Mayor Sylvester Turner agreed to set clearer affordable housing policies and plans for Houston and to help more low-income families move to neighborhoods with good schools as part of an agreement with the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development that, if left unresolved, could have imperiled the city’s Hurricane Harvey recovery funding.
The agreement was signed March 2 but announced Friday afternoon in a statement from HUD.
HUD concluded earlier this year that Turner’s August 2016 rejection of a proposal to build subsidized housing near the Galleria was discriminatory and violated Title VI of the Civil Rights Act, which prohibits recipients of federal funding from discriminating based on race, color or national origin. The agency also said Houston’s process for reviewing applications for a key form of low-income housing maintains segregation.
According to a statement, HUD Secretary Ben Carson said the agreement announced Friday will “expand housing options for lower income Houston residents, especially in neighborhoods with better performing schools and higher paying jobs.”
Turner lauded the agreement and thanked HUD for recognizing that the city has efforts underway that could address some of the agency’s criticisms. He also pointed to the help that HUD’s support would provide in both the Harvey recovery and the city’s future approach to affordable housing.