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What policies will you advocate to accommodate and welcome the full abundance and diversity of people who aspire to live in Austin’s neighborhoods?

Danielle Skidmore

City Council, District 9

I support the Affordable Housing bond proposal and more workforce housing in District 9. Workforce housing should include more multifamily housing: condos, townhouses, apartments, etc. I suggest three ways to help address the housing shortage: We must look at publicly owned land in District 9 being underutilized, create partnerships with local nonprofits (Affordable Central Texas, Habitat for Humanity, Foundation Communities, and community development corporations like Clarksville CDC), and we must ensure current tenants are able to stay in their homes. In order to do this, we need to expand the availability of ADUs (accessory dwelling units—think garage apartments) across District 9; the incumbent in our race has consistently voted against this effort to create more affordable units throughout the city.

We must also build a greater diversity of market rate housing options in our neighborhoods. This includes more duplexes, triplexes, and other “”missing middle”” choices that are nearly impossible to build in many parts of Austin. These housing options can absolutely be constructed at a neighborhood scale, so that the character of the communities is not only maintained, but improved by increasing the diversity of residents.

In addition to housing supply, we can protect vulnerable tenants by strengthening public information campaigns run through BASTA to notify residents of tenants’ rights. Housing access not only means bringing new people into new housing, but helping current tenants navigate and exercise their rights. I recommend reviewing a blog post my team recently put out on converting underutilized city-owned land into real affordable housing here: https://www.danielleforall.com/blog/turf-underfoot-roofs-over-heads