,  Black Austin Democrats View All Reponses >>

Affordable housing is a major problem in Austin. Large numbers of people who work in Austin cannot afford to live in Austin. Many families are moving outside the city to find affordable housing. Do you have any ideas to help create more affordable housing or to make existing housing more affordable?

Natasha Harper-Madison

City Council, District 1

Housing affordability is partially dependent on passing a new land development code that allows for greater density and a cost of living that is spread between more people. We also need to consider innovative approaches to housing, such as co-ops and development that incorporates necessary amenities like childcare facilities. These approaches will help to alleviate housing unaffordability while increasing access to other needs. Most legacy affordable housing in Austin was built before passage of our 1984 development code. We need a new code and a simpler permitting system to legalize that kind of development again. Additional height and FAR provisions will help. We can also eliminate regulations that detract from affordability by adding to the complexity of a building, such as building articulation requirements. Near West Campus, the University Neighborhood Overlay has drastically increased housing availability. I want to explore the possibility of implementing similar systems that promote density, a vibrant streetscape, and affordable units.