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Click here for the full text of this decision Housing Authority of the City of El Paso v. City of El Paso, El Paso Court of Appeals, No. 08-03-00376-CV, 04-08-2004. FACTS:The City of El Paso’s housing authority entered into a low-income housing tax credit project to construct town homes in western El Paso. Six months later, a city representative sent a letter to the Texas Department of Housing and Community Affairs complaining of the project. He said the project would result in clustering of low-income housing, and that the housing authority did not follow the proper bidding procedures. The representative put the matter on the next city council meeting agenda, and the city council adopted a resolution opposing the project. Nevertheless, the TDHCA approved the project and granted tax credits. The city council passed another resolution a month later, on July 22, 2003. The resolution sought to increase the number of commissioners on the housing authority from five to 11 members. Pursuant to the resolution, the mayor sought to appoint six additional commissioners to add to the authority and begin serving their terms immediately. The housing project’s developers filed suit to prevent the increase in the size of the authority. The housing authority itself intervened and requested a temporary restraining order against the city and the mayor. The trial court granted the TRO, but later dissolved it, and denied a temporary injunction. In this accelerated interlocutory appeal, the housing authority argues: 1. the trial court misapplied the law governing the number of commissioners to be appointed to the governing board of the housing authority; 2. the housing authority is an independent body whose governing board of commissioners may be increased in number only if the board amends its by-laws to authorize such an increase; and 3. an increase in the number of the housing authority board of commissioners will cause probable, imminent, or irreparable injury to the housing authority if the increase is unauthorized by law. HOLDING:Reversed and remanded with instructions to enter the temporary injunction. The court finds that the housing authority was originally established in 1938 with five members. The court also finds that Local Government Code �392.031 does indeed permit five-member boards to be increased to seven, nine or 11 members. However, the court also points out that the statute also stated that the appointments necessary to increase board sizes should be made as soon as practicable after the effective date of this act, which was Sept. 1, 1999. The court agrees with the housing authority that this section envisions that board augmentation will occur within a reasonable time, not, as the city contends some time within a limitless period. “The challenged resolution was passed by the City Council on July 22, 2003. Three mayors and three years and nine months later is not ‘as soon as practicable’ as a matter of law. It is self-evident that while the Legislature provided an opportunity for municipalities to increase the board size of their housing authorities, it provided only a relatively brief window of opportunity in which to do so — an implicit protection of the independence of such boards.” OPINION:Chew, J.; Barajas, C.J., Larsen and Chew, JJ.

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