FAQs About Affordable Housing

What is affordable housing?

The United States government considers housing affordable if it costs no more than 30 percent of a family’s income. In other words, someone making minimum wage would be able to pay about $377 a month for an affordable, one-bedroom apartment. But in Fort Worth, the fair market rate for a one-bedroom apartment in many neighborhoods is more than $1,000. To help bridge the gap, Fort Worth Housing Solutions is acquiring, upgrading and building new affordable properties across the city.

Who needs affordable housing?

Teachers, firefighters, college graduates working their first job, seniors on fixed incomes, persons with disabilities and skilled workers with families need affordable housing so they have enough money left over for food, clothing, transportation and other necessities.

How do you fund affordable housing?

FWHS uses a variety of funding sources to provide affordable housing in Fort Worth, including state low-income housing tax credits, federal subsidies, grants and loans.

Who approves affordable housing in Fort Worth?

It depends on who is developing the project, the type of funding used, and whether any zoning changes are needed. Different approvals may be required. Typically, if FWHS is developing a project, the Board of Commissioners must approve it. If tax credits are used, City Council may be asked to support a project. If projects require a change in zoning, the City’s Zoning Commission and the City Council will play a pivotal role in the development approval process.

If affordable housing comes to my neighborhood won’t my property value decrease?

There have been multiple studies and articles regarding property values and the impact of adjacent or nearby multi-family use and/or affordable housing use.  Each study contains factors and assumptions that may or may not be wholly applicable to every situation.

Some studies indicate that there is no or minimal negative impact on property values. Other studies show a potential positive impact, while others show there can be a negative impact on values. FWHS cannot guarantee that property values will not change as a result of affordable multi-family development. Residential property values are determined on multiple factors including location, neighboring uses and amenities, zoning of vacant parcels (or the potential for rezoning), transportation, schools, and interest rates.  Commercial property values are largely dependent on the expected income that such development can create.

Are there rules and guidelines for tenants at your affordable housing properties?

Yes. Our properties typically use the Texas Apartment Association’s model lease contract. Additionally, properties have certain community policies that tenants must adhere to. These may include things such as use of common areas, pool rules, noise and guest/visitor conduct.

Do affordable housing developments pay property taxes?

Landlords are required to pay property taxes, which are figured into the operating expenses of the property.  Some non-profit and governmental agencies that own and operate affordable housing properties are tax exempt or otherwise allowed tax abatements. Renters in apartment communities do not pay real estate taxes directly. 

How will the City of Fort Worth address infrastructure needs to support all of this new development taking place?

The City of Fort Worth has a Capital Improvement Plan (CIP) that addresses infrastructure needs across the City. The CIP is meant to provide long-term planning for projected growth for the City. In May 2018 voters overwhelmingly approved the city’s bond proposal that included $261.6 for new streets and to fix older ones.