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The Affordable Housing Bond Is Stupid

We just passed an ordinance which will lead to garage apartments and duplexes being torn down throughout the central city at the behest of the same bad neighborhood interests which prevented multifamily development in the urban core for so long, and now we're supposed to kick in more money out of our property taxes for affordable housing? And that will, of course, come out of the same property taxes that are making it unaffordable for homeowners to stay in their homes?

How about, instead, we allow that family in East Austin to build a garage apartment to help pay the property tax bill (and in the process help out a tenant - those garage apartments are a lot cheaper to live in than the MF-3 megacomplexes). How about, instead, we allow families to stay in the urban core by expanding their homes under the old rules - meaning that a family of 5 need not spend $600K for one of the few homes allowed to be big enough for a family that size under the new regime.

How about we don't blow up the village to save it?

Apart from a pleasant surprise on Austinist and the Austin Republicans, nobody apparently has the guts to make a counter-argument on any of these bonds. That's really sad; even if you think they're no-brainers, somebody ought to be making the devil's advocate case (other than me!).

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Comments

Yep, you're exactly right.

Make housing unafforable and then after having done so "help" working families live there, but under the government yoke. This system is the residential housing equivalent of sharecropping.

For those of us trying to raise our families in Central Austin, we'd rather see a neighborhood of single family-owned home instead of 2- and 3-famly rentals in the same space. You can argue that "established residents" are the ones adding garage apartments to cover their raising proerty taxes, but from my front door all I see is BMW-driving slum lords buying out and bulldozing those old East Austin homes to put as many rentals on a lot as possible. That, my friend, is **NOT** the neighborhood nor the community I wish to build.

My next-door neighbors are house-shopping; and instead of selling to another family, their "highest use" is now holding on and renting to students, precisely because nobody would buy the property atr a high enough price to make it worth the current owners' financial goals now that the buyers know it can't be expanded.

That, my friend, is **NOT** the neighborhood nor the community I wish to build.