PRESS RELEASE FROM SEN. EDDIE LUCIO, JR.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Monday, August 13, 2007
CONTACT: Doris Sanchez , Press Secretary
Phone: (512) 463-0385

Senator Lucio Recognized for Legislative Leadership on Affordable Housing

AUSTIN, TX -- Recently the Texas Affiliation of Affordable Housing Providers (TAAHP) presented Sen. Eddie Lucio, Jr. an award in appreciation for his work in providing affordable housing for Texans at its Texas Housing Conference 2007.

"Organizations like yours that work to provide affordable housing to families of limited incomes should be applauded," said Sen. Lucio, who expressed appreciation to the conference attendees for being recognized for his legislative efforts to improve the quality of life for people in his Senatorial District and throughout the state.

TAAHP Executive Director Jim Brown said, "For the first time in recent history a consortium of those involved in the Affordable Housing Industry joined together to pass a very proactive housing bill in this year's legislative session. I wish to applaud all of the parties and stakeholders in Affordable Housing who crafted this legislation. Special thanks are due to Senator Eduardo 'Eddie' Lucio."

The theme of the conference was "Under Construction: Affordable Housing Partnerships."

As a member of the Finance Committee, Sen. Lucio worked with Lt. Governor David Dewhurst and Chairman Steve Ogden to double the funds available in the Housing Trust Fund, through an appropriation of an additional $5 million for the biennium. This is the only housing program in Texas that is solely supported by state funds. He also passed or sponsored other bills to offer communities more affordable housing tools, like the means to develop Urban Land Banks that allow tax delinquent properties to be turned into affordable housing.

"Although we experienced great success during this last session, there is still much more that needs to be done. It is unacceptable that Texas ranks near dead last in home ownership rates," added the Senator. "It is also inexcusable that we have one of the highest foreclosure rates in the country and that other states have Trust Funds with much greater state support than ours.

"What this means is that we need to go back to the drawing board and revisit affordable housing during this interim. We need to work with organizations such as yours to provide the necessary tools that engender greater housing opportunities in Texas," he concluded.

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