State Agencies Undergo Sunset Review Process – Housing and Community Affairs
Over the last few months, I have been outlining Texas’ sunset review process. The agencies I have covered include the Railroad Commission of Texas, State Commission on Judicial Conduct, the Texas Pension Review Board, Correctional Managed Health Care Committee, the Department of Information Resources and numerous others. As a reminder, in order to identify and eliminate government waste, duplication and general inefficiencies in state agencies, the Texas Legislature established the Texas Sunset Advisory Commission in 1977. The sunset review process is designed to review each of these agencies every twelve years. This review is done by taking up a certain number of the state agencies each session when the Texas Legislature convenes.
In my last article covering the sunset process, we examined the State Employee Charitable Campaign Policy Committee which is tasked with overseeing the state employee’s charitable campaign. Since its creation in 1993 and first campaign in 1994 the State Employee Charitable Campaign Policy Committee has helped state employees donate millions of dollars to charities throughout the State of Texas. In this week’s article, we are going to review the Texas Department of Housing and Community Affairs which is currently under a partial sunset review process.
In 2010, the Texas Department of Housing and Community Affairs underwent a full sunset review. As a result of the agencies full sunset review, the Sunset Commission and its staff made a number of recommendations to improve the agency. Many of those recommendations were addressed in 2011 during the 82nd Texas Legislature with the passage of House Bill 2608. The bill however, did not make it off the Texas Governor’s desk with a signature signaling its passage, instead it was vetoed due to the Governor’s concerns over language in the bill pertaining to the agency’s disaster recovery functions. During a Special Legislative Session, the Texas Legislature made changes to the agency’s disaster recovery functions and extended the agency’s existence for another two years leading up to the 83rd Legislative Session. In addition to those changes and extension of the agency’s existence, the staff of the Sunset Commission was directed to do a partial review of the agency before the 83rd Legislative Session begins.
Texas Department of Housing and Community Affairs outlines its mission on their website as follows; “to help Texans achieve an improved quality of life through the development of better communities.” One of the ways the Texas Department of Housing and Community Affairs works to achieve its mission is by acting as a conduit for Texas residents with federal grant funds, which are established for housing and community services. In addition to acting as a conduit to federal grants, the agency also acts as a housing finance agency due to the need for the participation of private investors and private lenders to access the several of the major housing programs.
If you are interested in learning more about the Texas Department of Housing and Community Affairs, you can go to their website at https://www.tdhca.state.tx.us/.
Some of the other agencies we will review in the upcoming weeks include the Public Utilities Commission, Procurement and Support Services Division of the Comptroller of Public Accounts and a the Windham School District within Texas Department of Criminal Justice which are also currently going through a partial sunset review process.
If you would like to learn more on your own about the Sunset Advisory Commission or other agencies undergoing the sunset review process, you can go to www.sunset.state.tx.us .