WICHITA FALLS, Tx (RNN Texoma) - Wichita Falls is getting more affordable housing and saving the taxpayers more than $1 million.
On Tuesday morning, developers tried to convince city councilors why they should support their affordable housing project.
"We believe that by adding rooftops we can help the retail and other development around the area of Northside," one developer said.
"In the big picture that you guys have to look at economic development and my project is probably a drop in the bucket," another developer said. "But it is a step in the right direction."
It was a tough decision for many councilors, who spent weeks doing research on. But there was one pitch from the Overland Park Group they couldn't pass up.
"In exchange for being the only resolution of support, OPG will provide the funding to connect Maplewood," their developer said.
With that said, the city decided to support The Reserves II at Maplewood.
"I couldn't get past the fact that we had an opportunity to not only increase the quality of life for the drivers around that area, but we get to extend that road at the cost of the developer rather than the taxpayers," District 1 Councilor, Eric West said.
Every year developers compete for tax credits to go towards an affordable housing project. Due to the state's criteria this year, the winning project will come from Wichita Falls because Governor Greg Abbott declared Wichita County a disaster relief county.
In the past city leaders have supported all projects submitted. This year they decided to try and address two needs.
"If we were to go with these other developments and the taxpayers knew that we just passed up on saving them $1 million plus dollars, can you imagine how their attitudes toward us would be?" District 4 Councilor, Jesse Brown said.
Hundreds of people in Wichita Falls are on waiting lists for affordable housing.
Councilors will be able to help put a dent in that number and save the taxpayers nearly $1.5 million with the Overland Park Group paying for Maplewood to be extended from Lawrence Road to McNiel Avenue.
"When I make these votes, I'm not looking at it just simply for my district," Councilor West said. "I'm looking at it for the overall benefit of Wichita Falls. And I felt this decision was in the best interest of everyone in Wichita Falls."
It is now up to the state to decide what project will win. However, developers said this project will be nearly impossible for any other project to compete.
Councilors Brown and West said it is a win-win to address both needs. Councilor West said he spent time looking into every project, the state's credentials for the project and is satisfied with the decision made.