San Antonio council OKs strategic housing plan

San Antonio officials hope the city's new long-range strategic housing plan will boost further development of affordable housing units, such as those found at the Rio Lofts community at 323 W. Mitchell St. (Courtesy Google Streets)
San Antonio officials hope the city's new long-range strategic housing plan will boost further development of affordable housing units, such as those found at the Rio Lofts community at 323 W. Mitchell St. (Courtesy Google Streets)

San Antonio officials hope the city's new long-range strategic housing plan will boost further development of affordable housing units, such as those found at the Rio Lofts community at 323 W. Mitchell St. (Courtesy Google Streets)

San Antonio City Council voted Dec. 16 to approve 10-year strategic housing implementation plan that is designed to help households in need by preserving or creating more than 28,000 homes and raising household incomes over the next decade.

Local officials said the plan builds upon a housing policy framework passed by the council in 2018 to prioritize affordable housing development and preservation.

“The [strategic plan] represents a collective vision around affordable housing issues that uses our community partnerships in a collaborative way to find solutions to our most pressing housing needs,” City Manager Erik Walsh said in a statement. “This plan lays the framework and identifies the strategies to help those with the most housing needs.”

According to a release, the plan was developed in collaboration with about 80 stakeholders over an 18-month process. The stakeholders worked with consultants and city staff to develop 36 strategies for the plan, which includes elements of the city’s homeless strategic plan and climate action and adaptation plan as well as the ForEveryoneHome anti-displacement initiative, among other measures.

The strategic plan identifies 95,000 households that are cost burdened with no affordable option to them within Bexar County, city officials said.



The plan proposes a mix of efforts, including income-boosting job training programs, linking residents to available assistance programs, exploring private-sector solutions such as accessory dwelling units and room sharing, and building and preserving 28,000-plus affordable housing units citywide.

According to the release, the revised housing targets are focused on households earning at or below 30% of the area median income, or about $20,000 for a household of three.

Some of the stakeholder-developed strategies within the plan include a demolition diversion program, the production of permanent supportive housing units, a community land trust and holistic financial counseling.

“The strategic housing implementation plan is a vision for meeting the housing needs of the people in our community who are of greatest need,” said Veronica Soto, the city’s neighborhood and housing services director. “Though the adoption of the [plan] marks the end of a long planning process, in many ways it’s also just the beginning. We look forward to hitting the ground running on each of the strategies in the plan.”

City officials said the strategic plan will be presented to the San Antonio Housing Trust, San Antonio Housing Authority and Bexar County, all of which will work with the city to meet the goals in the plan.

More information is available at www.sanantonio.gov/SHIP.

By Edmond Ortiz
Edmond joined Community Impact as a reporter in August 2021, helping to launch new editions in the San Antonio market. Edmond covers various beats in the North San Antonio coverage area. He previously was the main reporter for Local Community News, covering several areas in and around San Antonio, first as a freelancer and then staff member. Prior to that, Edmond was a community news reporter for Prime Time Newspapers and the San Antonio Express-News, including editing two community weeklies. He's a San Antonio native, and studied mass communications at San Antonio College and Texas State University.