David Whitworth's column in the Sept 11 issue [“Time to Look in the Mirror on Housing
”] blames existing Austinites for blocking building housing for all the people that move here. The problem is that even housing built to be “affordable” under SMART or other plans is still way more expensive than the housing long term East Austinites have and can actually afford. Due to the loss of unions and the dominance of the “Neo Liberal” market uber allies model people's wages lag behind rents. The market does not work for low income housing. If it is left to the market the sky is the limit but even under city regulated increased density programs housing is built that is still much more expensive than people can afford. It is not just greedy boomers wanting to keep their neighborhoods as they are and be able to afford their property taxes. To actually help our low income housing situation we must switch from it requiring tax credits to build low income housing to requiring special fees to build luxury housing. In my neighborhood there are duplexes. I saw a price of $500,000. I thought that was for the whole building. Not too bad I thought. No, it was for each side. Few of the long term residents can afford what that does to a streets property taxes. It is not all boomer greed.