El Paso, TX (KDBC) — Fireworks erupted during this morning's county commissioner meeting as former State Representative Inocente “Cente” Quintanilla attacked Commissioner Vince Perez and County Judge Veronica Escobar for supporting House Bill 2975 which allows the city and county housing authorities to merge.
Perez and Escobar said the merger will allow them to help more local residents who need access to affordable housing. The move for county officials to allow the city to absorb their housing authority is rare but Perez says it's necessary.
"We're looking out for the taxpayer and providing higher level of service. You know this is a duplication of service. Do we really two housing authorities when one of them is just an 80-unit complex?,” Vince Perez, County Commissioner of Precinct 3 said.
"I intend to start meeting with people in the community and going to their meetings,” Former State Rep. Inocente Quintanilla explained.
"Right now, if you're in public housing and you're in Fabens, you have to stay in Fabens. If you have disabilities, if you need to be closer to a hospital, or something like that…Right now you can move into the city, right, to do that. If without the merger, you will not be able to do so,” Gerald Cichon, CEO of the Housing Authority of the City of El Paso explained.
The plan was just introduced Monday. Perez says this merger would also allow authorities to take advantage of rural funding for areas outside of cities.