Town of Addison (TX) Amends Economic Development Agreement for Addison Grove Development after ICP Complains about Exclusion of Housing for Families Participating in the Housing Choice Voucher Program
The Town of Addison, a Dallas suburb, has no housing choice vouchers within its borders even though about 70% of the dwellings in the Town are multifamily rental units. Many of these units rent for amounts that are within the voucher rent range. The Town recently provided $6.5 million to a developer of a proposed multifamily project. In return the developer had to agree to a deed restriction prohibiting the use of any government housing program including vouchers and Low Income Tax Credits.
On July 19, 2016, ICP’s attorneys wrote the Town of Addison alleging that the exclusionary deed restriction in the Addison Grove Development Agreement with the Town would have a disparate adverse impact African Americans and perpetuate segregation. ICP requested the Town to state its substantial, legitimate, and non-discriminatory interests that are served by the exclusion of vouchers, and otherwise to state whether less discriminatory alternatives had been considered to serve any substantial, legitimate, non-discriminatory identified.
On August 3, 2015, Addison’s Town Attorney wrote ICP stating that the Town would provide a response to ICP’s letter by September 15, after conferring with the Town Council about the matter.
On September 14, 2016, the Town of Addison notified ICP through its legal counsel that the Town Council had amended the Economic Development Program Grant Agreement for the Addison Grove development to remove the exclusionary deed restriction prohibiting vouchers in the development.
We are pleased that Addison made the decision to remove this exclusionary and discriminatory provision from the Addison Grove Agreement. Discrimination against families using a vouchers to pay rent is one of the most harmful and discriminatory policies that families with whom ICP works encounter. ICP will continue to work to remove exclusionary and discriminatory barriers to families being able to live in decent, safe and healthy neighborhoods and communities where children can thrive, regardless of their race, ethnicity, creed, color, disability or familial status.