We must take strong, bold action to address the affordability crisis Austin is experiencing. To address Austin’s affordability problems as mayor, I will:
- Take immediate action to retain existing market-affordable housing and stem the displacements of residents including actions proposed in the “People’s Plan.”
- Begin a community-based planning initiative to put an equitable share of affordable housing in every City Council District.
- Initiate code amendments to provide “missing middle” housing options so these tools are available for the above-described planning efforts.
- Revise current affordable housing provisions to strengthen and simplify density bonus programs.
- Create a feasible funding plan to support the construction of affordable units, including the use of public land, bond money, TIFs and other funding mechanisms.
- Establish Community Land Trusts (CLTs) by placing city property in a land trust reserved for affordable housing or other critical public needs, and encourage other local governmental entities, including AISD, Cap Metro and Travis County, to take similar actions.
- Establish a land-banking program to allow government entities or nonprofits to acquire land with the purpose of developing affordable or workforce housing.
- Implement a commercial fee-in-lieu density bonus program to provide additional resources for affordable housing construction.
- Consider Tax Increment Financing as an effective tool to direct more funds to affordable housing, particularly in rapidly gentrifying areas where new development is pushing out low- income residents or in high-opportunity locations that do not yet have affordable housing.