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Another Front in the Texas War to Preserve Segregated Housing

A new bill to change the application for housing tax credits would make it virtually impossible to build new low-income housing anywhere in the Lone Star State.
The Texas State Capitol building as seen in Austin in December.
The Texas State Capitol building as seen in Austin in December.Mohammad Khursheed/Reuters

Texas Representative Valoree Swanson is enjoying a banner first month in office. Since the start of the state’s legislative session in January—her first—she has proposed legislation to make it a crime for a doctor who has performed an abortion to apply for a medical license in the state. She has suggested that every Texas student pass the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services naturalization test in order to graduate from high school. She wants to make it easier for public-school teachers to throw water on scientific theories such as evolution. And she has put forward a bill to outlaw property taxes.

H.B. 1792, which Swanson introduced on Monday, is a different stripe of ideological. This bill, along with H.B. 1653, would change the way affordable housing tax credits work in Texas. By the standards of affordable housing, H.B. 1792 represents a dramatic departure from the norm. The bill would all but block the construction of low-income housing in the Lone Star State—which is exactly what Swanson promised to do when she ran for office.