Residents oppose low-income housing in middle-class neighborhood

McAllen residents are concerned about low-income housing complexes

Some North McAllen residents are concerned that a proposed low-income housing complex on 23rd Street and Auburn will make their property value to drop.

Javier Rangel has lived at his McAllen home for 17 years and lives across the street from the plot of land the McAllen Housing Authority wants to develop.

"I don't like the idea because I believe it will depreciate some of the values of our homes," he said.

The development would be built next to homes that cost $150,000 and up.

It's an area that is part of McAllen City Commissioner Scott Crane who opposes the new venture for two reasons.

"I don't like the idea of segregating low-income families into a tenement housing," he said.

Crane is also concerned families that would live there would bring additional students to already overcrowded nearby schools.

"It makes more sense to sit down with the school districts first to find out where they have capacity," he said.

McAllen Housing Authority had originally estimated more than 400 students would be added to schools, but today McAllen Housing Authority Chairman Leo Lara corrected that estimate and says only 151 students would be added.

He said the board chose this location because they are competing with other cities across South Texas all vying for a tax credit through the Texas Department of Housing and Community Affairs.

In order to be chosen to fund a project, the location chosen has to meet a set of criteria.

"They have to be near good schools and have to be in communities that are kind of on the move," he said.

He said the point of this type of housing is to eventually help families move into permanent homes.

Lara also said this is not the first this type of development has been built in the City of McAllen.

"We have three different tax credits in McAllen and they are beautiful," he said.

In order to qualify, a single family would have to make less than $21,000 a year, and also pass a strict background check.

Cities have until February 28th to apply for this tax credit.

Lara said if their plans are approved, it will be housing that low-income families in McAllen desperately need.