City of Midland Looking at Ways To Help Low Income Families Afford Homes

City of Midland Looking at Ways To Help Low Income Families Afford Homes

by Alexa Williams
NewsWest 9

MIDLAND - On Tuesday morning, the Midland City Council took steps to help low to moderate income single family households find affordable housing.

"Our goal is to lower the purchasing cost of affordable houses so those who need it will be able to access that," John Love, Midland City Councilman, said.

Unlike school districts who often pay the buyer, the city is looking to pay the developer to help with building costs. In return, houses could be sold at a lower more affordable rate. The council heard a three tier approach to make this possible.

Option one: If developers sell at least 10 homes all appraised under $175,000, they'll get $4,000 back. That money can go towards the cost of streets, water and sewage. 

Option two: For $3,000 back, developers only have to sell six houses but the homes have to appraised under $175,000. They also have to be a minimum of 1,350 square feet and have certain features like an attached garage and brick. 

Option three has to meet criteria from one of the first two choices but the home has to be sold to a medium or low income buyer. Developers would receive $3,000.

"What we have is folks that are coming in for employment under certain classifications that are in short supply. They're having a very difficult time finding housing if they're looking for housing for purchase. We find that primarily homes below $170,000-$175,000 is very scarce," Sylvester Cantu, Community Development Manager for Midland, said. 

The city said they're hoping to encourage developers to start building homes at a more affordable rate. 

"The city is trying to see what incentive it can provide to create this affordable housing," Love said. 

Nothing is set in stone just yet but the city said they're hoping to make some finalized plans within the next few months.