A new program from the city of McKinney could help residents at risk of losing their housing.

McKinney City Council members unanimously approved a local gap housing voucher program as part of the consent agenda at a May 21 meeting.

The gist

The local gap voucher program will offer funding for qualified McKinney residents at risk of losing their housing.

The pilot program will offer vouchers for 10 households and is estimated to cost $150,000 for the first year. The funding will be sourced from the McKinney Public Facility Corporation, which has a fund balance of $500,000, according to city documents.

Qualified participants include:
  • Households making between 30%-50% of the area median income
  • Seniors age 62 and older
  • People with disabilities
  • Households living in tax credit apartments that are no longer affordable
Program participants would pay up to 30% of their income toward rent, rather than their full housing costs. The program will follow guidelines similar to those in place for the city’s Tenant Based Rental Assistance program.

City staff aim to continue the program through funding the city will receive annually as the result of a public-private partnership between the city and development firm JPI to construct the Jefferson Verdant, a 383-unit affordable housing development. The city expects to receive $420,000 annually as a result of that deal, said Cristel Todd, interim director of the Housing and Community Development department, during a May 21 work session meeting.

What they’re saying

Council member Patrick Cloutier said rising housing costs are impacting residents on fixed incomes, such as those who receive Social Security.

“This is a growing problem. ... These people might be homeless if it weren’t for this kind of program,” Cloutier said.

Todd said the program will assist in preventing seniors or people with disabilities from becoming homeless while on the growing waitlist for a Housing Choice Voucher.

“This is essentially a product that we’re providing to supplement the lack of Housing Choice Vouchers that are out there,” council member Justin Beller said.

Quote of note

"We're trying to help folks that ... already receive assistance. They've lived here a really long time, they're elderly, they're disabled, but because our housing prices are increasing so dramatically, even with the assistance they have, they are on the verge of having to leave or being kicked out," Assistant City Manager Kim Flom said of the program.

Also of note

Council members also approved a resolution that designated the McKinney Housing Finance Corporation as a Community Land Trust, an initiative city staff has been working on for nearly a year.

The Community Land Trust model allows the city to purchase and hold land and existing homes to create affordable housing. The approved resolution will allow the McKinney Housing Finance Corporation to use the funds dedicated to the Community Land Trust to buy the homes and property, according to the presentation.

City staff aim to purchase up to three properties in fiscal year 2024-25, Todd said. The program is part of a larger initiative by the city to create more affordable housing developments.

In addition to the Jefferson Verdant project with the McKinney Public Facilities Corporation, the McKinney Housing Finance Corporation is also participating in two other public-private partnerships, including:
  • The Independence, a 204-unit project on Collin McKinney Parkway
  • Palladium McKinney, a 172-unit project under construction on Virginia Parkway
City staff plan to issue a request for qualifications this summer to find a partnership for another affordable housing co-development that would begin in 2025, according to the presentation.

Learn more

For more information about housing initiatives by the city of McKinney, visit www.mckinneytexas.org/233/housing-services.