A house under repair on Griggs Avenue has building materials scattered around the front of the property. A toilet sits outside, windows are covered and a truck with a flat tire is parked in the driveway of the home in southeast Fort Worth.

On her campaign filing and other documents, this is the home where Fort Worth ISD school board candidate Valeria Nevárez, 22, says she lives with her family.

Nevárez is running against District 3 incumbent Quinton Phillips and Mar’Tayshia James in the May 6 school board election. 

After receiving calls and emails questioning where Nevarez lives, the Fort Worth Report found multiple addresses associated with her during routine background checks on candidates.

Permits and deeds indicate her parents, Humberto and Trinidad Nevárez, have owned the house at 3744 Griggs Ave. for at least eight months, and it appears to be undergoing renovations.

To run for the Fort Worth school board, a candidate must have lived in the district where they are running for six months before the filing deadline, according to board policy and state law.

Her family owns several properties they rent out to tenants, Nevárez said, and she’s proud to work in the family business. Her parents own Ramos Renovations, LLC, according to Texas Secretary of State records.

“We are living there,” Nevárez said about the Griggs Avenue house. “It is under construction. We are fixing the outside. We added like three rooms to it. It’s been a tedious process.”

The Tarrant Appraisal District lists the primary residence for Humberto and Trinidad Nevárez as 10100 Jacksboro Highway No. 32, near the Fort Worth Nature Center & Refuge. The Jacksboro Highway address is a business address, Nevárez said. It’s part of a mobile home park and the family rents properties there.

The Griggs Avenue house does not have a homestead exemption, according to the Tarrant Appraisal District. In Texas, state law allows homeowners to claim a house as a primary residence for tax breaks, also known as a homestead exemption.

Humberto and Trinidad  Nevárez obtained the deed for the Griggs Avenue home in July 2022. The house’s appraised value is $6,800, TAD documents show.

Also in July 2022, the city started issuing permits for the Griggs address. Just days after the deed was transferred, a permit for residential remodel construction was issued. In October 2022, permits for mechanical, plumbing and electrical work were issued.

Valeria Nevárez received two Paycheck Protection Program loans totaling just under $3,500 in 2021, which are federal funds to help small businesses pay workers during the COVID-19 pandemic. The Jacksboro Highway address is associated with those loans.

Who can run in a single-member district?

Candidates who wish to run in Fort Worth ISD must live in the district they seek to represent. In the April 2022 school board race, a candidate’s residency was called into question in Fort Worth ISD.

In the city race, residency is called into question for District 5 candidate William McKinley Jackson. The candidate has two different addresses on official documents. Police records show the house was uninhabitable on Feb. 27 because of a shooting.

Though residency requirements are made clear in election law, the enforcement of those requirements and accountability are murky. 

In most cases, seeking accountability for a candidate’s true residency would require a lawsuit, an expert told the Report.

Kristen Barton is an education reporter for the Fort Worth Report. Contact her at kristen.barton@fortworthreport.org. At the Fort Worth Report, news decisions are made independently of our board members and financial supporters. Read more about our editorial independence policy here. 

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Kristen BartonEducation Reporter

Kristen Barton is an education reporter for the Fort Worth Report. She has previous experience in education reporting for her hometown paper, the Longview News-Journal and her college paper, The Daily...