Killeen Mayor Suggests Solution Amidst Housing Authority Crisis

Killeen, TX – October 11, 2023
Killeen Mayor Debbie Nash-King has declared the situation at the Killeen Housing Authority a “crisis” and has proposed a solution. The crisis stems from severe staffing issues following a mass staff and director resignation in September, causing problems for landlords and tenants who rely on Section 8 housing vouchers from HUD for rent payment.
Mayor Nash-King was quick to clarify that she lacks the authority to oversee the daily operations of KHA, which operates independently of the city of Killeen. However, she revealed her recommendation to the Killeen Daily Herald in an attempt to provide a potential resolution to the issue.
Nash-King proposed the possibility of the Central Texas Council of Governments’ (CTCOG) housing program taking over the Section 8 clientele currently under the purview of KHA. In her proposal, CTCOG would reimburse KHA for every voucher distributed to individuals, allowing for a fresh start.
Mayor Nash-King, despite her limited influence over KHA, recommended a solution to prevent evictions and ensure landlords get paid. She also reiterated the KHA representative’s statement that tenants with KHA contracts cannot be evicted if KHA fails to meet their rent obligations.
Nash-King disclosed that she had discussions with Jim Reed of the Central Texas Council of Governments (CTCOG) about her proposal. Reed, in response to the crisis, stated, “When we saw the articles about the KHA and we started getting phone calls from some of the landlords… We started kind of brainstorming how we might be able to help.”
Reed explained that the KHA housing program comprises two components: the project or tenancy-based housing, which includes the complexes they operate, and the Section 8 voucher program. With over 200 clients in the Section 8 housing program, CTCOG considered ways to assist after learning about KHA’s issues through recent news coverage.
Reed elaborated, “Nobody wants people out on the street. We happen to find ourselves with an excess of HUD funding right now.” He pointed out that CTCOG has the capacity to port Section 8 cases, meaning they could potentially take over the Section 8 program as a solution.
Furthermore, Reed emphasized that KHA is not yet aligned with this proposal. The primary challenge facing KHA at this moment is funding. He suggested that CTCOG could absorb all individuals in the Section 8 housing program, alleviating pressure on KHA.
Reed emphasized the complexities of the financial system but expressed confidence in the ability to stabilize the situation for both tenants and landlords moving forward.
Nash-King’s involvement in addressing the crisis, despite her limited authority over KHA, was praised by Reed. “But as the mayor of Killeen, she has legitimate concerns about people who might be facing a housing challenge… She’s always been about solutions.”
Mayor Nash-King is committed to resolving the KHA issue and postponed her trip to a conference in Washington, D.C., to address the situation. She expressed concern for residents’ stress over rent and emphasized the importance of maintaining good relationships with landlords who have mortgages to pay.
As Killeen grapples with the KHA housing crisis, Nash-King’s proposed solution offers hope for those affected, demonstrating a commitment to finding a way forward amid these challenging times. The Killeen Housing Authority’s response to this recommendation remains to be seen, but the community is looking for resolution and stability in the face of adversity.
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