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Austin City Council passes resolution to explore affordable housing program enhancements

While the resolution didn't include any final improvements, it offered several potential suggestions.

AUSTIN, Texas — The Austin City Council on Thursday approved a resolution that looks to improve affordable housing programs and projects funded by the City. 

Item 87 on the council's agenda directs the city manager to conduct a stakeholder process to "explore potential enhancements to affordable housing programs and additional community benefits required of affordable housing projects funded by the City." 

With the resolution's approval, the council is looking to "maximize affordability and good-paying jobs in affordable housing projects funded by the city." 

The resolution states that potential enhancements could include:

  • Strengthened affordability protections, like rent stabilization and longer affordability terms
  • Home repairs for mobile homes as allowed by law
  • New creative solutions for preserving more existing affordable housing
  • Worker rights for construction workers, such as a living wage, health care, workers' compensation and more

Monica Guzmán with Go! Austin/Vamos! Austin spoke during the Council's public comment portion of the meeting. She shared concerns about the resolution and who would be involved in the process of improving affordable housing projects. 

"We are concerned about this directive. Who are the stakeholders? How are you defining stakeholder? What is the ultimate goal? Will you include residents facing or who have experienced gentrification and or displacement," she questioned during the meeting.

The council's move to assess and potentially improve affordable housing programs comes as Austin voters are set to decide on a $350 million affordable housing bond this November. 

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