The city of San Marcos is looking to maintain its housing stock with the help of its Home Rehabilitation Program—a federally funded program that aims to preserve affordable housing in San Marcos.

Carol Griffith, housing and community development manager, said it costs more money to build and buy a house than to rehabilitate a house, and City Council has prioritized housing rehabilitation.

“The people who have the lower incomes cannot afford the houses that are being built right now, and so we want to have as many houses as we can available, so if they do sell, they can sell to a family that can afford it,” Griffith said.

The background

Griffith said the program was previously funded through Southside Community Center, which was a lot smaller and only focused on minor repairs. In 2020, the city and nonprofit organization were going to partner on the program before Southside Community Center decided they were only going to focus on providing emergency services.

That same year, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, or HUD, asked the city to “redo” the program, which officially launched on Aug. 31, 2023.

“By then we had three years of funding or now four backed up,” Griffith said.

How it works

Residents who qualify will typically submit an application detailing their concerns; however, the city accepted residents on a first-come, first-served basis in 2023 due to a pent-up demand. Then a city-contracted inspector will review the house.

The applicant must be a U.S. citizen and located in San Marcos. Other qualifications include:
  • Owner-occupied residence
  • Single-family residence
  • Forgivable loan
  • Property taxes and mortgage up to date
Applicants must also meet the following HUD income eligibility guidelines.

Following the inspection, the city will put together a package based on what the inspector has seen, and then they will talk to the homeowner about what needs to be done to preserve their home.

“We’re focused on maintaining the housing stock for the city of San Marcos and also giving them a house that they can handoff to the next generation,” Griffith said.

Based on inspections, Griffith said city officials see a number of homes that need foundation and roof work or electrical work.

“The roof and foundation are the most critical to preserving a house, so we’re really trying to put money into that. Those are also really big expenditure items that people have trouble affording,” she said.

Looking ahead

Although only a few homes are under construction, the city is working to finalize the paperwork for about 30 homes, Griffith said. The city anticipates reopening the program applications in 2026 and hopes to bring in additional funding sources as well.