Texas Democrats believe all Texans have a right to housing that is safe, affordable, accessible, integrated, and available without discrimination. Such availability to housing, whether rented or owned, is essential to a strong sense of community, self-respect, and dignity. Texas Democrats are committed to making the dream of home ownership and clean, safe rental housing a reality for more Texas families by:
- encouraging federal, state and local agencies to work together to increase access to housing opportunities, housing rehabilitation programs, financial education, and down payment assistance that fits the needs of both rural and urban Texans;
- eliminating all discrimination in the financing and insuring of homes, including lending practices that prey on the uneducated, the poor, the elderly, and colonia residents;
- establishing a state program to assist local nonprofit organizations develop and administer individual development account programs for low income individuals;
- increasing the availability of low-cost financing and other incentives to promote the development of new affordable rental housing that meets or exceeds state and federal requirements on accessibility for persons with disabilities; and
- increasing the number of Section 8 housing vouchers and the availability of low cost financing for new and affordable rental housing; and
- increasing programs and financial assistance for local communities relocating citizens who reside in the 100-year flood plain.
The collapse of the sub-prime mortgage market and the housing finance system was a man-made disaster that has profoundly affected Texas and the nation. This crisis is a direct consequence of an ideology of greed that allowed for lax regulation, abusive, predatory lending practices and the failure of those responsible for the banks and securities markets. To respond to this crisis, we must:
- protect and preserve neighborhoods by helping families stay in their homes;
- enact measures to allow for the refinancing of owner-occupied primary residences, but not second homes, high-end mansions, or speculative real estate investments; and
- provide rental assistance for those who must move.