Latino City Creates Task Force to Boost Affordable Housing


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The need for affordable housing is rising in many big cities across the United States.

That includes San Antonio (68% Latino).

The city is facing an affordable housing shortage of 142,000 units, while median sale prices for homes rose above $200,000 for the first time in 2016, The Rivard Report indicates.

That’s why first-term Mayor Ron Nirenberg created a Housing Policy Task Force to help address the current and future affordable housing need.

San Antonio Mayor Ron Nirenberg announced the creation of a Housing Policy Task Force to address housing issues in the city. Image: San Antonio Express-News

“We have to face up to the fact that the housing paradigm in San Antonio must change,” said Nirenberg told The Rivard Report. “We need to protect and connect neighborhoods and make incredible growth, and expand housing choices for our residents, no matter what their income.”

The Task Force, which held its first public meeting in early December 2017, will work with city officials and housing agencies in order to develop policy recommendations.

Members of the Task Force will offer recommendations on:

  • helping residents address short-term hardships
  • creating incentives for private and public affordable housing development
  • making sure long-term quality and maintenance are a part of housing developments
  • changing parts of the City’s Unified Development Code
  • examining city policies related to State tax-credit support for affordable housing target areas

Within the first six months of its creation, the Task Force hopes to deliver recommendations on all of the current housing issues.

“Housing is probably first and foremost on everyone’s mind,” said Nirenberg in an interview with News 4 San Antonio. “They go home at night. And want to have a safe, affordable roof over their heads.”

Overall, the City’s Neighborhood and Housing Department will continue implementing current housing initiatives; the Task Force will determine “innovative ways to solve the difficult housing issues” the city faces.

“We already have plenty of research and the facts are clear: We need more affordable housing and we need it now,” Nirenberg said in a press release announcing the formation of the Task Force. “The City Council wants action-oriented strategies that encourage the private development of affordable housing across the city. At the current pace, it will take over 100 years to solve a problem we are facing today.”

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