Most Texas public housing units for families are located in inner
city neighborhoods where crime and drug problems exist. As we
will see in the following section about the history of public
housing, the reason for these projects being located where they
are is rooted in local political decisions which were not in the
best interest of either public housing or the people who lived
A great majority of the families living in public housing in Texas
have very low incomes and have no alternative to public housing.
The private sector has not and will not be able to serve Texas
huge and growing low income families housing needs. The lack of
decent, low-cost housing in Texas consigns hundreds of thousands
of Texas families to deplorable living conditions and crippling
rents. The history of public housing in Texas will demonstrate
that an adequate supply of publicly supported housing for the
poor has been blocked repeated in Texas by special interests and
racial and economic prejudices.
Many people blame low income residents of public housing for all
the problems facing public housing. There are some bad tenants
in public housing, just as there are some bad tenants in private
housing. But the problems of public housing in Texas are largely
the result of lack of inadequate funding and in some cases bad
local policies and illegal practices by some local public housing
authorities and local governments.
The solutions to these bad policies and management practices which
have beset some public housing lie in the active involvement of
the citizens of local communities, particularly public housing
residents themselves in the management and recreation of public
housing. We will explore these solutions in the final section
of this web site.
For now we turn our attention to the problems of public housing
today. The problems lie in four areas:
- inadequate funding,
- bad physical conditions and location of the housing units,
- the history of local misadmisitration of the public housing program
- powerlessness and alienation of public housing residents.