Skip to content

Senator Bettencourt files SB 805 to end practices of out-of-control housing authorities PFCs Reacts to preposterous COH length of exemptions and only 10 percent of low-income apartment units  

Austin – Senator Paul Bettencourt (R-Houston) files Senate Bill 805 to repeal the ability of Housing  Authorities and any other taxing units ability to use Public Finance Corporations to take Billions of Dollars  of multifamily properties off the tax rolls by approving leasehold deals. In the most recent egregious  example, the Houston Housing Authority didn’t even hold public meetings, granted 75–99-year tax  exemptions, and some only had ten percent of their units set aside for low-income residents.

“I’m appalled that Housing Authorities and taxing authorities have completely abused the  statutory authority to create PFCs in a totally nontransparent manner. Therefore, I filed a bill to  end the practice immediately as PFC abuse, in the supposed name of traditional public housing, has exploded since the last attempts to reform this process in 2021,” said Senator Bettencourt.

More and more Texans are becoming aware of the egregious & unsubstantiated practices of PFCs  around the state. According to Statute, if a housing authority does not set aside at least 20 percent of a  property’s units for public housing units, then developers must designate half of the units for persons who  earn less than 80 percent of the area median income (AMI). These newly created PFCs are failing to do  this. For example, in a recent story reported by The Texan, “Lakeside Place PFC received a tax  exemption valued at $48 million, but records showed that in December 2021, about 66 percent of the  property had been leased at market rates, not reduced rates.” 

“The Houston Housing Authority has taken 5.1 billion dollars of property value off the Harris  County tax rolls. Tax rolls in more than one city in Texas are seeing Billions taken off the rolls as  well,” he added. “As you can see in the Texan story, these Houston Housing Authority stories are  especially preposterous.” 

Senator Bettencourt expects to work with Lieutenant Governor Dan Patrick’s office, his Senate  colleagues, as well as his legislative colleagues in the House to put an end to these PFC abuses.  Representative Jacey Jetton (R-Houston) filed an important PFC Reform Bill yesterday, HB 2071.

“It’s time recognize the not-so-obvious. At best, most of these PFC deals are being done in  egregiously opaque settings. The practice of unelected Housing Authority and taxing authority bureaucrats taking BILLIONS of Dollars of property value off the tax rolls, for not only their taxing  unit, but also ISDs, Cities, Counties, and Special Districts, has to end. This process completely  bypasses Elected Officials and that has to change! Concluded Sen. Bettencourt.

A recent Texan story highlights the problem and the dramatic consequences for taxpayers.

Leave a Comment