$6.5B affordable housing plan to be discussed at Austin council meeting

Capitol Studios apartment (KXAN photo)
Capitol Studios apartment (KXAN photo)

AUSTIN (KXAN) — Austin city leaders say they have a new plan to help you find affordable rentals or the chance to buy a home and they want to hear from you Thursday during a public hearing at City Hall.

The Strategic Housing Plan covers about 60,000 homes and apartments over the next 10 years with a $6.5 billion price tag. It’s possible your taxes could wind up covering part of it.

City planners say this is a very ambitious goal and say it could benefit about 120,000 people.

Essentially, it sets goals for affordable housing in Austin like the Capitol Studios off east 11th street downtown where rent runs between $400 and $600 per month.

Under the plan, the proposed units would offer both rental and ownership opportunities for those making less than $25,000 a year. A proposed program would also offer those making less than $93,000 per year a chance to purchase an affordable property.

City officials say this Strategic Housing Plan is the first of its kind because it doesn’t just focus on how federal dollars are spent to finance these projects – it looks at other revenue sources like providing developers incentives like a taller building if they are willing to offer more units as affordable or using property tax revenue to finance projects.

They also say another bond election will be part of the plan – but that amount hasn’t been determined.

This plan also requires each council district to offer 10 percent of it’s rental housing as affordable, meaning it won’t just be the east side that has affordable units.

“We haven’t had those goals of geographic dispersion to have affordable housing throughout the city before so that’s something else that’s new with the plan,” said Austin’s Neighborhood Planning Manager, Erica Leak.

Council’s public hearing happens at 4 p.m. They are expected to vote on it next week after getting your feedback.

KXAN.com provides commenting to allow for constructive discussion on the stories we cover. In order to comment here, you acknowledge you have read and agreed to our Terms of Service. Users who violate these terms, including use of vulgar language or racial slurs, will be banned. If you see an inappropriate comment, please flag it for our moderators to review.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s