Austin City Council approves ‘Affordability Unlocked’ program relaxing regulation on affordable housing

A new program voted into law by Austin City Council on May 9 aims to remove barriers to affordable housing development in the city.

A new program voted into law by Austin City Council on May 9 aims to remove barriers to affordable housing development in the city.

A program that aims to remove barriers to affordable housing throughout the city of Austin is now city law.

Austin City Council approved the program, called “Affordability Unlocked,” on May 9. The program was first introduced in February by District 4 Council Member Greg Casar.

Council spent the majority of the afternoon May 9 discussing a host of amendments to the program. Some tweaks, such as amendments from Council Member Leslie Pool to allow qualifying housing co-ops to be eligible for the program, were folded into the final plan. Other amendments, such as a proposal from Council Member Kathie Tovo that would not allow any developments in the program to rent out some of their units as short-term rental properties, were voted down.

In the end, the widely supported program passed by unanimous vote. In a tweet after the meeting adjourned, Casar said the city “just ended the rules that so often limit or prevent the existence of low income housing in all parts of Austin.”

You can find more details on the “Affordability Unlocked” program and its goals here.
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