What policies will you advocate to address the increasingly unaffordable housing, transportation, and utility costs that are economically segregating our neighborhoods?

Natasha Harper-Madison

City Council, District 1

A community can’t thrive unless people can afford housing, transportation, healthcare, education, and childcare.

There are many challenges that contribute to a lack of affordable housing, such as income inequality, institutional inequity, antiquated land use practices, flawed transportation infrastructure, and the need for innovation in workforce development.

Passing the affordability bond is a good start. I will also find creative approaches to affordable housing such as co-op models and communal living options while deploying tools that encourage considerate development. However, the most effective thing can do is drive housing costs lower by increasing the number of available homes in Austin. We need a new, simplified land development code that legalizes the construction of more affordable housing types like fourplexes and townhomes in all parts of our city and streamlines the permitting process.

Additionally, we need practical public transit options. Affordable housing isn’t affordable if transportation costs are too high. We also need amenities-driven development. If you create multi-family housing that includes recording studio space, or child care facilities, these will attract and cater to the tenants those amenities benefit.

My experience negotiating with developers and the community in East Austin means I am uniquely poised to get the affordable housing we need. I will advocate for both homeowners and renters, ensuring that they receive the resources they need to stay in place and welcome new neighbors without fear of displacement.