Association issues call to action for local business leaders to join in support to protect Austin’s economy
AUSTIN, TX – August 12, 2013 – (RealEstateRama) — Today, the Austin Board of REALTORS® (ABoR) announced its support of affordable housing initiatives by partnering with Keep Austin Affordable, a coalition of business and community leaders who support a $65 million bond package on the November 13 ballot. If approved, the bonds would create needed affordable housing for low-income households and protect Austin’s economy.
Paul Hilgers, President of ABoR, explained: “Austin’s housing market is growing aggressively and as a result, some families are now facing having to move outside of Austin to afford housing. Our economy is strongest when there are housing options for everyone in our community. Austin’s business leaders must step up to ensure our city’s housing needs are met, or we will jeopardize our future growth.”
According to the resolution passed by Austin City Council in June, Austin has “immediate need for a broad range of affordable housing that serves a wide variety of needs.” A recent City of Austin Comprehensive Housing Market Study found that over 38,000 low-income families cannot find affordable housing while Austin ISD records show 1,975 students were homeless last year.
Without affordable housing bonds, the renovation and development of new homes and apartments for these families is not possible. The proposed $65 million in affordable housing bonds would ensure the programs and new affordable developments needed in Austin are funded for another five to six years.
Originally passed in 2006, the first set of affordable housing bonds contributed $55 million build and repair over 3,400 affordable homes and apartments in Austin. The bonds also brought in an additional $197 million in federal and private matching funds, created over 3,000 construction jobs and over 500 new permanent jobs, totaling the economic impact to $865 million.
However, all the current housing bond funds have been spent. The City of Austin voted to allocate $10 million of budget surplus earlier this year as a short-term solution for the lack of affordable housing funding, but another set of housing bonds must be approved for affordable housing programs to continue in the future.
Hilgers added, “This is an investment in Austin’s economy and Austin’s future. We invite Austin’s business leaders to join the ABOR in supporting this bond package so that the hard-working members of our community can afford to keep living, working and doing business here.”
The Austin Board of REALTORS® (ABoR) is a non-profit, voluntary organization dedicated to educating and supporting Central Texas REALTORS®. ABoR proudly serves nearly 9,000 members, promotes private property rights, and provides accurate, comprehensive property listing information for the Greater Austin area. Visit KeepATXAffordable.com to learn more about this campaign or AustinHomeSearch.com, a public resource on Austin real estate, for the latest news on the local housing market.