City Council to consider possible new affordable housing bond

Possible funding solutions and information about affordable housing issues, including a potential bond, will again be brought to the Austin City Council by city staff after council unanimously approved a resolution to receive the information.

City Manager Marc Ott said at the Jan. 17 meeting that staff would report back to council on a variety of affordable housing topics while taking into account the council's past actions, including identifying up to $10 million for short-term funding opportunities as well as finding long-term opportunities through the state's Housing Trust Fund.

"Of course, we'd work with our housing department to once again assess need and the range of affordable housing [programs] that would be addressed by such a bond initiative and answer the questions also that are in this resolution," Ott said.

Other aspects the resolution asks the city manager to address include an update on plans for tax ratification and bond elections from other governmental jurisdictions within the city, timing and deadlines for possible bond elections, practices of other cities, and information on national and statewide approaches to affordable housing.

Councilwoman Laura Morrison said she was hesitant about some language in the resolution that directed the city manager to "take preliminary steps to authorize an election."

"I just want to make sure we don't go down the road of getting things in place for an election before we know when that election is going to be because we haven't made that decision yet," Morrison said.

Morrison, who made a few amendments to the resolution, said she wanted to make sure the resolution took into consideration other factors outside of just a possible bond.

"For me, it was important that we make sure that it's not just about 'Let's do a bond,' and that we have a broader conversation," she said.

Mayor pro tem Sheryl Cole said she felt it was important to have direction about taking preliminary steps for an election in the resolution to show the seriousness of the council's intent on the subject, but said she also understood the need to look at issue with a holistic scope.

"I think it's really important that we recognize when we're dealing with the issue of affordable housing now that there will be near-term and long-term solutions, and they're not in competition with each other," Cole said. "The city has made a deep commitment to affordable housing and we're simply looking for ways to try to honor that commitment, and at the same time recognize and respect what the voters have said."

SHARE THIS STORY


MOST RECENT

(Chance Flowers/Community Impact Newspaper)
Renting in a pandemic: How Austin tenants and landlords are proceeding amid economic fallout of coronavirus

For most Austinites, April 1 is the first rent due date since the coronavirus pandemic took hold.

ACC will offer students a pass or no-pass option for spring semester classes in response to the impact coronavirus has had on classes. (Jack Flagler/Community Impact Newspaper)
Austin Community College offers students pass or no-pass options for shortened semester

ACC will offer students a pass or no-pass option for spring semester class options in response to the impact coronavirus has had on classes.

Central Texas Food Bank will deliver free food to those in need April 4 at Nelson Field. (Courtesy Central Texas Food Bank)
Central Texas Food Bank will deliver free 28-pound food boxes April 4 at Nelson Field

The Central Texas Food Bank will hold a drive-thru food distribution April 4 at Nelson Field, located at 7105 Berkman Drive, Austin, from 9 a.m.-noon.

Sendero Health Plans announced a new measure April 1 to help its members receive tests and treatment for coronavirus. (Courtesy Adobe Stock Photos)
Sendero Health Plans waives all costs for coronavirus testing and treatment for members

Sendero Health Plans announced a new measure April 1 to help its members receive tests and treatment for coronavirus.

A photo of a census mailer laid out on the American flag
Travis County encourages community response on census day as outreach efforts go virtual

With in-person census outreach postponed, Travis County encourages residents to self-respond as soon as possible.

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott discusses measures to slow the spread of the coronavirus. 



Dr. John Hellerstedt, commissioner of the Texas Department of State Health Services (left) and Gov. Greg Abbott addressed the media from the Texas Capitol on March 13. (Brian Rash/Community Impact Newspaper)
STATS: Texas reports 3,997 cases and 58 deaths to start April

More than half of the state’s 254 counties have reported at least one case.

Dogs Around Austin will open soon in East Austin, providing  boarding, training, daycare, pet photography and social media consulting. (Courtesy Dogs Around Austin)
East Austin business updates: Dear Diary Coffeehouse, Dogs Around Austin and new restaurant from Suerte team among openings coming soon

Target recently opened its store in the Plaza Saltillo development and Drop Kick, a cocktail bar and restaurant, is open for delivery and take-out orders on East Sixth Street.

Texas Tribune: Some local elections in Texas moving ahead despite coronavirus spread

A handful of towns and special districts still plan to go ahead with their May 2 votes, arranging polling places despite calls from the president on down directing people to stay at home to prevent the spread of the deadly virus.

Austin ISD announced March 31 that its school campuses would continue to be closed until at least May 4. (Nicholas Cicale/Community Impact Newspaper)
Coronavirus update: Austin ISD school campuses to remain closed through May 4

Austin ISD announced March 31 that its school campuses would continue to be closed until at least May 4.

Austin garbage and recycling containers
Austin launches smartphone app for trash, recycling pickup information

Austin residents can now view curbside waste pickup schedules on their phones.

Lake Travis Fire Rescue is one of hundreds of emergency service districts serving millions of Texas residents across the state. Firefighters, EMTs and medical professionals said they are concerned about the availability of personal protective equipment as the coronavirus public health crisis continues. (Brian Rash/Community Impact Newspaper)
First responders, medical professionals across Texas worry about inadequate personal protective equipment supplies

In a survey of emergency service districts across the state, two-thirds of respondents said they were concerned about a shortage of equipment such as masks, goggles and gloves.

Construction in downtown Austin
UPDATE: Abbott executive order deems residential construction as an "essential service" across the state

If Austin's residential construction ban holds, housing inventory may disappear within a few short months.