Sweeping new fair and affordable housing proposed by three Austin City Council members

Austin City Council members Garza, Renteria, and Casar have announced a sweeping progressive fair and affordable housing agenda.

Here is the outline of the proposal…

HOUSING JUSTICE AGENDA

Council Members Garza, Renteria, and Casar represent the three lowest income Austin City Council districts, and they have been working together on housing issues since the beginning of the 10‐1 Council system. The Housing Justice Agenda includes seven initiatives that could be enacted in the next year.

Combined, these initiatives are a comprehensive approach to address affordability, displacement, and segregation in Austin by increasing affordable housing funding, strengthening renter and homeowner rights, and prioritizing fair housing and affordability in the zoning code.

I. 2018 HOUSING BOND

Approve a $250‐300 million housing bond to be on the November 2018 bond election. Approve a major bond to prevent people from being flooded out of their homes.

II. RENTER PROTECTIONS

Move forward with requiring developers to pay for tenants’ relocation costs when they displace tenants. Require good cause eviction protections and Section 8 vouchers to be accepted in all units in city incentive programs.

III. AFFORDABILITY MULTIPLIER

Develop an Affordability Multiplier Program using TIFs and tax abatements to buy down the affordability in density bonus and SMART housing units. Use TIFs and tax abatements to create more affordable housing along Mobility Corridors and in HPDs. The City should work with other taxing jurisdictions to deepen affordability.

IV. HOUSING PRIORITY LIST

Create a list of low‐income households in need of affordable housing, including tenants with Section 8 vouchers, to prioritize for density bonus and subsidized housing. Collaborate with HACA, Austin Public Health, and other social service providers to direct clients to the Priority List.

V. LOW INCOME HOUSING IN EVERY DISTRICT

Each Council Member should aggressively pursue the creation of affordable housing in their own district. Council Member Garza is pursuing affordable housing as an option on the city owned land on Winnebago Ln, Renteria at Levander Loop, and Casar at the St. John property.

VI. HOMEOWNER PROTECTIONS

Educate low and moderate income homeowners on how to protect themselves from fraud and exploitation from predatory home investors and lenders.

VII. FAIR HOUSING & AFFORDABILITY IN CODENEXT

  • DENSITY BONUS EXPANSION – Create the potential for at least 20,000 income‐restricted units through the expanded density bonus program in CodeNEXT.
  • ANTI‐DISPLACEMENT ZONING – Zone older, affordable multi‐family properties to reflect the current structures on the property in order to mitigate demolition and displacement. Zone all mobile home parks for mobile home use.
  • AFFORDABLE CORRIDORS – Create affordable housing within 1/4th mile of all corridors.
  • SMALLER HOUSING, SMALLER LOTS – Disincentivize million dollar homes by allowing more units and smaller lots where McMansions are currently being built.
  • FAIR HOUSING CORRIDORS – Establish new Imagine Austin Corridors located west of MoPac.