Frisco residents question city's support for low-income housing

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by SHELLY SLATER / WFAA-TV

Bio | Email | Follow: @wfaashelly

wfaa.com

Posted on February 17, 2010 at 8:06 PM

Updated Wednesday, Feb 17 at 10:16 PM

FRISCO — There were some tense moments at Tuesday night's Frisco City Council meeting. At issue: Section 8 housing.

Council members voted 4-1 to support two new affordable housing projects: One to be built along Stonebrook Parkway at Crestline Circle; the other at Sunset Drive and McKinney Road.

They would be the city's first concentrated areas of low-income housing.

A watchdog group — Frisco Citizens Opposed to Unreasonable Development — has been formed to police each step of the proposal.

"I don't know of any improvements any Section 8 housing has ever brought to any city, so I'm extremely discouraged in that regard," said one woman who addressed Council members Tuesday in opposition to the plan.

The City Council meeting was heated, with two hours of complaints from homeowners. Only two people spoke in favor of the housing plan — both were developers.

"I really don't want to see the neighborhood start getting depressed," another woman told the Council. "We're already depressed in the neighborhood just knowing about it."

News 8 checked with neighboring Plano and McKinney housing authorities; both report that since adding Section 8 housing in their cities, they haven't seen increases in crime.

Yet both cities admit that statistic can be hard to track, considering that Section 8 homeowners only get vouchers from the city, and then chose where to live, meaning that subsidized housing is spread out around the cities.

But if Frisco moves forward with the Inclusive Communities Project, or ICP, low-income residents would be more concentrated in isolated areas.

"If Frisco had not negotiated the agreement with ICP, then the likely outcome would have been a federal lawsuit filed against Frisco by ICP, as it did against both McKinney and Flower Mound," said Frisco City Manager George Purefoy.

"We are letting the threat of a lawsuit — somebody that's not elected — determine what happens in the City of Frisco," said a resident addressing the Council Tuesday night. "I don't mind paying more taxes to fight something like this."

E-mail sslater@wfaa.com

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