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May 15, 1998     (512) 463-0300

INTERIM COMMITTEE ON HOUSING MEETS IN CORPUS CHRISTI

CORPUS CHRISTI - The Interim Committee on Housing held their last meeting at the Corpus Christi City Council Chambers on Thursday, May 14. Committee member, Senator Carlos F. Truan, welcomed the committee to his home town of Corpus Christi and introduced Mayor Lloyd Neal. Judge Richard M. Borchard of Nueces County gave opening remarks. Representative Gene Seaman of Corpus Christi was also in attendance.

Governor Bush's appointment, Larry Paul Manley, executive director of the Texas Department of Housing, spoke to the committee about funding a Housing Trust Fund. He proposed a trisection tax, a fee, for dedicating funds to affordable housing. He testified that the majority of the states have dedicated funding in place. The major concern of the committee, during his testimony, was affordable housing for low income people in south Texas and the border communities.

Invited testimony giving recommendations on how to solve the problems of affordable housing for south Texas was given by Elias Vaquesz, Nueces County Grants Administrator; Tom Utter, Assistant City Manager for Development Services; Victor de la Cruz, Executive Director Corpus Christi Housing Authority; Sylvia Perez, Valencia Real Estate Co.; Dale Cumberland, Chair, Homeless Issue Partnership; Gonzalo Tamez, President, LULAC council No.1; Richard Gonzalez, Chair, International Trade Commerce; George Moff, Chief Appraiser, Nueces County Appraisal District; Kathy Vermillion, Chief Appraiser, San Patricio County Appraisal District; Steven Botello, President, Nueces National Bank; Roy Orr, Southwest Housing; Diana Garza President, Corpus Christi Hispanic Chamber of Commerce; Gary Buschell, President, Greater Corpus Christi Business Alliance. There was public testimony taken later in the afternoon.

The committee will write a final report on provisions of HB 2577, passed by the Legislature during the 1997 regular session, regarding affordable housing for Texans, and if necessary, make recommendations for further legislative or regulatory action. The committee will also assess the Texas Department of Housing and Community Affairs' and the Texas State Affordable Housing Corporation's effectiveness, and review the operation and administration of the Texas Affordable Housing Corporation's mortgage banking activities and lending transactions and consider whether further legislative action is needed. Copies of the report will be submitted to the Lieutenant Governor, the Secretary of the Senate, the Legislative Library and Legislative Council no later than October 1, 1998.

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