Low-income housing developers present their case before Nacogdoches residents

Low-income housing developers present their case before Nacogdoches residents
Published: Feb. 2, 2022 at 11:15 PM CST

NACOGDOCHES, Texas (KTRE) - Wednesday night some residents in the northeast ward of Nacogdoches began absorbing what they learned about low-income housing. Whether or not it will change their opinion about having the developments close to their homes is yet to be seen.

Before the public meeting began some residents had developer consultants literally against the wall with their opinions.

“I’m totally against this one,” said the resident.

And questions.

“When you define senior citizens…a grandmother could be raising five little grandkids,” commented the resident.

The consultant patiently explained, “So, you can only have one and half persons per bedroom.”

Developers are going after land in the vicinity of Maroney and University Drives, right down the road from the Kenbrook Subdivision where Wanda Morgan lives.

“I’m concerned who’s going to be in there and where are they going to come from,” she said when asked.

In a controlled setting two consultants and one developer associate explained each of their proposals.

There is the nonprofit Maroney Park Crossing, a proposed development for senior citizens.

“I think it is awesome that the city comes together tonight,” began consultant Russ Michaels. “To actually learn and listen about this particular issue which is how do we get housing to folks that actually might need it.”

Jeff Beckler, the speaker for a proposed family community attempts to clear up misconceptions, describing affordable housing as workforce housing.

“It’s truly for your entry level firefighters, entry level teachers. the people that fill up your drink at Appleby’s. If that’s all I accomplish tonight, I’ll be happy. I appreciate you listening to that.”

Then residents asked their questions. Several of the comments questioned if the city really has a shortage of affordable housing.

“Is it more about maximizing tax credits rather than looking at what the actual need is”, asked a resident. The audience responded with a round of applause.

All proposals have similarities as seen by images of apartment plans and offered amenities. The difference is two of the four proposals need zone changes...a decision ultimately up to city council.

Michael Beard, a consultant for Pioneer Crossing described how it can make or break a proposal.

“And that deadline comes, and you’re not zoned, your deal is dead.”

Developers are graded on merit for tax credits. No property has been purchased at this point.

The timeline begins with council resolutions of support, or opposition, or no objection as early as Feb.22. Project deadlines follow.

The Wednesday night meeting can be viewed in its entirety at the city of Nacogdoches website.

There is also one proposal of a low-income housing development in Lufkin.

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