Providing Housing for All, Including Special Needs Populations
Context: Many San Antonio households have special housing needs. Because these needs overlap—one individual may experience disability and be a mental health care consumer—a precise profile is not available but more than a third of San Antonians are elderly, disabled, involved with the criminal justice population or experience other limitations. Seniors may require accommodation for limited mobility or memory care, while children in the foster system benefit from assistance with transitioning to independent living. Similarly, federal policies state that those experiencing homelessness should be matched with permanent housing that provides supportive services. However, a number of factors make meeting special housing needs difficult. For example, tens of thousands Bexar County residents have criminal records that affect their ability to find a stable and secure home. Special needs populations often have lower than average incomes, resulting lack of supply of suitable units. When these populations cannot find safe, dignified, affordable housing, they may experience homelessness, incarceration or other institutionalization that reduces their quality of life and ultimately increases the fiscal and societal impacts of addressing their needs.
Goal/Vision: The Providing Housing for All, Including Special Needs Working Group will recommend a set of policies to guide the City of San Antonio’s investment in targeted housing projects and programs. These policies will influence investment across departments, including social services and rental assistance, and will guide annual budgets and capital investments. The Working Group will prioritize 3‐5 policy recommendations within short, intermediate and long‐term timeframes that, if implemented, will effectively end chronic homelessness and ensure that no San Antonian will be denied a safe, decent and affordable home because of age, health condition, cultural factors or any special need.
- Notes (PDF • 3 MB • 26 Page)
Creating A Transparent, Coordinated Housing System
Context: San Antonio is growing rapidly, housing costs are increasing, and the lack of affordable housing is affecting San Antonians of all incomes. Not enough new affordable housing is being built and existing affordable housing in older neighborhoods is being lost. In this context, it is prudent that San Antonio identify and align all public and private resources available to support affordable housing development and preservation. It is vital to include the private sector in this analysis and partnership to assure public resources and programs, including incentives, are aligned and leveraged to reach the largest number of city residents at income levels that are most adversely impacted by the high cost of housing. According to the 2013 Comprehensive Needs Assessment, 153,000 represents the number of housing units needed at the end of 2016 to meet the needs of low‐income households that experience substandard conditions, are overcrowded, or are cost burdened. According to the US Census, 51.9% of San Antonio households are cost‐burdened, meaning they spend more than 30% of their income on housing. Since 2011, home prices have risen by 48% while incomes have risen 15% over the same period. Housing costs increases have been significant for low‐income neighborhoods with large renter populations.
Goal/Vision: The Creating Transparent, Coordinated Housing System working group seeks to provide policy priorities that support the creation of a transparent housing system that is coordinated across sectors. Alignment of services, regulations and funding requirements across sectors will increase the efficiency and accountability of the housing delivery system, particularly with regard to use of public funds. Housing delivered through a sustainable system will be decent, safe, affordable and stable for all San Antonians.
- Notes (PDF • 4 MB • 46 Pages)
Removing Barriers to Housing Affordability and Supply
Context: Finding a place to call home in San Antonio is increasingly unaffordable—even impossible, for some households. Housing experts predict that the costs of single family and multifamily housing in San Antonio will continue to rise and to outpace income growth, further reducing a family’s ability to find stable, dignified, affordable homes. During the past six years, average single‐family prices have increased by almost 50%, while incomes have risen by only 15%, and much of this growth is concentrated among higher‐income earners. More than 4 out of every 10 renters are now cost-burdened, paying more than 30% of their income for housing. At the same time there is a lack of housing supply within the region overall and an acute lack of supply in many older sub‐markets. Factors impeding supply include unnecessary or conflicting regulation, lack of skilled workforce, restricted flow of capital and lack of acceptance of certain housing products by neighborhoods or consumers.
Goal/Vision: The Removing Barriers to Housing Affordability and Supply Working Group will recommend policies to support the construction, renovation and preservation of sufficient housing units to meet the demands of households at all income levels, when taken in conjunction with rental supports and other subsidies. Recommended policy changes will decrease the cost of housing construction, encourage a broader range of housing products and technologies, and increase the flow of capital throughout the community.
- Notes (PDF • 2 MB • 63 Pages)
Identifying and Expanding Housing Funding and Financing Mechanisms
Context: San Antonio is facing a growing affordable housing crisis. Recent data from Harvard shows that San Antonio’s stock of rental housing units priced below $850 a month has decreased by almost 10,000 units over the last ten years while the stock of housing units priced above $850 a month has increased by over 80,000 units over the same period. Reduced support from federal and state housing finance agencies, make it increasingly difficult for the City to meet the current need for new affordable housing - both multi‐family residential and single‐family homes. According to the 2016 Action Plan, a component of the City of San Antonio’s Consolidated Plan, only $23.8 million is earmarked for new housing opportunities. Insufficient subsidy dollars, coupled with escalating land and construction costs, have created a production environment where only 187 units are being developed annually to meet the projected need of over 100,000 units. Additionally, our aging housing stock is threatening the stability of established neighborhoods, as homes fall into disrepair and very limited resources are available to support the improvement of these structures. According to the 2016 Census, over 36,000 homes, currently occupied, were constructed before 1940. San Antonio needs to double the amount of investment dollars it makes available to new and existing affordable housing and significantly increase the number of projects it supports on an annual basis.
Goal/Vision: Alongside the work of creating new, permanent funding sources, this working group will
also examine, existing housing financing sources and strategies to identify funding gaps that can be transformed into new opportunities including, new construction projects and the rehabilitation of existing multi‐family and single‐family home structures. Existing funding programs including HOME, CDBG, Urban Renewal funds, HOPWA, developer incentives (ICRIP and CCHIP), low‐income housing tax credits, the Housing Trust Fund and other housing resources will be assessed to ensure the funding allocation process is fair, equitable, transparent and ultimately provides the resources needed to housing projects, programs, and initiatives that serve those experiencing the highest cost burden and households that are at‐risk of permanent displacement.
Our vision is a robust housing finance system containing available public subsidy resources that far exceed current levels. The City establish a program that consolidates resources into one predictable funding application and that all City employees work as a project team and are committed to furthering housing projects from concept, through construction, to final lease‐up, sale, or completion of a rehabilitation program. Funding guidelines are fair and equitable and the approval process is transparent with evaluation results and scoring information made available to the public and industry stakeholders. Private sector investments are mobilized that work in conjunction with the new affordable housing finance system. This finance system’s aim is to build new housing and renovate existing housing for those with the greatest need.
- Notes (PDF • 4 MB • 32 Pages)
Housing for Resilient and Equitable Neighborhoods Working Group
Context: San Antonio is growing rapidly, housing costs are increasing, and the lack of affordable housing is affecting San Antonians of all incomes. Not enough new affordable housing is being built and existing affordable housing in older neighborhoods is being lost. Addressing the lack of supply and rising real estate costs is critical to preserving the diversity and character of neighborhoods. According to the 2013 Comprehensive Needs Assessment, 153,000 housing units were needed by the end of 2016 to meet the needs of low‐income households that experience substandard conditions, overcrowding, or cost burden. According to the US Census, 51.9% of San Antonio households are cost‐burdened, meaning they spend more than 30% of their income on housing. Since 2011, home prices have risen by 48% while incomes have risen only 15% over the same period. Housing costs increases have been significant for low‐income neighborhoods with large renter populations.
Goal/Vision: The Housing for Resilient and Equitable Neighborhoods working group aims to develop an equitable approach to growth that ensures growth does not come at the expense of residents with limited incomes and that our neighborhoods become places that enable children, families, and senior citizens to prosper by stabilizing housing, reducing residential displacement, and developing and sustaining community capacity.
- Notes (PDF • 7 MB • 54 Pages)