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How would you improve access to affordable housing for both renters and owners in Austin?

Susana Almanza

City Council, District 3


Create programs that encourage developers and owners to offer long (perhaps five-to-seven year) leases to tenants at all income levels who commit to staying in a property, given that predictability benefits landlords and tenants alike. Create a tax advantage account (like an individual retirement account) where the default choice would be a blended and diversified bond and equity fund. This could be used for limited purposes related to housing, such as for a down payment for a home purchase. It could be funded by rebalancing the federal subsidies so that they are targeted to households who want to become homeowners, or renters who need an emergency fund to pay their rent during a crisis. Develop a sustainable and scalable Rent-To-Own program, where a financial product that uses Federal Housing Administration or state Housing Finance Agency programs for the entity who owns the house while the occupants are renting. The mortgage would be assumable, and the landlord/owner would transfer a portion of the loan to the tenant/homebuyer when they are able to accumulate the necessary 3.5 percent down payment for the carved out rental payments and meet other underwriting criteria. The transfer would come with predictable costs to the buyer, and there would be visibility for both parties to the transaction.