Bexar County tackles affordable housing crisis

Commissioners vote to hire consultant for housing study

SAN ANTONIO – Although San Antonio is recognized as one of the state’s most diverse and integrated cities, the city remains a divided city in terms of housing, according to Dr. Christine Drennon,  chair of the urban studies department at Trinity University.

“The economic segregation between classes is very high,” Drennon told Bexar County Commissioners on Tuesday. “Public policy produced our current situation and housing crisis and public policy must now alleviate it.”

Although the city of San Antonio has its own housing task force created by Mayor Ron Nirenberg, Precinct 4 Commissioner Tommy Calvert said the county can also play a part in creating affordable housing in the county.

“Where are the holes? Where are the needs? How can we supplement or enhance what the city is doing?” Calvert asked.

He said the Glen and Camelot subdivisions are areas that need revitalizing since they’re closer to the city limits and major employers such as Fort Sam Houston and Randolph Air Force Base.

Calvert said rather than only incentivize high-end real estate developments tax abatements, “We should be able to do the same thing on affordable and workforce housing. It’s just that simple.”

Bexar County Commissioners voted to hire a consultant to do a housing study and perhaps create a citizens advisory committee in the future.

“We have got to look holistically at how we restore the integrity of neighborhoods and build wealth and ownership," Calvert said.

Link: Bexar County Commissioners Court agenda (Item 5 discusses housing)

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