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Mayoral candidate Israel shares housing platform

Friday, June 3, 2022 by Jonathan Lee

Mayoral candidate and state Rep. Celia Israel released her plan to make housing more affordable at a press conference Thursday, saying, “This election is about who can afford to live in Austin, and who gets to decide.” Israel, who throughout her speech referred to rising housing costs as a “crisis,” has six overarching goals: expedite permitting and review for two- to 12-unit buildings; build more affordable housing on city-owned land; increase density and reduce parking requirements along transit lines and major streets; make accessory dwelling units easier to build and encourage preservation of existing homes so seniors can age in place; provide relief for renters with rental assistance, tenant protections and more housing supply; and overhaul the permitting process. “The spirit of Austin is defined in many different ways, by many different people, but the spirit of Austin is fading,” Israel said. “And it will fade completely if we don’t move forward with urgency on more kinds of housing for more kinds of people.” Other declared candidates in the mayor’s race include former Mayor Kirk Watson and Jennifer Virden.

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