Galveston has an affordable housing crisis that only has deepened in the nearly 15 years it took to fulfill a federal mandate to replace 569 public housing units demolished after Hurricane Ike in 2008.

Galveston Housing Authority is in the final phase of completing its obligations under an agreement with the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. And one of the most important things about its plan, which has morphed and changed over the years, is that it will supply at least some badly needed workforce housing in Galveston.

 Laura Elder: 409-683-5248; laura.elder@galvnews.com.

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(15) comments

Charlotte O'rourke

From your great editorial to the powers that be - we need workforce housing and a commitment to retain and enhance families living in Galveston.

Norman Pappous

what you want is taxpayer subsidized labor revenues. Why should taxpayers subsidize Galveston's private businesses? Businesses should pay more (thereby curing the 'inaffordability' of housing) and pass the expense onto the consumer.

Charlotte O'rourke

A livable wage ..... I’m all in.

Bailey Jones

[thumbup] I agree. This is just corporate welfare. Subsidized housing should be for those who can't work, not to provide cheap labor for businesses that refuse to pay a living wage. If your business can't deliver jobs with decent wages, what good is it?

lauraelder Staff
Laura Elder

I think even so-called living wages won't cover the costs of housing the way prices are soaring. It won't even cover the rent in some places. Housing prices are rising far faster than wages ever will.

Norman Pappous

After what you wrote a while back I thought you understood the 'crowding out' effect. Private homebuilders will never be able to compete with government subsidized homebuilders so when you advocate for 'affordable housing' you are positioning government against private enterprise. Who wins that battel every time? The result is that homebuilders will go elsewhere - except for the lucky ones that get the sweet government deal. And we all know how they get chosen.

Jarvis Buckley

My only concern would be the 87 market value housing . Government should stay out of competition with local entrepreneurs . Sounds a might like socialism to me. I have no problem with the rest of the contract. I understand UTMB & Tillman need a place for their employees to live.

lauraelder Staff
Laura Elder

I agree that it's usually always better for the private market to sort it out, but builders argue that there's not a lot of profit in affordable housing. https://apps.urban.org/features/cost-of-affordable-housing/

lauraelder Staff
Laura Elder

I also thought it would be interesting to share this article about how even a living wage and beyond won't really solve the affordable housing crisis. https://nextcity.org/daily/entry/research-15-minimum-wage-affordable-housing-crisis

Susan Fennewald

Most essential workers make too much to qualify for any but the market rate units. The paper should do an article about the income restrictions for the various types of housing. And another article about stats that the GHA could generate concerning the incomes and working situation of the existing mixed income complexes. It would be nice if we could actually discuss things based on actual data rather than a lot of speculation and generalizations.

lauraelder Staff
Laura Elder

We're working on an entire project about affordable housing on the island and we'll try to answer those questions.

Jarvis Buckley

Looking forward to reading that article. Interested in your findings & thoughts.

David Hardee

The statistics reported reference the replacement based on past availability and some broad statements on government bureaucratic stats but what are the real at this time and in Galveston conditions per vacancy compared to demand or homeless density. Simply not being thoroughly compliant to bureaucratic - self serving - evaluation is not always a factual argument. In the follow-up you are preparing a more substantial cause of the need and effect of the adding housing would produce the correct and or inspiring public reaction, The government and bureaucrats are know to sell us a calamity (pig in the poke).

Jack Cross

Just a point of interest. it you to be a lifetime dream for the poor to own their own home. I served for 5 years on the ARB at the CAD. The Government built thousands of Ike homes and gave them to people free. Texas City along had a thousand of them. The appraisers said these were well built homes and they were built on raised lots. At the Time. the average appraised value or cost to the government (taxpayers) was $135,000.

People had to keep them for 3 years before they sold them. I was shocked to see Houston investors who had bought a lot of these houses for $40,000 and turned them into rent houses.

I am afraid that the new government trillion dollar stimulus bill that targets welfare and housing will have the opposite effect and increase those depending on government rather than reduce it. The is nothing like being responsible., it generates achievement, ownership, pride and self worth. Too much government help creates victims and dependency.

Gary Scoggin

Jack.. this, in and of itself, is worthy of a GDN investigation. There are policy implications that should be adopted in future programs.

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