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Texas Legislative Black Caucus
Thursday, July 26, 2012
Galveston Should Do the Right Thing and Rebuild Homes for Low-Income Residents
(Austin, TX)- It is with a great degree of concern that the Texas Legislative Black Caucus looks on as the continuing saga of rebuilding Galveston's public housing unfolds. After receiving calls to the TLBC from concerned residents in Galveston, we have actively watched as the issue reached a fever pitched level in the community.
Without question, we support the position of the Department of Housing and Urban Development that the City of Galveston and the Galveston Housing Authority must rebuild the 569 units on the Island as opposed to the voucher program advocated by some. While taking into account community input as well as prior legally binding agreements on the rebuilding of the public housing units by HUD, interested local and State agencies, it is clear that Galveston must act immediately to begin rebuilding the public housing units.
I stood with the City of Galveston and advocated for the granting of over $500 million in post-disaster recovery funding as Chair of the House Select Committee on Hurricane Ike Devastation, and now I look to the City of Galveston to show their compassion by rebuilding the housing for their most vulnerable citizens, those in public housing. It was Ghandi who said, "a nation's greatness is measured by how it treats its weakest members." As the nation and the State of Texas opened up their coffers to help the Island with recovery money after the storm, now is the time for Galveston to open up their hearts for their least fortunate. Galveston leaders must rebuild the public housing units for all those who have called the Island home. The spotlight is on Galveston to do the right thing; no further delay is warranted, and Galveston should rebuild this necessary housing now.
Many people stuck out their necks for Galveston to get its fair share of money to rebuild following Hurricane Ike. It would be a slap in the face to many of us for the City's leadership to pick and choose who should reside in Galveston. Galveston should welcome back all its proud citizens, including the poor and less fortunate, by lifting
the moratorium on the plan to rebuild the public housing on the Island.
Should Galveston choose not to rebuild the 569 units under the mixed income plan, the City will jeopardize hundreds of millions of dollars in infrastructure upgrades and development monies. This would be a clear case of "cutting off one's nose to spite their face". We urge you to do what is right and rebuild the necessary public housing units in Galveston.
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