Waco to Expand Down-Payment Assistance Program - Texas Scorecard

Waco City Housing and Economic Development Director Melett Harrison has proposed expanding the city’s maximum down-payment assistance from $14,999 to $25,000. This assistance is offered in the form of a forgivable loan, which is fully-funded by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.

Harrison cites rapidly increasing home prices as the reason for proposing the maximum assistance increase, and claims that the increase would have no impact on Waco’s budget because the tab would be picked up by the federal government.

But regardless of which governmental entity cuts the check, every dollar spent comes from the same already overburdened wallet. And local officials in Waco shouldn’t bilk taxpayers to expand a wealth redistribution scheme just because they can.

This program, and others like it, are often pitched as policies geared towards economic development and ensuring financial independence for the poor. Despite this gilded facade, programs like this are little more than socialistic redistribution policies outside the scope of fiscally responsible government.

In a culturally and politically conservative place like Waco, where socialism is about as popular as Mr. Pibb, local officials should not mislead the public into accepting liberal policies by pretending it won’t affect their taxes. Waco taxpayers still pay for this program through their federal income taxes.

The truth of the matter is that this down-payment assistance increase does have an impact on Waco taxpayers, despite what Director Harrison said to the contrary. Harrison, like many local officials, is more than willing to spend copious amounts of money on improper programs such as this so long as the federal government is willing to pick up the tab.

Waco’s citizens deserve and should demand better.