Texas Department of Housing and Community Affairs

By: Richard Allen Burns

Type: General Entry

Published: 1976

Updated: August 5, 2020

The Texas Department of Housing and Community Affairs was established in 1991, when the legislature merged two former agencies, the Texas Housing Agency and the Texas Department of Community Affairs. The Texas Department of Community Affairs, established in 1971, grew out of the former Division of State-Local Relations of the governor's office, which was established in 1969 to provide coordination and direction at the state level for policies and programs affecting local governments. The department was composed of six divisions and several offices, including the Community Services Division, which encompassed the activities and services of the Model Cities Program, a national demonstration program in 147 United States cities receiving federal funds to improve inner-city neighborhoods, and the Community Development Program, which assisted local governments in maximizing available resources to achieve orderly growth and development; the Comprehensive Planning Assistance Division, which administered United States Department of Housing and Urban Development funds to eligible recipients; the Special Programs Division, which embraced the Office of Early Childhood Development, the Public Employment Program (a response to the Emergency Employment Act of 1971), the Public Service Careers Program, and the State Program on Drug Abuse; the Housing Division, which developed state housing programs and assisted local governments, the residential construction industry, and consumers by encouraging and facilitating the use of new methods and materials in residential construction; the Texas Office of Economic Opportunity, whose attempts to alleviate poverty and poverty conditions in the state included the Governor's Youth Opportunity Program that served as a liaison between youth and government; and the Office of Traffic Safety, which helped local governments develop traffic safety plans and programs. The Texas Housing Agency was established in 1979 to foster private investment in low-income residential housing and to revitalize such housing through supplemental public financing and construction and mortgage loans. The agency financed its operations through revenues generated from bond sales, receiving no state or federal funds and selling bonds based on its own credit rating. Revenue bonds financed several programs, such as the Single Family Mortgage Revenue Bond Program and the Multifamily Tax-Exempt Bond Program. The governor designated the agency to review and approve applications for housing tax credits under the Low-Income Rental Housing Tax Credit Program. The agency also administered the Mortgage Credit Certificate Program and the Real Estate Owned Program, whose primary goal is to resell foreclosed properties quickly and efficiently with minimal financial exposure on the part of the agency. The Texas Department of Housing and Community Affairs administers several housing and development programs that include many of the earlier programs as well as some new ones, such as the Housing Trust Fund and the Home Investment Partnership Program, programs offering funding for affordable housing ownership and rental assistance. All poverty and community-related programs are now under one department. TDHCA's Community Affairs and Economic Development Division administers the Community Development Block Grant, which the legislature transferred from the Texas Department of Commerce, as well as the Low Income Home Energy Assistance and the Emergency Nutrition/Temporary Emergency Relief programs, both originally under the Texas Department of Human Services. In 1992 the division also managed the Weatherization Assistance, the Energy Crisis and Local Government Services programs, as well as the Colonia Fund for severely distressed unincorporated areas that meet the definition of a colonia. The agency's board is appointed by the governor with the advice and consent of the Texas Senate. Members hold office for staggered terms. Of the nine non-salaried appointees, four of the members must have experience in housing-related industries, such as lending institutions, construction, nonprofit housing, and real estate or housing development; one member should be from local government, and another should represent low-income persons and families; and the remaining three should come from the general public. As in the two former agencies, the governor designates the agency's chair.

The following, adapted from the Chicago Manual of Style, 15th edition, is the preferred citation for this entry.

Richard Allen Burns, “Texas Department of Housing and Community Affairs,” Handbook of Texas Online, accessed October 20, 2021, https://www.tshaonline.org/handbook/entries/texas-department-of-housing-and-community-affairs.

Published by the Texas State Historical Association.

August 5, 2020