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Senate IGR hearing scheduled for UNT Dallas May 3rd

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Dallas South News Wire (State Senator Royce West’s Office)

The Senate Committee on Intergovernmental Relations (IGR), chaired by State Senator Royce West (D – Dallas), will hold a public hearing on Thursday – May 3, 2012 at 10:00 a.m. at the campus of the University of North Texas at Dallas located at 7300 University Hills Blvd., Dallas, Texas 75241. The purpose of this hearing will be to focus on the committee’s interim charges related to the housing market and homeownership.

Although the State of Texas has weathered the recent housing recession better than other states, we still have far too many families who have come face-to-face face with the possibility of foreclosure and the prospect of becoming homeless.

As Chair of the Senate Intergovernmental Relations Committee, I have always sought ways to protect families from these dire consequences and looked for new and innovative ideas to ensure a balance between home costs and economic development. In moving out of the recession, we must explore mechanisms to re-ignite a housing market where there is a sizable inventory of pre-existing homes. This presents even more competition for builders in a newly-defined, lending environment when it comes to finding qualified buyers.

State Senator Royce West

The hearing will examine issues such as the impact of local government regulations on the affordability of homes and the housing market; ways to improve the coordination of government resources to increase homeownership opportunities and the utilization of affordable housing tools such as land banks and land trusts.

Testimony will also address the availability of affordable housing for special needs populations and how it can be enhanced via co-location with social services and mass transit. Senate IGR is also charged with finding ways to better identify runaway youth and the homeless, including developing methods to maximize existing resources that will better serve these populations.

“As Senate IGR continues its deliberations through the public hearing process, I will continue to focus on sustaining a robust housing market within our state, while maintaining the cost of homeownership at levels that are affordable for persons of all incomes. Building safe, quality housing and the goal of homeownership are ideals that should remain within the reach of every desiring Texan,” said Senator West.

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