Why You Need to Vote “YES” on Prop. 1

Early voting beings this upcoming Monday, October 21. As residents in Central Texas (or potential residents), there are issues that are important to the future of the area. So, when the early voting polls open on Monday, we ask that you support Proposition 1. And don’t forget, the uniform election is on Tuesday, November 5, if you can’t make it to an early voting booth. To learn more about Proposition 1, please read below:

Proposition 1, Affordable Housing Bond

Austin’s economy is strong, showing few signs of slowing down. That’s good news, right? Two years ago, Austin-based economist Mark Sprague stated that approximately 158 people were moving to Austin each day. That’s roughly 40 new families added every day to the 842,750 residents already calling Austin home. And with a top spot on a number of real estate, economic, and lifestyle lists in the past two years, Austin is pushing the already high number of daily new residents closer to 200. As a result, some families are now having to move outside of Austin to afford housing.

To put these numbers in perspective, with 271.8 square miles within Austin city limits, that equals 3,100 residents per square mile. What’s more telling is a recent City of Austin Comprehensive Housing Market Study that found more than 38,000 low-income families cannot find affordable housing, while Austin ISD records show 1,975 students were homeless last year.

That’s why, on November 5, we encourage you to vote yes for Austin Proposition 1, aimed at issuing the already collected $65 million dollars in affordable housing bonds.

Here are some facts about Proposition 1:

  • If approved, the City plans to issue the bonds in installments beginning in 2014.
  • No property tax increase is expected as a result of this bond issuance.
  • 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.
  • If approved, this proposition would allow the City to partner with organizations to utilize funds for affordable rental and ownership housing and preservation of existing affordable housing.
  •  Funding could be used to create affordable rental housing by providing grants and loans to qualify entities through rental housing development assistance or home ownership programs.
  • Funds could be used to address substandard or hazardous housing conditions, or allow seniors or persons with disabilities to make minor accessibility modifications.
  • “In 2006, the voters of Austin approved the first-ever affordable housing bonds, totaling $55 million. These funds were used to build and repair over 3400 homes for low-income families, people with disabilities, and seniors on fixed incomes. The bonds were also used to bring in an additional $197 million in federal and private matching money, a 4:1 match, and created over 3000 construction jobs and over 500 new permanent jobs. A recent study found the total economic impact of the previous bonds to be $865 million.”—Keep Austin Affordable

This vote will be an important one for the future of Austin, so be sure to get out and vote. Please visit Keep Austin Affordable for more information on Proposition 1.

To learn more about the importance of Proposition 1, view the video above featuring the CEO of the Austin Board of REALTORS®, Paul Hilgers.

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