Texas Southern University is set to receive a $1 million research grant from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development in an effort to support housing and community development research at historically black colleges and universities.
The grant money will be used to establish a Center of Excellence for research on affordable housing and economic developments intended benefit low-income communities throughout Texas’ largest cities, according to a press release.
“HUD is proud to forge new partnerships with academia to build on research and innovation that will better inform the housing and community development needs of historically underserved communities,” said HUD Secretary Marcia L. Fudge.
The new research center will join TSU’s Urban Resource and Research Center — a research institute that studies public education reform, criminal justice reform, the history of African-Americans in Houston, urban resources, and housing and community development.
TSU is joined by Howard University in Washington D.C., which was awarded $4.5 million by the federal agency to establish its own Center of Excellence.
The news comes as lawmakers face continued scrutiny from advocacy groups for the lack of funding that goes towards HBCUs.
In March, President Joe Biden proposed giving $55 billion to HBCUs and Minority Serving Institutions for research and development through the administration’s American Jobs Plan, but the proposed grant funding was recently cut down to only $2 billion, according to reporting from the Washington Post.
HBCUs in Texas, like TSU and Prairie View A&M, have historically been underfunded compared to other state universities, according to reporting from KERA.
In 2019, Texas invested $16,472 per full-time student at UT-Austin, whereas Prairie View A&M and Texas Southern received $11,550 and $10,079, respectively.