On October 12, 2016, Laredo Housing Authority Officials were joined by many residents and community leaders to advocate for the continuation of the Casa Verde project at the Texas Department of Housing and Community Affairs (TDHCA) Board Meeting.
Mayor Pete Saenz presented to the TDHCA Board on behalf of LHA the amendment stating that under the Rental Assistance Demonstration (RAD) Program, Casa Verde still qualifies for the At-Risk set-aside Tax Credit Award. In light of new information from HUD, the TDHCA Board recommended for its staff to continue working with LHA to submit a new amendment that will be presented at the next board meeting.
The Board of Commissioners of TDHCA were very responsive and supportive of the continued conversation between LHA and TDHCA to reach a viable agreement that will allow LHA to proceed with the tax credit award. As the Chairman stated, their goal is not to take away awards from anyone, but solely to uphold the qualifying conditions for which the award was created.
Originally, the application proposed to build Casa Verde contingent to the demolition of Russell Terrace. However, the new Board of Commissioners at LHA were not in agreeance and halted the plans.
“We do not have the intention to demolish Russell Terrace,” said Melissa Ortiz, Acting/Interim Executive Director of LHA. “We are confident that the RAD program is a viable option to restore and renovate Russell Terrace while still moving forward with Casa Verde.”
Under the RAD Program, Russell Terrace would transfer from public housing units to Project-Based Vouchers through the Housing Choice Vouchers Program. This would allow LHA to preserve affordable housing by accessing more stable funding to make needed improvements to this property. Both Casa Verde and Russell Terrace have now been approved for the RAD Conversion by HUD in record time.
The Laredo Housing Authority was established in 1939 and provides affordable housing options for communities in Laredo, Zapata, and Asherton. Currently, LHA owns and manages 994 Public Housing units in 8 different locations and provides voucher assistance to 1,390 families in the private rental sector.
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