17 December 2009

County Turns Down Multi-Family Housing Incentives Proposal


EL PASO, Texas -- The Department of Defense says El Paso is thousands of multi-family housing units short for all the troops coming to the Sun City, and on Monday, El Paso County leaders were asked to take up a policy that could help with the shortage.

The deal to developers is a simple one -- build an apartment or condo complex with at least 150 units and get a full rebate on any increase in county property taxes for the first five years your complex is open.

"We know that the Department of Defense has said that we have an 8,000 unit deficit coming in the Texas apartments as the soldiers start to get here from BRAC," said Kathy Dodson with the city of El Paso.

The city has a similar incentive policy in place to get developers to start building, but on Monday in a 3-1 vote, the county shot down the idea.

"I'm not convinced that we need an incentive policy to create more multi-family housing for the future," said Commissioner Veronica Escobar.

Escobar said the real issue is the lack of credit nationwide.

"I don't think this incentive would necessarily help with that part of the problem," she said.

Commissioner Anna Perez didn't necessarily agree with this policy, but wanted to have a discussion about alternatives to help with the impending problem.

"I thought by deleting it, it ignored the problem, it ignored the advice and the situation that was being described to us," said Perez.

City officials said in the end, soldiers won't necessarily be the ones without Texas apartments to live in.

"Our main concern, and the reason for bringing it to the city and the county is that we're concerned the soldiers who have a monthly housing allowance, might displace El Pasoans who don't have that $892 a month to spend on housing," said Dodson.

Dodson also went on to say hopefully developers will still recognize that the city has an incentives policy and decide to build in El Paso before all of the troops arrive.

No comments:

Post a Comment