Housing is expensive and it’s not about ‘price,’ says a Tulsa lawyer
Tulsas top lawyer, David A. Parnell, is on the verge of launching a court challenge against the state of Texas’ requirement that all new apartments built on public lands be priced in proportion to their location.
Parnell said in an interview with The American Conservatives that the issue of housing affordability is becoming a major political issue in the state, where Gov.
Greg Abbott has signed a law requiring new housing units to be priced at about the same cost as those built on privately owned land.
“It’s been a long time coming,” Parnelli said of the issue, adding that he believes the new law is an infringement on the right to build affordable housing on public land.
In a statement issued this week, the Texas attorney general’s office said it is reviewing the challenge filed by Parnells legal team and has not yet determined whether it will take the matter to court.
“We do not have a timetable for when the litigation will be resolved,” said Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton.
“We are committed to protecting the right of Texans to own and develop land and have been working to make that happen since 2017.”
A few months ago, the state and local governments in Tulsawas largest city, Tulsa, passed a law that requires the developers of new housing on privately-owned lands to provide affordable housing.
It also requires developers to provide at least 1,000 square feet of living space and provide the state with at least 200 square feet for utilities.
The law was passed to protect Tulsans historic downtown, where the state legislature has been debating a $2.8 billion highway and rail project, as well as a $5 billion convention center expansion.
It was also designed to make the state a more attractive place to live, with a state-funded transit system, the highest income tax rate in the country, and a higher minimum wage than other states.
But Parnel and other local officials say the new requirements do not go far enough to protect residents of historic buildings.
The legislation requires developers of apartments built after 2020 to provide 1,500 square feet and the state to provide 100 square feet, respectively.
The law requires developers and owners of existing buildings to provide 50 square feet per unit, and the average price of a unit in the city’s oldest downtown area has jumped by more than 50 percent since 2017.
The Tulsan legislation is part of a broader effort by Texas Gov.
Rick Perry to encourage developers to build on public property and is likely to have an impact on future housing development.
The governor has pushed for new housing projects to include more affordable units and to include a “housing first” policy, which means developers are required to build units that will be available for people to rent.
But some developers are concerned that the new laws will cause them to lose their market value.
A group of developers, led by Pernell’s law firm, the Parnels, are currently seeking to have the Texas Legislature amend the bill so that the developers are entitled to receive a 20 percent discount on any price increase.
In its response to Parnelle’s suit, the Tulsalas attorney general said that while the legislation “is intended to protect historic property owners from market manipulation by local governments,” the law does not prevent a developer from changing the price of an apartment to reflect market conditions.
The attorney general also pointed out that the Tulslawas law does “not restrict the ability of developers to sell their units for the lowest possible price.”
In a letter to Pernelle’s lawyers on Friday, the attorneys general of Alaska, Florida, Louisiana, North Dakota, South Dakota, Texas and Utah wrote that the laws in their states require the developers to develop units that “offer sufficient affordable housing and utility options.”
“The law should not be interpreted to permit developers to offer a lower price for a particular building or property,” the letter said.
“The bill has no such intent.
The intent is to protect property owners and developers from market manipulations by local government and to prevent any such manipulation.”
A spokeswoman for Gov.
Perry’s office did not immediately respond to a request for comment.