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How will you help address the affordability problems in Austin?

Vincent Harding

City Council, District 1

I will seek to address affordability in at least few main ways: Income, Housing, and Infrastructure.

  1. Housing – The goal of the “market” is to make money and will not voluntarily create affordable housing without any sort of incentive. Thus, local government entities must use the budget and bonds to build both “affordable” and low-income housing. By using leverage, these dollars can be maximized to provide housing for more people. Additionally, working with nonprofits and private businesses to build affordable and low-income housing is a key component. Further, supply and demand economics impact housing costs. Additional housing supply will help to slow down the rate of increase pricing then if no additional housing was built.
  2. Income – I want to help people make more money through job education and training programs at low cost to no cost. This combined with low cost to no cost childcare is pivotal. Middle skill jobs are a type of job that can help people make more money in less time and cost than it would take to obtain a 4-year college degree.
  3. Infrastructure – Transportation costs and utility costs are aspects of affordability. Increased investment in the transportation experience and efficiencies may result in fewer trips by car resulting in less wear and tear, less gas, and less pollution to the environment. Significant improvements to mass transit may result in some people deciding not to forsake buying new cars and lowering costs to move around. Utility costs are another driving force. Maintaining lower lifeline rates are important. Additionally, seeking to provide energy efficiencies in homes from better infrastructure on new builds to improvements in existing homes can result in lower utility costs.