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Texas representative files bills to regulate corporate homebuyers

Rep. Gina Hinojosa filed two bills she says would help "level the playing field" for Texans looking to buy a home.

AUSTIN, Texas — The Central Texas housing market has cooled off but affordability is still a problem. 

Some experts blame companies and investment firms that come in and buy houses to rent them out. New moves at the Texas Capitol aim to change that. 

Texas State Rep. Gina Hinojosa told the Dallas Observer that financial institutions are the single largest buyer of middle-income housing in Travis County. So, she filed two bills that she said would level the playing field.

HB 1056 would require banks or investment firms that lease homes to register with the comptroller's office. The comptroller's office would then compile and maintain that information in a searchable registry on its website. That's in an attempt to create more transparency about those firms. This bill would take effect on Jan. 1, 2024, if it's approved.

HB 1057 would prohibit investment firms from buying up single-family homes until after they have been on the market for 30 days. This bill would take effect on Sept. 1, 2023, if it's approved.

Rep. Hinojosa told the Dallas Observer that this legislation is an attempt to raise awareness about companies and firms buying affordable housing and to give residents a better chance to buy affordable homes.

Lawmakers will get back to work at the state capitol in less than two weeks. The 88th legislative session begins on Jan. 10. 

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