AUSTIN (KXAN) - The City of Austin hosted a Community Information Session to answer questions about the 2013 Affordable Housing Bond.
On Nov. 5 there will be a special session where voters will consider a proposition which would allow the city to borrow $65 million. The city will use this money to partner with organizations to create affordable rental and ownership housing and preserve existing affordable housing.
Attendees of the 2013 Affordable Housing Bond Community Information Sessions had the opportunity to ask a panel of city staff questions about the bond proposition and discuss household affordability in Austin.
The city says the purpose of the information sessions is to provide factual information about the City of Austin bond proposition that voters will consider on the November ballot.
Bond money would help home ownership programs, repair programs, and help develop rental housing and apartments. The locations of where the developments would be is not yet known.
Elliott McFadden is the campaign manager for the coalition Keep Austin Affordable. He says the housing bond is critical for non-profits to keep up with demand.
"They take those funds and they're able to build beautiful apartment complexes at rates that working families and folks on fixed incomes can afford," McFadden said. "There's a really great need, and the housing bonds are one part of the whole program of things we can do to start immediately putting housing on the ground."
Voters turned down a $78.3 million affordable housing bond last November. Elliot says he's more confident this time around.
"Last year with the bonds, it was a very crowded ballot and confusing ballot language," he said. "The affordable housing community didn't really do it's job to educate the public about the successes that have happened before."
The $65 million debt would be repaid by property taxes at the current rate. The city says no increase in the property tax rate is anticipated.
The last affordable housing bond in Austin was passed in 2006, at $55 million.
The City of Austin estimates there are 38,000 low income families that need affordable housing. AISD reports there are over 2,000 homeless children in their system.
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