Analysis of Impediments to Fair Housing Choice Update
The Analysis of Impediments to Fair Housing Choice Update (AI) was revised to reflect changes to the community and impacts from the Floods of 2015 and subsequent awarding of $25,080,000 in Community Development Block Grant – Disaster Recovery funds.
In 2013, as part of the Five Year Consolidated Plan process, the City of San Marcos developed an Analysis of Impediments to Fair Housing Choice (“AI”). In normal circumstances, there would not be another AI completed for five yours when the next five year consolidated plan was due. However, 2015 turned out to not be a normal year.
The City of San Marcos was inundated with historic flash and river flooding on two separate occasions within six months of each other in 2015. The first event, now called the “Memorial Day Floods”, occurred overnight on May 23rd and early May 24th. May 2015 has been documented by the National Weather Service as the wettest month in Texas History, with well above-normal rainfall during the first two to three weeks of the month. A persistent area of low pressure over the western United States brought multiple rain events throughout the month of May that saturated soil throughout south-central Texas. By the time Memorial Day weekend arrived, much of the region was at least 2-4 inches (100-300%) above normal. These wet antecedent conditions meant that any new rain, and especially heavy rain, would become rapid run-off directly into rivers, streams, and flash flood prone areas.
This “worst-case” scenario came to pass Memorial Day weekend. A thunderstorm cluster organized west of Hays County on Saturday afternoon and produced upwards of 12 inches of rain in less than 6 hours. The majority of this rain fell in the upper reaches of the Blanco River watershed at rates that exceeded 4 inches per hour as thunderstorms merged and regenerated for hours over southern Blanco and eastern Kendall Counties. San Marcos was severely impacted, including flooding that damaged housing and other property.
The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) allocated $25,080,000 in Community Development Block Grant Disaster Recovery (CDBG-DR) funds directly to the City to assist with ongoing recovery needs from the flooding. Several things had to occur in order for the City to expend the funds. The grant required the city to submit an action plan that addressed how the CDBG-DR funds would benefit the community. That plan was approved on November 9, 2016. In addition, the City had to update their 2013 AI to reflect changes to the community and impacts from the storms. These documented changes to the community will determine funding decisions and impact planning and policy strategies.
This Update will not stop or delay the ongoing responses to the Impediments identified in the 2013 AI. The City responded directly to the impediments to fair housing choice by adopting an action plan that addressed many of the remedial actions suggested. San Marcos has a visible and active fair housing program. During the review process, many of the prior impediments, such as high levels of poverty and high rents, were confirmed again and reviewed for current impacts.
This update provides more focus on the new HUD rule related to affirmatively furthering fair housing (“AFFH”). To that end, this update will look at concentration of poverty and how that impacts schools and fair housing choice.
Public notice of the Update to the AI was accomplished through a variety of methods:
- A press release (see attached) was sent out by the Communications Department to all city employees and to the media on April 26, 2017.
- A legal notice (see attached) in English and Spanish was published in the San Marcos Daily Record April 27, 2017 and May 7, 2017 announcing the following: the May 10, 2017 public meeting to present the Update to the Analysis of Impediments to Fair Housing Choice (AI) to the public; the City Council Public Hearing for the Update to the Analysis of Impediments to Fair Housing Choice date of June 6, 2017, and the 30-day comment period, June 6, 2017 through July 7, 2017.
- The legal notice and the draft AI were posted to the City of San Marcos website, www.smtxfloodrecovery.com, April 28, 2017.
A public hearing was held May 10, 2017 at the Activity Center, 501 E. Hopkins Street, San Marcos from 5:30 pm to 8:00 pm. See the attached PowerPoint presentation.
The consultant interviewed sixteen (16) people representing all areas of the community. The top comments are located in Section 3 Community Engagement and included:
- The City of San Marcos does not have racial or ethnic tensions.
- Affordable housing is needed.
- There seems to be a division on income and geography.
- There is a concern that student demand for housing is raising the cost of rental units and taking housing out of the market as speculation is driving up home costs.
- There is a need for additional housing and rental assistance.
- Transportation is generally good if your destination is on a standard route, otherwise it is difficult to get across town.
- City is trying to add jobs.
- There is a need for more jobs and higher wages ($15 per hour).
- Foreclosure is not prevalent.
- Predatory Lending is a large problem.
- There is no redlining and Banking is not discriminatory.
- There is a need to more public Fair Housing knowledge.
- There is a need for more Special Needs accessible housing.
City Council Approval
The City Council approved the Analysis of Impediments to Fair Housing Choice Update during the City Council meeting June 6, 2017. See the attached Resolution.
2017 CDBG Grant Application Period February 27 to March 27, 2017The City will accept applications for Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) program funding beginning February 27 through March 27, 2017. These funds are provided to the City from the U. S Department of Housing and Urban Development for projects sponsored by non-profit organizations and city departments that benefit low-to-moderate San Marcos residents. This is not an application for individuals to ask for personal housing or other financial assistance.
Eligible projects must satisfy national CDBG program objectives and address one or more of the established priority needs of:
- Elimination or clearance of areas of spot blight
- Infrastructure improvements
- Public facilities
- Public services (programs)
"Public Services" are programs operated by a government or non-profit agency that benefit low-to-moderate income individuals. The maximum amount of public services funding that may be allocated is 15% of the annual CDBG program allocation. For more information about the regulations governing public service projects and to review the application for this type of funding download the 2017 CDBG Public Services Application (PDF).
The application for all other program and project categories can be downloaded as the 2017 CDBG Housing and Construction Project Application (PDF). Email the CDBG for applications in Microsoft Word format.