State awards $858,900 for affordable housing in Lufkin

AUSTIN, TX (KTRE) - AUSTIN, Texas (Press release) — The Texas Department of Housing and Community Affairs (TDHCA) today announced that the Department will provide financing to a high quality rental property in Lufkin offering reduced rents yet with an attractive design to blend seamlessly within the community.

TDHCA will provide $858,909 in housing tax credits to private developers constructing the 80-unit Timberland Trails Apartments, a rental property that will feature rents affordable to tenants earning no more than 60 percent of the area median family income. For Lufkin, this equals an annual income of $29,640 for a family of four.

Although the development failed to receive a share of $68 million in credits through the 2010 Housing Tax Credit Program allocation cycle in July, it was placed on a waiting list in the event credits were returned to TDHCA by other developers. When these credits became available, the Department allocated them to applicants on the waiting list in priority order. Timberland Trails was high enough on the waiting list to secure today's allocation of credits.

According to TDHCA Executive Director Michael Gerber, this award will help bring greater stability both to low income tenants and surrounding neighborhoods, while providing a significant boost to the city's economy.

"Working Texans and retirees often have a difficult time finding an affordable place to live," Gerber explained, "and TDHCA is committed to ensuring all Texans can live in and contribute to the communities of their choice. Besides providing much-needed housing, tax credit developments like Timberland Trails are also a powerful economic engine for local communities, helping generate construction jobs and the payroll, taxes, and fees that help provide essential services at the local level."

Gerber cited a recent study by the National Association of Home Builders that estimates the one-year impact of a typical 100-unit property developed through housing tax credits to include 56 full-time construction jobs, $5.4 million in total wages and salaries, and $862,800 in taxes and other revenue to state and local governments.

The Housing Tax Credit Program allocation is the state's primary means of directing private capital toward the creation or retention of affordable rental housing. The tax credits provide private investors with a benefit used to offset a portion of their federal tax liability in exchange for the production of affordable rental housing.

Properties funded though tax credits must reserve a specific number of units for income eligible tenants and cap rents at set levels to ensure affordability. TDHCA provides oversight authority for health, safety, and program compliance for up to 30 years to make certain developers maintain the program's high standards.

For more information about the Housing Tax Credit Program, please visit the program online at