Texas Department of Housing and Community Affairs’ (TDHCA) Qualified Allocation Plan (QAP) for the Low-Income Housing Tax Credit (LIHTC) program requires municipalities and counties to ensure the projects comply with Fair Housing laws.

Section 10.204(4)(C) of Title 10 of the Texas Administrative Code states in part as follows: “In providing a resolution, a municipality or county should consult its own staff and legal counsel as to whether such resolution will be consistent with Fair Housing laws as they may apply, including, as applicable, consistency with any Fair Housing Activity Statement-Texas form on file, any current Analysis of Impediments to Fair Housing Choice, or any current plans such as one year action plans or five year consolidated plans for HUD block grant funds, such as HOME or CDBG funds.”

This push down from the State to the local jurisdiction regarding fair housing compliance is relatively new. The change was likely due in part to the idea that local jurisdictions should have more influence over what development occurs in their area as well as have more control over fair housing compliance, particularly since the State of Texas was sued over violations of the Fair Housing Act in relation to the LIHTC program.

The CDBG Office began reviewing project locations when the Travis County Housing Finance Corporation needed a Resolution of No Objection from the Travis County Commissioners Court in 2017. This review, called a Fair Housing Screen, allows the CDBG Office to determine, at a high level, whether or not the project will affirmatively further fair housing and meet Travis County’s fair housing goals. The process was approved by Commissioners Court in May 2017 and then codified in November 2017 in County Code 277.

Fair Housing Screen

As an entitlement county receiving Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) funds from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Travis County must fulfill its fair housing responsibilities. This is done by developing an Analysis of Impediments (AI) to Fair Housing Choice and by taking actions to mitigate the negative effects identified in the AI through the implementation of a Fair Housing Plan (FHP.) Additionally, the County must maintain records related to the analysis and actions taken.

Fair housing obligations cover all housing activities regardless of funding source for the County including actions that support or assist in the process to allow the development of housing. The FHP identifies a variety of actions and recommendations for the County to undertake to further fair housing goals, including the development of an Affordable Housing Plan and related policies.

Subchapter B of the County Code 277 “Affordable and Fair Housing Policy and Procedures” establishes the process and parameters by which Commissioners Court will review each developer’s request for a Resolution of No Objection (RONO) or Resolution of Support (ROS) with respect to the developer’s application to TDHCA for low income housing tax credits.

Request a Resolution of No Objection

Request for Travis County Fair Housing Screen for Resolutions of No Objection form

Submit your Resolution of No Objection Request and all required documentation to:

Additional Helpful Information

  • Fair housing advocates are focused particularly on school performance as it is a prime predictor of future success for children as adults. Inclusive Communities Project has been challenging urban areas within Texas to improve access to affordable housing options in areas with high performing schools.
  • Local fair housing advocates are particularly focused on providing units at or below 50% of the Median Family Income in areas of Opportunity as this is the biggest housing gap in the City of Austin’s Comprehensive Housing Market Study.
  • Looking in areas to the West of I-35 and MoPac are strongly encouraged to achieve geographic distribution of affordable housing and fair housing choice throughout Travis County.
  • The City of Austin has a Comprehensive Plan, Comprehensive Housing Market Analysis and a Strategic Housing Blue Print. These studies should be considered when purchasing land in Austin to develop or re-develop. It should also be noted that the City of Austin has not identified policies specifically for its extraterritorial jurisdiction (ETJ) so it is likely these policies/guidelines above will be used to evaluate projects in its ETJ by City of Austin staff.
  • Travis County is currently working with partners to complete its first Comprehensive Housing Market Study for the 2019-2023 Consolidated Plan and an updated Analysis of Impediments to Fair Housing Choice. Maps and development target areas based on these reports will be identified in August 2019.

Until then, development in the ETJ is encouraged as close to the City of Austin boundaries as possible or along developing corridors such as US Highways 290 and 71. These suggestions are made to help reduce urban sprawl and to ensure that housing is as close to existing transit, shopping, fresh food, banks, medical services and social services as possible.

Community Development Block Grant

P.O. Box 1748
Austin, TX

Phone: (512) 854-3460

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