,  Austin Chamber of Commerce View All Reponses >>

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)

Bobby Levinski

City Council, District 8

Yes; while working for MPT Tovo, I helped revise our CAF program at Austin Energy to provide more flexible payment plans and reduce late fees for low-income families struggling to pay their bills. This program is both moral but also fiscally prudent for the utility as a means of capturing otherwise lost revenue. There are a couple other tweaks to this program/AE billing that Iā€™d like to pursue, including reducing the downpayment and reconnect fees, which also act as a barrier to housing and a very onerous burden to already high costs of moving/renting.