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Many low-income families and persons experiencing homelessness have debt to the utility companies, which are now barriers to their ability to securing housing. Would you support increasing debt forgiveness programs for 3-4 years to help more people access housing? (Y/N/Explain)

Rich DePalma

City Council, District 8

Debt is one of the most systemic attributes of poverty. We should do more with our city owned utility while working with our non-profit partners to create a better debt forgiveness and financial rehabilitation program. We need to eliminate barriers to housing and jobs for our most vulnerable neighbors. As cost of living and rents in Austin have so rapidly increased, I believe that utility-bill relief can offer renters and those who need it most, financial assistance to offset other rising costs that do not have amnesty programs.