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Austin Takes Steps To Create More Affordable Housing
Earth is being moved now to bring more affordable housing into East Austin. But it took the City of Austin, a local non-profit and a federal grant to make this happen. The city hopes to reverse a trend that has seen for sale signs go up and the amount of affordable housing go down.
All people want is a roof over their head at a price they can afford. But these days their money gets little more than four walls and a shared bathroom down the hall. Sandra Smith is a case in point. She showed us the room she found in a boarding house. She tells us, Everything is really high. This little room as you can see, we pay $600 a month."
The problem is older affordable housing is being torn down and replaced by newer housing that is more expensive. And if a tenant is forced to move, that can lead to more problems than just higher rent. If they are forced to move out of the urban core, that could lead to a loss of their support networks, loss of public transportation, having to change their children's school, and in the worst case scenario -- homelessness.
The city manager is working with the Community Development Commission to come up with a plan to encourage more affordable housing. And that's going to take money -- a lot of money. And with the failure of the affordable housing bonds in the last election, it's clear the city needs to convince the voters that it will be money well spent.
By Fred Cantu