San Antonio leaders, advocates work to improve affordable housing availability

Local leaders and housing advocates are working plans to reduce the affordable housing crisis now and in the long term.

SAN ANTONIO – Local leaders and housing advocates are working plans to reduce the affordable housing crisis now and in the long term.

Haven for Hope CEO Kim Jeffries said the shelter is at 118 percent capacity. The increase in those seeking shelter can be attributed to several factors, such as the end of the eviction moratorium, rising inflation and the rising cost of housing.

Jeffries said only 2% of the housing units in our community are considered affordable to low or extremely low-income families.

“Forty-two percent of the families coming to us have income. They just don’t have enough income to pay the average rent of $1,300 in our community,” Jeffries said.

Ed Hinojosa, with Opportunity Home San Antonio, said their income-based rent program helps qualifying families pay only 30% of their income. However, more funding is needed.

“Prior to COVID, we had a waitlist of people waiting for housing of about 35,000 families. Today we have about 70,000 families. So it’s doubled,” Hinojosa said.

City of San Antonio leaders, organizations that help low-income families in need and federal agencies in the community, are working together to ease the current situation.

But there are also long-term solutions being worked on to build affordable housing. A voter-approved $1.2 billion bond in May 2022 will help pay for the construction of more affordable units.

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About the Authors:

Patty Santos joined the KSAT 12 News team in July 2017. She has a proven track record of reporting on hard-hitting news that affects the community.

Gavin Nesbitt is a photojournalist and video editor who joined KSAT in September 2021. He has traveled across the great state of Texas to film, conduct interviews and edit many major news stories, including the White Settlement church shooting, Hurricane Hanna, 2020 presidential campaigns, Texas border coverage and the Spurs.