Taking A Closer Look at the Affordable Communities of Texas Program

March 10, 2023 | by Anna Orendain

Categories: Affordable Housing

If you've been following our blog for some time, you've likely read about our programs and the work we do. In this week's blog post, we're highlighting the Affordable Communities of Texas (ACT) program, one of the development financing options available to affordable housing developers across Texas.

TSAHC's ACT program is a state-wide land banking and land trust initiative that assists local nonprofits and governmental entities with the acquisition and redevelopment of distressed properties. Through this program, we're able to combine our expertise in land acquisition with a local developer’s knowledge of best construction practices and community needs.

What's a land bank?

The term refers to an entity established or approved by federal, state, or local government for the purpose of acquiring, holding, and transferring unimproved real property. Land banks can more easily acquire properties that have issues like liens or other liabilities that make them difficult to finance for for-profit developers.

Once the land bank has a property in its possession, it can transfer it to a developer for residential development or to a family or individual for homeownership. This is how our land bank essentially works with an added distinction that our lank bank operates state-wide.

WHat's a Land trust?

As defined by Investopedia.com, a land trust is a legal entity that takes ownership of, or authority over, a piece of property at the request of the property owner.

Since TSAHC has the ability to hold land without tax implications, we can retain ownership of the land in our trust as it is developed into housing for rental or homeownership. Housing that is part of a land trust partnership can provide long-term affordability by lowering the cost of property taxes to the developer, and eventually, to the home buyer or renter.

For a more detailed explanation of how land trusts can create generational affordable housing, we invite you to read this paper that was issued by the Urban Land Institute – Austin and co-authored by Michael Wilt, TSAHC’s Senior Manager of External Relations. 

ACT properties available for purchase

Did you notice the pictures we dropped in of our beautiful ACT homes? Are you interested in purchasing one of these homes? There are currently opportunities to purchase an affordable home in several cities across Texas, including Greenville, Onalaska, and Laredo. You can find the MLS listings and contact information for all available homes here.

Become An ACT Local Partner

Ready to create more affordable housing in Texas? We're always searching for new properties to acquire as part of our ACT Land Bank Program. We are also seeking new partnerships with local housing developers through our ACT program to expand affordable homeownership opportunities for low and moderate-income households across Texas. If you are interested in becoming one of our ACT partners, we'd recommend reviewing our ACT Policies and reading through our FAQ. For questions, please reach out to [email protected].

The cover photo for this post is an image of an ACT Onalaska property, the one in the middle of the post is an image of an ACT Laredo property, and the third is an image of an ACT Greenville property.

On the House blog posts are meant to provide general information on various housing-related issues, research and programs. We are not liable for any errors or inaccuracies in the information provided by blog sources. Furthermore, this blog is not legal advice and should not be used as a substitute for legal advice from a licensed professional attorney.

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