Senate Committee on Intergovernmental Relations - 80th R.S. (2007)
Study and make recommendations on Texas’ housing programs, with particular focus upon:
- Significantly improving homeownership rates by evaluating Texas’ efforts to address the growing housing need. Efforts should include assessment of the range of tools which may be used to help low-income Texans develop equity through homeownership. Tools should be evaluated in terms of their economic development impact, leverage of federal and private funds, and how they are utilized in other states;
- Evaluating the progress of affordable housing programs within the state and developing recommendations to boost the capacity of non-profits to build increased affordable housing developments;
- Monitor the expansion of the Housing Trust Fund by the 80th Legislature; review the funds of other states to develop recommendations for a permanent funding source for the Texas Housing Trust Fund;
- Promote home-ownership through self-help initiatives such as the Texas Bootstrap Loan Program;
- Assessing the existing use of state and federal housing funds in relation to statutory and budgetary mandates; and
- Examining the incidence of health and safety violations and concerns for general habitability among multi-family and single-family rental properties across the state, including properties financed or supported by the state. Consider the adequacy of the existing authority conferred by the state upon local governments to address violations of habitability standards. Make recommendations for extension of local capacity for redress.
- Review title insurance requirements relating to the purchase of a home under an installment contract or contract for a deed. Study title insurance requirements and costs in Texas as compared to other states.
- Study the provision of fire and emergency medical services through Emergency Service Districts (ESDs) and make recommendations concerning the provision of those services, and for reconciling potential conflicts due to overlapping taxing jurisdictions in the areas of the state served by ESDs.
- Review the process for the creation of Municipal Utility Districts (MUDs) and other special districts, and investigate whether the creation of a standard municipal utility district statute is feasible, and whether it would enable the legislature to more efficiently evaluate proposed districts during the legislative session.
- Study the shifting geographic nature of low-income neighborhoods in urban and suburban areas, focusing on factors that contribute to economic displacement of low income homeowners and factors that contribute to beneficial redevelopment of distressed neighborhoods.
- Monitor the implementation of legislation addressed by the Intergovernmental Relations Committee, 80th R.S., and make recommendations for any legislation needed to improve, enhance, and/or complete implementation. Specifically, report on changes made by SB 968 80th R.S., relating to financing tools for certain obligations for public improvements and for certain obligations of The University of Texas System and evaluate the need for further changes to Chapter 1371 Texas Government Code.
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