The developer of a proposed low-income housing development in the Richmond area says that opposition to the project is at best unfair – and at worst, illegal.
Craig Lintner is the vice president at Pedcor Investments, an Indiana firm. The company has proposed a development of 96 units in unincorporated Fort Bend County, just beyond Richmond city limits. He said the project is being met with a “not in my backyard” attitude from residents and community leaders who misunderstand it.
Statements and actions from those opposing the project amount to “extreme NIMBY-ism and breaking fair housing laws,” Lintner said during a Jan. 20 board meeting of the Texas Department of Housing and Community Affairs.
The project, known as the Landings at Westheimer Lakes, would offer below-market rents for one-, two- and three-bedroom apartments. It would be funded in part by federal tax credits. One-bedroom apartments would rent for an average of $570 per month, with two-bedroom apartments available at a rate averaging $673 monthly, and three-bedroom units for an average of $781. Three of the smallest apartments would rent for $285 per month. Income limits would range from $13,680 per year for a single person in the smallest units to $45,300 for the largest.
During the Jan. 20 hearing, Lintner detailed a meeting he had with Andy Meyers, Fort Bend county commissioner; Jeff Wiley, president of the Greater Fort Bend Economic Council; and Lance LaCour, president of the Katy Area Economic Development Council.
During the meeting, Lintner said, he was told that the project “didn’t fit the area,” that the development had growing opposition, and that it would likely be derailed. He testified to the TDHCA that LaCour “seemed proud” of getting a similar tax credit deal derailed.
The developer also stated that officials from the Lamar ISD were similarly opposed. He said the district’s demography consultant, Dr. Pat Guseman, told him that students from such low-income developments “bring down test scores and generally ruin the quality of life in the area.”
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