Developers of low-income housing are supposed to win coveted tax credit subsidies based on a competitive scoring system. But over the years, they increasingly found a way around it: By seeking "forward commitments" — projects that can bypass the point system — from the state housing board.
"Forward commitments" were designed to help the board quickly approve the construction of housing after natural disasters, such as hurricanes or wildfires. By the time Gov. Rick Perry ended the practice late last year, they were being used far more often, drawing questions about whether the process was open to influence by politically connected developers.
Here's a look at the portion of tax credit projects approved via "forward commitments" over the last decade, and the percentage of annual subsidies awarded outside the routine scoring process. The tax credits are listed as single-year amounts, but were awarded for 10 years running — meaning a $1 million "forward commitment" tax credit is actually worth $10 million.
We have also mapped the location of the last decade's 71 "forward commitments" - worth a combined $660 million - below. Scroll over the name of a housing project to see where on the map it's located.
|Housing Project||Year||Developer||City||Units||Type||Total Tax Credit Funds|