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

Vincent Harding

City Council, District 1

First and foremost, it is pivotal for City of Austin voters pass the affordable housing bonds. I will seek to address affordability by making things better by focusing on at least three factors: Housing, Income, and Infrastructure.

1) Housing – The goal of “the market” is to make money. “The market” will not voluntarily create affordable (less profitable) 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 investing public dollars and work with nonprofits and private businesses to raise money for these sorely needed developments.

Further, supply and demand economics impact housing costs. Additional housing supply will help to slow down the rate of price growth. Missing middle housing can help to provide less expensive housing options and could help to increase transit supportive density.

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 in helping people reach higher income brackets.

3) Infrastructure – Transportation and utility costs are critical aspects of affordability. Improvements to mass transit may increase car-free living, lowering the overall cost of living in Austin. Additionally, less wait times and faster commutes for mass transit will also give more time to individuals who have no option but mass transit to get around. Moreover, seeking to provide energy efficiencies in new buildings and improvements in existing homes can result in lower utility costs.