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Affordable Housing With CodeNEXT
Also starring the People's Plan and Housing Justice Agenda
News Story  April 12, 2018, by Sarah Marloff
"...While the latest draft of the CodeNEXT land development code at least tries to create some affordable housing for people who make 60-80% of the median family income ($81,400 a year for a family of four), Austin residents who fall below that figure will find little solace in the proposed rewrite. "CodeNEXT is not going to take care of housing for all income levels," confirmed Greg Guernsey, the executive project lead, in March..."

Nonprofits and the City's Quest for Affordable Housing
Helping usher Austin out of a quagmire of inequality
News Story  July 13, 2017, by Joseph Caterine
"...In April, as part of its effort to combat the deepening housing shortage, the city of Austin adopted its Strategic Housing Blueprint, a 39-page plan outlining a medley of strategies to throw at the proverbial wall, hoping one (or more) will stick...."

Point Austin: Affordable Housing & the Promised Land
Proposition A and Austin's affordability predicament
News Column  October 4, 2018, by Michael King
"..."Everybody wants to go to heaven," eloquently sang Albert King many years ago, "but nobody wants to die." I think of that line often when I hear Austinites talking about "affordable housing." We're all willing to admit – to proclaim – that "affordability" is our political mantra, and that more affordable housing is high on our list. If you want somebody to sign a petition virtually on any subject, just ask, "Do you support affordable housing?" and hold out a blank form...."

Developing Stories: Council holds line on TODs and affordable housing
Council holds line on TODs and affordable housing
News Column  May 2, 2008, by Katherine Gregor
"...City Council members are currently hanging tough on their 25% affordable housing goal for transit-oriented develop­ment districts. That's good news for Austinites who want to keep central-city homes reasonably affordable for average working folks and lower-income families..."

A Lack of Info for Affordable Housing Initiative
City pledges to keep better track of SMART money
News Story  April 19, 2018, by Margaret Nicklas
"...Particularly lacking was information about SMART Housing fees. Auditors found that two of the five departments participating in SMART Housing could not identify fees they had waived related to the program..."

Where Did Austin's Affordable Housing Go?
A new study shows that middle-class families are being priced out of Central Austin
News Story  May 1, 2009, by Katherine Gregor
"...If you make less than 50 grand a year and think you (and your kids) now have snowball-in-hell odds of ever affording a house in Central Austin, you're not imagining things. A recent comprehensive housing market study delivered by a Denver consultant to City Council and staff in March documents the dwindling supply of housing affordable for Austin's regular folk and the effects of this "housing gap" on the community...."

Green Vs. Greenbacks: What about affordable housing?
What city will do with affordable housing funds generated by treatment plant's redevelopment still up in air
News Story  December 21, 2007, by Katherine Gregor
"...Will the redevelopment of Green Water Treatment Plant Downtown include an aggressive push by City Council and staff to get affordable housing on-site? Or would the affordable-housing monies generated by the site's redevelopment (40% of new property taxes generated) be better spent on the near Eastside, where the dollar goes much further? That's a hot debate shaping up at council and in the affordable-housing community...."

Housing Authority Won't Use Affordable-Housing Bond Money
HACA chooses to keep independent of city's $55 million in affordable housing bonds on November ballot
News Story  October 6, 2006, by Kimberly Reeves
"...The city's $55 million in affordable-housing bonds on the ballot in November has a lengthy list of high-profile supporters eager to use bonds for future housing projects, but conspicuously missing from that list is the first, and biggest, provider of affordable housing for Austin's lowest-income residents...."

City Needs More Affordable Housing
Postmarks  October 22, 2012
"...Dear Editor, The Planning Commission and the City Council, in their quest to sooth their conscious over allowing developers to knock down more than 1,700 affordable housing units on prime development property at the west end of East Riverside, have shown a complete disregard for any and all mitigating factors regarding the placement of that housing in Montopolis; a neighborhood which already has 48% of all housing stock as subsidized rent apartments. Because of this, I think it's only fair that any mitigating factors for this proposed project that includes affordable housing be overridden by the city's expressed need for more affordable housing..."

City Needs to Get Serious About Affordable Housing
Postmarks  April 3, 2007
"...Dear Editor, Part of what makes Austin so wonderful is the diversity of the community and the degree to which so many in Austin care about the future of this city. One increasingly vocal cry from many in the community surrounds the lack of affordable housing Downtown. The March 23 article “We Were the Urban Pioneers” [News] by Wells Dunbar and Jordan Smith highlights the scarcity of affordable housing in many of the buildings under construction Downtown. A primary goal of Andrews Urban is to bring housing to a broader range of income earners..."

Affordable Housing in NOLA
New report on housing conditions in post-Katrina New Orleans offers immediate and long-term recommendations for fixing the city's decimated fair and affordable housing market
News Story  September 1, 2006, by Cheryl Smith
"..."Nearly 228,000 homes and apartments in New Orleans were flooded, including 39% of all owner-occupied units and 56% of all rental units. Approximately 204,700 housing units in Louisiana either were destroyed or sustained major damage," states a report released Monday (a day before the hurricane's one-year anniversary) by the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, the Opportunity Agenda, and the Kirwan Institute for the Study of Race & Ethnicity on housing conditions in the city..."

McKalla Place, Take Your Pick: Soccer Stadium or Affordable Housing
One of two fates awaits the city-owned tract
News Story  June 21, 2018, by Austin Sanders
"...Item 60 would direct City Manager Spen­cer Cronk to "solicit plans for development" of the site, including any involving a professional sports stadium but also others that adhere to a number of city goals outlined in strategic vision documents like Imag­ine Austin, the North Burnet/Gateway Master Plan, and the Austin Strate­gic Housing Blueprint. Sponsored by Leslie Pool, Alison Alter, Ora Houston, and Ellen Troxclair, the resolution prioritizes affordable housing, park space accessible to the public throughout the year, and public transit improvements, "including a train station." The resolution also directs Cronk to give private developers enough time to submit proposals with a "reasonable degree of detail," so Council can debate the merits of those proposals, including the one for a soccer stadium that's already been submitted by Precourt Sports Ventures. [inset-1-right]..."

Affordable Housing Threatens Grove Agreement
A settlement at the Grove PUD? Not so fast.
News Story  December 15, 2016, by Nina Hernandez
"...Just when it seemed like there was peace in the (West Austin) valley, it now appears that the mediated agreement going before City Council today (Dec. 15) on the Grove at Shoal Creek PUD could fall apart due to increased demands for affordable housing..."

Affordable Housing Critical Issue
Postmarks  June 14, 2014
"...Dear Editor, Austin neighborhood groups talk the talk about wanting income diversity in all areas of town, but when even a modest proposal comes up to vote, there's always an issue with "this particular" change. For way too long, affordable housing has been crammed into East Austin instead of being equitably spread out..."

Zimmerman Fights Affordable Housing
The D6 CM is the lone "no" vote on Cardinal Point
News Story  February 19, 2015, by Nina Hernandez
"...Six applications for subsidized housing tax credits passed at the Feb. 12 City Council meeting, but they didn't go quietly..."

Council: Members Spar on Affordable Housing, Meaning of Compassion
News Story  April 14, 2016, by Mary Tuma
"...With Mayor Steve Adler back on the dais, City Council passed measures during its April 7 meeting related to affordable housing, ground transportation chauffeurs, excessive water bills, and zoning to allow for a Boys and Girls Club facility in District 1...."

Haunted by Affordable Housing
DAILY News  October 31, 2006, by Wells Dunbar
"...The precisely-monikered AustinContrarian raises an interesting point today regarding Prop 5, the affordable housing bond. Our author thinks they will do some good for the city's oft-overlooked (umm, more like invisible) renters, but additionally, "will give the City Council the cover it needs to do the right thing on housing....."

Affordable Housing in Trouble?
Report: two affordable housing agencies going broke
News Story  June 18, 2015, by Mary Tuma
"...A new report conducted by the Travis County Auditor's office claims that two of the city's affordable housing agencies could become insolvent within the next nine to 15 months if they fail to generate outside funding...."

Affordable Housing by the Numbers
Austin needs more housing to address homelessness
News Story  March 5, 2010, by Wells Dunbar
"...In the next decade, Austin needs 1,900 new units of housing – 350 of those in the next four years – to address the needs of the city's homeless. Those were the findings presented by Austin/Travis County Health and Human Services Director David Lurie last week to City Council in a briefing on homeless services...."

Vote 'No' on Affordable Housing
Postmarks  October 21, 2013
"...Dear Editor, Amy Smith accurately reflected what occurred at one of the city’s “informational panels” regarding the $65 million Affordable Housing Bond [“Then There's This: Housing Bond Election – Second Attempt,” News, Oct. 18]..."

Crucial Issue Is Affordable Housing
Postmarks  May 17, 2006
"...Dear Editor, Re: “Looking for Cheap Dirt” [News, May 12]: While the price of gas registers as a national crisis, the fact that so many people (believe themselves to) benefit from the housing bubble affords the problem far less attention than the much more crucial issue of affordable housing. In Austin it is getting more and more difficult to put a roof over one's head, and Rachel Proctor May's article is therefore as welcome as it is timely..."

Disgusted With Affordable Housing Vote
Postmarks  November 7, 2012
"...Dear Editor, Hats off to this proud "liberal" city. Of the seven bond propositions worth $385 million, the one Austinites rejected was affordable housing..."

Affordable Housing Here Doesn't Exist
Postmarks  October 8, 2007
"...Dear Editor, Affordable housing in Austin does not exist [“Developing Stories,” News, Oct. 5]..."

Council Recap: Water and Housing
Council takes on excessive water bills, "missing middle" in housing
DAILY News  April 8, 2016, by Mary Tuma
"...With Mayor Steve Adler back on the dais, City Council passed measures during its April 7 meeting related to affordable housing, ground transportation chauffeurs, excessive water bills, and zoning to allow for a Boys and Girls Club facility in District 1...."

A Victory for Housing
Voters overwhelmingly approve city bond proposition
DAILY News  November 6, 2013, by Amy Smith
"...This time, affordable housing advocates had something to celebrate Tuesday when they gathered at Scholz Garten to watch the election returns for the city’s $65 million housing bond proposition...."

Housing Authority to Raze Thurmond Heights?
DAILY News  December 12, 2006, by Wells Dunbar
"...So it's no crisis," but your input will still prove valuable tonight. Please mark your calendars to come to one of two very important public hearings on December 12, at 11am and 5:30pm, at 1124 S. IH-35. The Housing Authority of the City of Austin has released plans to demolish the Thurmond Heights apartments, which is home to 144 low income families..."

Public Notice: Housing Bubbles in the Air
Conjuring affordable housing from thin air
News Column  March 30, 2017, by Nick Barbaro
"...The City's Planning Commission chewed over the proposed Austin Strategic Housing Plan in a long session Tuesday night, and their discussion ran into the same brick wall that City Council hit their heads against last week, and will again next week: Look at the Plan's list of needs in Michael King's Council Watch column on p.12, and you'll note that the free market has indeed been producing enough housing – some 8,000 units a year – to supply households making the median income and above. But the problem is, that's pretty much all the free market builds, because that's where the profits are, and where the financing makes sense..."

In Housing We Trust
The city of Austin devotes $1 million for housing as part of city's social equity initiative
News Story  October 22, 1999, by Mike Clark-Madison
"...As with most social spending, public support for housing recurrently begs the question: More or better? Have we simply put far too little money into meeting the basic need for affordable housing? Or have we managed and spent our money badly, spawning screwiness, unintended consequences, and out-and-out sleaze? The city of Austin has just put up $1 million that may help answer these questions. The city's new housing trust fund, a key component of its social-equity initiative, officially came into being Oct. 1 with money from the General Fund -- the first time Austin taxpayers' money has been put directly into housing support programs..."

Time for Another Vote on Housing?
Council has until Aug. 26 to decide
DAILY News  April 30, 2013, by Amy Smith
"...Will a housing bond election in November 2013 have better success than it did in November 2012? Housing proponents are ramping up a campaign to get an affordable housing bond measure on the fall ballot, but City Council members haven’t decided whether to move forward now or wait until next year...."

Hunting for Housing
Landlord lawsuit and housing research frame housing crisis
News Story  January 8, 2015, by Mary Tuma and Michael King
"...As promised by the Texas Apartment Association earlier this month, a state legislator has filed a bill for the upcoming legislative session to prohibit cities from enacting "source-of-income" anti-discrimination ordinances, measures meant to grant low-income renters greater housing options...."

News Roundup: Schools, Fair(?) Housing, and Plastic
TEA releases rankings, Linda Curtis returns, and more
DAILY News  December 29, 2014, by the News Staff
"...In this week's News Roundup, the TEA ranks schools, Linda Curtis returns, the city releases its draft report on "Impediments to Fair Housing," and the Fifth Circuit takes on free speech in advertising...."

Zimmerman Talks Housing
D6 CM explains his position to the Chronicle
News Story  March 5, 2015, by Nina Hernandez
"...After the meeting adjourned, Zimmerman sat down with the Chron­icle to discuss his fight against six subsidized housing projects, a pet issue he's agitated against for years – most notably blowing a rape whistle on local news in 2013 to protest housing bonds. Zimmerman called colleague Ellen Troxclair's abstention from Council's vote to approve the projects last month "a step in the right direction," but said there are more Council members to educate on the issue...."

Housing Blueprint Strategery
City Council works Merck, Housing Plan, Austin Oaks PUD
DAILY News  April 17, 2017, by Michael King
"...The City of Austin now has a proposed incentives agreement with Merck & Co., a Strategic Housing Blueprint, and an Austin Oaks PUD. Those three high-profile items crossed the finish line at last Thursday’s City Council meeting (April 13) along with a handful of miscellaneous items...."

Hurricane Housing Censorship News
Housing Authority of New Orleans asks attorney helping Katrina-evacuee tenants to stop talking to media about contentous government plan to demolish public housing deemed too damaged by Katrina to fix
DAILY News  February 2, 2007, by Cheryl Smith
"...The Housing Authority of New Orleans recently sent a letter to nervy New Orleans attorney Bill Quigley requesting that he stop sharing with the equally nervy media his opinions about the plan of the housing authority, which is overseen by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, to demolish public-housing complexes the government has deemed too damaged by Hurricane Katrina to fix..."

Council Split on How – and When – to Fund Housing
City scrambles to finance what voters rejected
News Story  February 1, 2013, by Mike Kanin
"...The November failure of a $78 million bond question that would have funded six years' worth of affordable housing efforts has made for some interesting times at City Hall. In the scramble to replace what activists and politicos alike would have double-underlined as a fiscal necessity, Council members took two actions: The first was a December resolution (courtesy of CMs Laura Morrison and Kathie Tovo) pushing for a wide-ranging look at what the city could do on its own to fill affordable housing gaps; the second is a recent call from Mayor Pro Tem Sheryl Cole and Council Members Bill Spelman and Chris Riley for a fresh run at the ballot box...."

What's Wrong with Public Housing?
The remarkable turnaround of the city's Housing Authority
News Story  August 31, 2001, by Mike Clark-Madison
"...Johnson and Mayor Tom Miller, the first families move into the Santa Rita Apartments at 2341 Corta Street. Santa Rita is not only the debut project of the Housing Authority of the city of Austin, it's the very first of what will be thousands of federally funding housing developments across America -- you know, "the Projects." (Thanks, LBJ.) Three months later, a Santa Rita family gives birth to the very first American Baby Born in the Projects..."

Manor Road Housing Project Looking for a Home
Neighborhoods balk at a proposed homeless and low-income housing development on Manor Road
News Story  June 20, 2008, by Lydia Crafts
"...Although the Planning Commission voted last week in favor of rezoning 5908 Manor Rd. to enable an affordable housing development, odds are the project will not survive an upcoming City Council meeting...."

Public Notice: People’s Housing Justice
What Council can do that's not CodeNEXT
News Column  April 12, 2018, by Nick Barbaro
"...There was an interesting exchange at the last joint work session of the two land use commissions working on the CodeNEXT land use rewrite. Following a presentation on income-restricted (i.e., publicly subsidized) Afford­able Housing, Planning Commissioner David King asked the lead consultant about "small-a" affordable housing: "Is there anything in here that's going to help the middle class?"..."

A Victory for Housing
City bond prop wins 61% voter approval
News Story  November 8, 2013, by Amy Smith
"...This time, affordable housing advocates had something to celebrate Tuesday when they gathered at Scholz Garten to watch the election returns for the city's $65 million housing bond proposition. A bare-bones ballot, unlike the one in 2012, helped create a clear path to victory, which was all but declared shortly after 7pm when the early vote returns handed the Keep Austin Affordable campaign a 59.1% edge that continued to climb as election day returns trickled in..."

Then There's This: Housing Bond Back on Ballot?
After voters' rejection in 2012, November may bring another try
News Column  May 3, 2013, by Amy Smith
"...Last year's tactical errors leading to a failed housing bond election have become this year's lesson plan for winning community support before an affordable housing measure appears on the ballot...."

Then There's This: Housing Bond Election – Second Attempt
Trying to get to yes on a $65 million question
News Column  October 18, 2013, by Amy Smith
"...Pity the poor city bureaucrat who has to try to explain the affordable housing bond proposition at community meetings without appearing to take a stand one way or another. Because no matter how bland the presentation, there's going to be someone in the audience who'll call them out for putting a favorable spin on what is supposed to be an "information session."..."

VMU: Affordable for You?
The city welcomes density but also wants to keep it within a working-class price range
News Story  February 9, 2007, by Katherine Gregor
"..."Affordability is where the rubber hits the road on VMU projects," says Steve Metcalfe, a real estate attorney with Drenner & Golden Stuart Wolff, who has a half-dozen developer clients considering or pursuing VMU projects. When his clients run the numbers on developing VMU projects, if they can keep the affordable housing at 10% of units and the income level at 80% of median family income, the numbers seem to work..."

Wrangling Over Housing Tax Credits
Travis County Commissioners to revisit a housing finance scheme
News Story  March 29, 2013, by Elizabeth Pagano
"...Few people would claim that getting subsidized housing built in Texas was ever easy. But in the wake of a failed $78.3 million affordable housing bond proposal, the fight to build new affordable housing in Austin has become downright scrappy...."

No End in Sight for Hurricane-Housing Limbo
FEMA once again extends cutoff deadline for hurricane evacuees still receiving housing assistance in Louisiana, Mississippi, and Texas
News Story  January 26, 2007, by Cheryl Smith
"...OK, put your cigarette lighters away now, because it's time to get down to evacuee housing assistance business … again. That's right, the Federal Emergency Management Agency has extended anew its cutoff deadline for the 100,000-plus Hurricane Katrina and Rita evacuee families still getting federal housing assistance in Louisiana, Mississippi, and Texas..."

Then There's This: Housing Chill
Defeat of Proposition 15 poses new challenges for city's affordability goals
News Column  November 16, 2012, by Amy Smith
"..."I hope you don't scold the electorate," housing advocate Frances Ferguson said, trying to strike a positive note as she summed up last week's ballot rejection of a $78.3 million affordable housing bond proposal. The disappointing loss – it was the only one of seven city bond propositions to fail – was a stunning reversal of the overwhelming support voters gave housing in the November 2006 bond election in a nonpresidential election year...."

Public Notice: More and Cheaper Housing
Demographer's report offers new perspectives
News Column  April 13, 2017, by Nick Barbaro
"...City Demographer Ryan Robinson delivered a letter on Tuesday to City Council, and to city Planning and Housing staff, saying that he's examined the city's currently pending Draft Austin Strategic Housing Plan "from a demographic perspective," and offering "an objective assessment." He concludes that "the SHP is extremely well-done and presents a thoughtful approach to mitigating affordability issues," but then goes on to undermine a big chunk of its core message, at least as many have seen it – as a lens through which to evaluate the ongoing CodeNEXT Land Develop­ment Code rewrite...."

Council Preview: Water, TNCs, and Housing
Council wades back into taxi / TNC debate
News Story  April 7, 2016, by Mary Tuma
"...Expect Zimmerman to pick a fight over Item 24, a resolution drafted by CM Delia Garza that looks to help out the "missing middle" – potential housing buyers who aren't eligible for government subsidies but can't afford market-rate housing. Garza asks the city manager to examine how the city could use part of the unallocated 2013 affordable housing bond funds (which now mainly go toward rental units and home repair) for affordable housing geared toward residents at or below 80% of the MFI..."

CodeNEXT Gets Affordable
Learn what, how, and where affordability incentives will apply
News Story  June 22, 2017, by Sarah Marloff
"...CodeNEXT's long-awaited affordability incentives were released Friday, June 16. The "Citywide Afford­able Housing Density Bonus Program," the newest chapter (23-3E-1) in the land development code rewrite, is 34 pages long and explains what, how, and where the incentives will apply..."

Micro-Unit Housing Planned for Eastside
A new affordable housing development plan sees positive reception from neighborhood group
News Story  August 27, 2015, by Tony Cantú
"...A micro-unit housing developer who hoped to build apartments at Fifth and Waller streets is now setting his sights on an East Cesar Chavez property – the site of a proposed Eastside hotel that galvanized neighborhood opposition – to construct the affordable housing complex...."

Solar Helps Keep Eastside Homes Affordable
Thanks to neighborhood-based nonprofit Blackland CDC
News Story  September 12, 2008, by Daniel Mottola
"...Known as the Harden-Solar Duplex, the property's two living spaces will soon house a struggling family as well as a grad student and her husband. More than just a residence, the duplex is a study in the power of the grassroots to provide low-income housing solutions, plus a living lesson in the real-world challenges of making residential solar power work and proof that rooftop renewable energy can make sense for everybody..."

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