City housing department budget set to triple

Budget spike fueled by voter-approved housing bond; money for preserving, producing affordable housing

SAN ANTONIO – As San Antonio struggles with affordable housing amid skyrocketing property values, the city’s Neighborhood and Housing Services Department could see its budget triple.

The department’s proposed jump from $48.8 million in the current budget year to $150.2 million for FY 2023 is fueled almost entirely by the city’s first-ever housing bond, which voters approved in May. The $99.9 million in bond money is split between producing and preserving affordable housing.

Most of it, $92.3 million, is slated for producing new units.

“So with this first RFP process, we have about half of our bond funds available for entities to propose projects. We’ll have another round of requests for proposals later this year, but it is a plan to spend those bond funds sooner rather than later,” said interim NHSD Director Veronica Garcia. “We need more affordable housing now. Rent prices are going up. Housing prices are going up, and the best way we can address that is to provide more new units in the community.”

The department’s also budgeting about $26 million, between the bond money and other funds, for home rehabilitation and repair projects.

The city is accepting applications through Sep. 19 and has already received more than 3,000.

READ: City of San Antonio program to provide funding for qualifying homeowners for major, minor repairs

The city’s Strategic Housing Implementation Plan (SHIP), which the council approved in December 2021, calls for the production or preservation of nearly 28,100 units in the span of a decade. Garcia said the goal is not for the city government alone but also for its partners.

NHSD’s goals for FY 2023 are 1,200 affordable housing units produced and another 1,300 preserved.

Voters approved $150 million for housing as part of the 2022 bond program in May, and the city plans to spend the money within three to four years.

But it will only take the city part of the way. In all, the SHIP calls for $3.4 billion worth of funding for the housing goals.

About the Author

Garrett Brnger is a reporter with KSAT 12.

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