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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?

Amit Motwani

City Council, District 3

The common correct responses will all center around property tax relief, utility bill relief, affordable housing stock, and I agree with each and every one of those responses; however housing affordability goes hand-in-hand with a host of other challenges: access to education, high-quality childcare, food insecurity, access to health services, transportation to the same, rent payment support, and often case management and navigation that can bridge all of these items and efficiently solve for root causes before they cause traumatic individual and systemic economic losses that further exacerbate affordability.  In my work as Chief Information Officer at United Way for Greater Austin, I lead the analytics around social need data and strongly believe that strategic investments in coordinating the same will yield high returns and prove to be essential supports to other policy interventions (again which I unequivocally support).

To be clear: I believe that all housing and/or affordability-related policy, whether applicable to density, urbanization, affordable housing, etc MUST start with the paradigm that 1) all residents who live here have a right to stay here and 2) households must not be spending more than 30% of income on housing needs, as that is economically unsustainable.