds Through TIRZ

DISTRIBUTING DISASTER RELIEF FUNDS THROUGH TIRZ Map of Houston TIRZsA reader has a question about a particular Tax Increment Reinvestment Zone in Houston: “In this example scenario, the city of Houston is giving [Hurricane Ike] money to a developer for infrastructure improvements on their lot (located in a TIRZ) but the requirement is that the developer must build some affordable homes on that lot. The twist to this is that the city would give the developer money, but only if it is given through the TIRZ. Speaking with the TIRZ board, they said that they plan to distribute that money around the entire TIRZ and not just to that single development. This of course has the neighboring residents and the developer worried about how the funds will be given. Is this the normal process for distributing Ike funding? And can a TIRZ take money away from the developing area?” Map of area Tax Increment Reinvestment Zones: City of Houston

8 Comment

  • Houston catering to a developer and giving away free money in return for “Affordable Housing”… NO!?

    You don’t say… Some things never change.

  • TIRZ boards do have the right to distribute funding to benifit the TIRZ, but with how gerry mandered these maps are on a TIRZ, the funding could go to the opposite side of Houston. This wouldnt benifit the area directly affected by low income housing and is a detriment to the community. The fact that it is Fedral Funding and not City Funding has me confused.

    I would think politics and land investments will drive where this funding heads.

  • The whole concept of subsidizing “affordable housing” befuddles me. There’s plenty of affordable housing, no it’s not in River Oaks or Bellaire but it’s everywhere else, even Cody has affordable housing for rent close in town. Also let’s presume you build on the cheap and make it “affordable” to the initial purchaser, how do you keep it affordable down the line in the open market? By letting it rot and decay?
    It’s a solution to a problem that simply does not exist. It’s a political ploy pandering for votes.

  • This may not sound right but it is legal. It is also assinine for anyone to assert that “there’s plenty of affordable housing,” Houston is grossly short of affordable housing. All the chest thumping fools who cast aspersions about the poor and how they suck off of society and the poor tax payors need to realize that in a “civilized” society, we must pay for many things that as an individual you may think unnecessary, quit your bitching and get over it. If you don’t like participating in the society as a whole, pack your bags and move into the middle of a field, off the grid with no commerce or infrastructure.

  • Have to agree with commonsense. There is plenty of affordable housing in Houston. Not necessarily inside the loop, but you don’t have a right to live inside the loop. You get to live where you can afford to pay the rent or purchase a home. I don’t live inside the loop, but fortunately I also didn’t have to move as far out as the middle of a field.

  • @Higher Density, how is Houston short on affordable housing? there’s plenty under $600 a month places in East End, Third Ward, Gulfton, entire NorthEast side of town etc.

    There are plenty of valid reasons for public roads, perhaps even public healthcare, but I still haven’t heard a single valid reason for subsidized housing.

    There’s also the whole Moral Hazard thing, which our system is based on. Subsidized housing (people living in more expensive parts of town for much lower than market prices) creates Equal outcomes from Unequal Effort. It goes in the face of capitalism (not perfect system but the vest there is) and against basic principles of creating your own destiny and taking responsibility of your own life.

  • Ugh. Just another social engineering scheme. So now people can’t get any disaster relief without having to put up Section 8 blight-in-waiting? Most of the money spent on housing anywhere is just trying to get away from poor people of various stripes (and the more inequality there is, the higher prices get on the “good side” of town. Luanda, Angola is the most expensive city in the world for oilfield expats for this reason). Location, amenities, etc are all secondary. That’s basically why this is bothersome.

  • I’m not complaining about affordable housing. Although an argument could be made about density of affordable housing in certain areas.

    I just havent heard of IKE funding being filtered through a TIRZ before.