No, Galveston can’t just send HUD money back

All across Galveston you can hear people saying city officials should just give all those dollars for public housing back to the federal government.

These folks argue the city has no business rebuilding 569 public housing units destroyed by Hurricane Ike.

The argument overlooks one fact.

The city has accepted at least $200 million in federal aid to repair hurricane damage with the express promise that it would comply with the Fair Housing Act.

A lot of that money is going into infrastructure we all use — public improvements that allow toilets to flush and water to run when we turn on the tap.

After the storm, you might recall, those systems were not working, and Galveston’s representatives had no qualms about saying yes to all that federal aid.

If Galveston were an affluent city, it would have gotten some money from the federal government for repairs. But it got more — a lot more — because so many of its residents are poor, elderly and disabled.

About a year ago, The Daily News tried to find out how much of the federal money the city was receiving for things such as the sewer plant was tied to that promise to abide by the Fair Housing Act.

Views on that subject ranged. Some people thought $300 million would be low; $200 million seemed to be rock bottom.

Read more at The Daily News

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About Bob Voelker

Head of the Munsch Hardt (Dallas law firm) Hospitality & Mixed Use Development Group, and former developer of affordable housing. I'm i
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