In the Nov. 5 General/Municipal special election, voters approved the City of Austin proposition for $65 million in general obligation bonds for affordable housing.
The voter-approved bond will allow the City to borrow $65 million to partner with organizations to utilize these funds for affordable rental and ownership housing as well as for the preservation of existing affordable housing.
The issuance of $65,000,000 affordable housing bonds and notes for constructing, renovating, improving, and equipping affordable housing for low-income persons and families; acquiring land and interests in land and property necessary to do so; and funding affordable housing programs as may be permitted by law; and the levy of a tax sufficient to pay for the bonds and notes.
Click here for the approved City of Austin ordinance that established the bond proposition and ballot language for the Nov. 5, 2013 special election.
What Could Be Funded
Rental Housing Development Assistance
Funding could be used to create affordable rental housing by providing grants and loans to qualified entities.
Grants and loans could be used to acquire property, design and develop infrastructure, construct new rental housing stock and rehabilitate existing rental housing.
Funding may be targeted to areas of preferred investment, including areas intended to provide access to employment opportunities and public transportation.
Home Ownership Programs
Funding could be used to create affordable housing ownership opportunities by providing grants and loans to qualified entities.
Funds could be used to acquire property, design and develop infrastructure, and construct new housing or rehabilitate existing housing to be purchased at affordable prices.
Funds may be used to support development of community land trusts to preserve long-term affordability.
Home Repair Programs
Funds could be used to address substandard or hazardous housing conditions.
Funding may be used to allow seniors and persons with disabilities to make minor accessibility modifications that may include widened doors, wheelchair ramps, and installation of grab bars and handrails.
Property Tax Impact
The $65 million included in this proposition would be funded by general obligation bonds, which are repaid by property taxes. The City plans to issue the bonds in installments beginning in 2014. Debt service on these bonds is expected to be funded within the current tax rate. No increase in the property tax rate is anticipated.
Bond-Funded Program Eligibility
Eligibility for the programs and assistance that would be funded by this proposition is based on income. Depending on the program and the needs of the household, an Austin family of four earning $58,550 or less annually in 2013 could qualify for funding. Funding is also anticipated to support very low income Austin households earning $36,600 or less annually in 2013 for a family of four.