5 thoughts on “SA Housing Authority Plans 215-Unit Apartment Complex in Lavaca Neighborhood

  1. Cities either grow or stagnate. Everywhere I turn I hear people complaining about the disadvantage of growth rather than seeing that they are also benefiting and/or are ignoring other aspects of the situation. “I moved to Stone Oak to get away from crowded conditions, and after 10 years it takes forever to go anywhere.” (No recognition that everyone else has moved there for the same reason and that everyone has caused the congestion rather than just all the others.) “I moved to Lavaca when I could get a great bargain of a large old house for $166,000, but now that the neighborhood has improved and all the poor people have moved out, they still want to allow housing for low-income people to live near me.” (No recognition that they moved into a mostly rundown neighborhood occupied by low income families who likely moved out because they couldn’t continue to pay their taxes on the increased values of their homes.) “I have lived in Dignowity for 25 years, and now others are moving into the neighborhood and making my taxes go up.” (No recognition that the changes have also made the value of their comes increase tremendously giving them a choice of selling for far more money or trying to find a non-free-ride way to stay there.) There are solutions to all of these problems, but no one wants the solution:

    #1. Know that when you move into a new neighborhood that is attractive, it will grow and become congested over time, so accept it or move elsewhere eventually.

    #2. Know that when you move into a rundown neighborhood and fix up a house, others will do the same meaning that the value of the homes will increase and so will taxes. Also know that cities work to try to keep affordable housing, halfway houses, group homes, etc., located within “normal neighborhoods” rather than segregated and isolated, so there is no guarantee that only people who can afford to fix up an old house and pay the high taxes will be your neighbors after all the old houses have been restored.

    #3. Know that there is no free ride related to taxes as a home increases in value giving you a greater investment value as the owner. As the value of your home increases, so will the tax obligation. Work with the city to develop a plan where you can DEFER part of your tax obligations until you decide to leave your house by selling it or moving out of it (if staying in the neighborhood remains important to you as many of your other neighbors decide to sell and move out), or take advantage of the increased value by selling your home, too, and finding one in another neighborhood where you can also afford the tax obligations and maybe where some of your other neighbors have moved.

  2. We’re very excited about this project. The time and effort the development team has made to incorporate the neighborhood will pay off. Lavaca is looking forward to it!

  3. I was under the impression that SAHA’s mission was to provide housing for low income people, not the yuppies wanting to live downtown.
    As a current resident in a SAHA elderly/disabled project I am concerned that public tax dollars are being used to build and operate developments that people can afford to live in, not for high income people.

  4. Dansk Tex – It’s actually quite rare that low income families move out because they cannot continue to pay the taxes on the increased values of their homes. Most typically it’s low income renters who are displaced. Homeowners usually sell voluntarily to realize appreciation or because elderly owners are ready to move on. There have been a bunch of studies on it, I’m sure you can find some. But the narrative of longtime homeowners forced to sell to yuppies and hipsters due to increased property taxes is mostly mythical.

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