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‘Prop A’ could bring unprecedented investment in affordable housing in Austin

Wednesday, October 17, 2018 by Syeda Hasan

Austin voters will decide this November on the fate of seven bond propositions totaling $925 million. Proposition A asks voters to decide on a $250 million bond for affordable housing.

If approved, the proposition would provide money for the city to build, repair and maintain existing affordable housing throughout Austin. Here’s the breakdown of how that money potentially would be spent:

  • $100 million for land acquisition: The city would use this money to buy and hold land that would ultimately be used to build new affordable housing. The land may be developed by the city’s Austin Housing Finance Corporation, nonprofits or private affordable housing developers.
  • $94 million for rental housing development assistance projects: This money would go toward a program that improves and maintains existing rental housing, as well as adding new affordable rental units.
  • $28 million for the Acquisition & Development Homeownership Program: This money would fund a program to help residents who meet certain income requirements find a home they can afford.
  • $28 million for a home repair program: This money would go toward completing minor home repairs throughout the city for residents who make below a certain income.

The affordable housing bond was championed by Council members Pio Renteria, Delia Garza and Greg Casar as part of what they call the Housing Justice Agenda, a set of policies that support affordable housing. The $250 million proposition is larger than any housing bond Austin voters have approved in the past.

Here’s the language you’ll see for Proposition A on the November ballot:

The issuance of $250,000,000 in tax supported general obligation bonds and notes for planning, constructing, renovating, improving, and equipping affordable housing facilities for low income and moderate income persons and families, and acquiring land and interests in land and property necessary to do so, funding loans and grants for affordable housing, and funding affordable housing programs, as may be permitted by law; and the levy of a tax sufficient to pay for the bonds and notes.

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This story was produced as part of the Austin Monitor’s reporting partnership with KUT. Photo by Gabriel C. Pérez/KUT.

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