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Council adopted the Strategic Housing Blueprint last year, calling for 13,500 new units annually over 10 years. This gets us to break-even in terms of need. Would you support amending the City’s proposed Strategic Housing Plan to increase the number to at least 15,000 housing units per year for 10 years, keeping the breakout across income levels and including permanent supportive housing for those chronically experiencing homelessness? (Y/N; Explain)

Mariana Salazar

City Council, District 1

Yes, I would support amending the Strategic Housing Plan to add to the housing goal. We currently have an employment boom in many sectors attracting many new people to Austin, and we need to mitigate the housing shortage we have. I believe our city’s top priority to address the housing shortage should be creating new housing, by investing city funds to preserve, build and create more subsidized housing opportunities for our low-income residents and families and by allowing the market to build new different sized units targeted to different income levels and different household sizes. Even though they are becoming more scarce, one can still find market-rate rental units that may be attainable for persons at 60% or 80% of the Median family income, but we don’t have any units that are available to people at or below 30% MFI who may be experiencing chronic homelessness. Therefore, we need to prioritize the creation of housing opportunities for this segment of the population. If you look at a map of where affordable housing is located in our city, one can see most of it is located east of MOPAC. As a city council member, I will work with others to make sure that housing options and affordable housing is equitably distributed throughout the city.