Jeff Cheney wrote:

There is much misunderstood about Section 8 and how it relates to Frisco.  The City of Frisco does not vote on Section 8 housing. Frisco’s vote was to issue a letter of support for the developments if they build to our building standards.  Just like any development, we are required by law to approve plats if the plat complies with city codes and applicable law.  In addition, a current development may choose to accept Section 8 vouchers without the consent of the City of Frisco.  There are currently two developments in Frisco that accept Section 8 housing vouchers.  One development has no outstanding vouchers and the other has 12.

What we do have control over is to attempt to comply with the Federal Housing Act and other applicable statutes to assure the city does not incur needless and expensive lawsuits that could cost the city millions of dollars (and end up with housing that is unacceptable). By being proactive, Frisco was able to maintain control of our building standards, as well as other favorable terms, which have much more far reaching consequences than just low income housing. 

While we feel confident Frisco does not have any discriminatory practices in our building standards or policies, we hired the leading attorney on this issue and based on their advice, as well as our city attorney, we were well educated on all possible pitfalls to any stance we may take as a city. Conversely, other cities have chosen not to be proactive and have had requirements forced upon them.  For instance, the City of McKinney chose to take the passive route and is currently negotiating a settlement that has far less agreeable terms and also cost their tax payers thousands of dollars in attorney fees as well as attorney fees they had to agree to pay on behalf of ICP.  In addition, the city of Sunnyvale lost their fight in federal court and has been the recipient of federal mandates regarding low income housing, including requirements for Section 8 housing as well as being enjoined from enforcing their building codes.    Protecting Frisco’s building standards was the most important decision in this process and the highest protection we have to ensuring quality development.

  This is currently a three year contract. Year one has come and gone with no projects submitted. We are now in year two and there were two projects which applied for grants.  Only one of the two is currently proceeding through the process. There are funds available for approximately the top 7 projects.  The Frisco project ranks #27 out of 28 competing projects for grant funds making it unlikely to be awarded. If the project was awarded grant money, then at that point the normal approval process would begin including public hearings, staff reviews, Planning & Zoning reviews, and ultimately Council reviews.

If anyone would like even more detailed information regarding this issue please feel free to email me at jcheney@friscotexas.gov or call me direct at 214-707-7320.

Sincerely,

Jeff Cheney

Frisco Mayor Pro Tem

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