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Bexar Co. Commissioners to hire consultant to help address housing crisis

Housing Crisis.JPG

SAN ANTONIO - County Commissioners are looking at ways to improve affordable housing options in Bexar County.

Critics of the current policy say it doesn't benefit areas historically underserved.

Roger Molz would like to buy a home.

"Eventually yes. Yes, I would," Molz said.

For now homeownership is financially out of reach.

Lack of affordable housing and lack of government policies to help low income families build wealth through homeownership was the focus of discussion at Commissioners Court.

"The intersection of housing education and job training are really critical in terms of turning around our poverty and chronic neighborhood issues," said Precinct 4 Commissioner Tommy Calvert.

Commissioner Tommy Calvert says homeownership stimulates the overall economy yet 50-percent of the working class can't get into starter homes.

"The bankers will say there's all kinds of folks who qualify for a $100k home loan but the family's don't take the loan because of the condition of the deteriorating house," Calvert said.

"And then you have to go into debt and get another loan to fix it," Molz said.

Mortgage specialists with Jefferson Bank are among several lenders who offer programs to help first time buyers; things like down payment assistance.

"That help people to maybe get into a home that is a little bit higher value than what they'd normally qualify for," said Estrellita Garcia-Diaz with Jefferson Bank.

Lenders are doing their part, and the city has an equality budget now the county plans to hire a consultant to help develop policy solutions that reinvest in neighborhoods, affordable housing, and skilled trades education.

"We have to do something different what we've been doing isn't working," Calvert said.

Commissioners Court hopes to have a consultant selected within the next six months.

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