Texas Department of Housing & Community Affairs - Building Homes and Strengthening Communities
 

TDHCA Governing Board Approves Tax Credit Program QAP

The Governing Board of the Texas Department of Housing and Community Affairs (TDHCA) at its January 26 meeting approved the 2001 Qualified Allocation Plan and Rules (QAP) for the Housing Tax Credit (HTC) Program. The QAP are the rules by which the Department will administer the program for the 2001 allocation round.

The Department held a series of hearings throughout Texas during November and December of last year to receive public comment on the document. Members of the public also provided extensive written comment on the QAP. TDHCA took these comments into consideration while developing the draft document, which was provided to the Governing Board for review. Board members discussed, amended, and approved the draft document before forwarding it to the Governor's Office, where it awaits the approval of Governor Perry.

The following list highlights some of the amendments made to the QAP by the board:

  • Language was integrated into the Compliance section of the QAP to prohibit property owners from using policies, practices or procedures that exclude holders of Section 8 vouchers from housing opportunities.
  • Language was provided for Section 8 voucher holders so that any minimum income requirements cannot exceed 2.5 times the portion of the rent to be paid by the prospective tenant.
  • The Board added language to open applications for public viewing during the review process.
  • Ex Parte rule requirements for developers were added to ensure that applicants cannot communicate with members of the Governing Board about a project while that project was being reviewed for a tax credit allocation.
  • An elderly set-aside category was added to the Program so that at least 10 percent of the credit ceiling will be allocated to qualified elderly projects.
  • The provision for units for persons with disabilities, previously a Selection Criteria, was made into a Threshold Criteria. The QAP now requires that for up to 5 percent of all HTC units, the owner will provide reasonable accommodations or modifications at the owner's expense. Furthermore, all townhouse units must now be designed with a bedroom and bathroom on the bottom floor.
  • A non-exclusive preservation set-aside was added that ensures at least 10 percent of the credit ceiling will be allocated to preservation projects. Preservation projects can fall into any of the HTC Program's four set-aside categories: nonprofit, elderly, rural, and general.
  • Market studies are now required under the 2001 QAP for all applications.
  • Points will be awarded for projects located in cities with no tax credit developments and where there are no tax credit developments within a two-mile radius.
  • Points for Qualified Census Tracts (QCT) have been changed so projects must be in a QCT and contribute to a concerted community revitalization effort to receive the points.
  • Rural projects are now able to apply for developments greater than 76 units as long as the need for additional units by market study. If more than 76 units are permitted, the Rural project cannot qualify in the Rural set-aside.
  • The Department will now notify applicants when TDHCA receives letters of opposition prior to the allocation of credits.
  • Points were added to award projects that involve the joint partnership of nonprofit and for-profit entities. In these cases, nonprofits are not required to have 51 percent control of the project; however, they must have this control to qualify for the nonprofit set-aside.
  • Points were added for density (units per acre) for elderly projects or Highrise Urban Infill Projects.
  • Changes were made in the Supportive Service Criteria. Now, either for-profit or nonprofit entities can provide supportive services to tax credit properties; previously, only nonprofit entities were eligible.