If we’re going to manage growth in a way that makes Austin a more affordable place to live, we’re going to have to have a clear-eyed talk about housing and housing supply — where we build it, where we preserve it, where we keep it affordable, and how we make it easier to remodel and to build the housing stock we need. That’s why the Austin Strategic Housing Plan, which the City Council will get a chance to approve next week, is such an important opportunity to make sure there’s a place for anyone in Austin regardless of income.
Housing is what takes the greatest chunk out of most family budgets in Austin, and it’s a big reason why we are the most economically segregated metropolitan area in the country. The stakes could not be clearer: If we do nothing, Austin will become like San Francisco, a wonderful if incredibly expensive city with a median home price over $1 Million where only the wealthy and the subsidized can afford to live. We will lose our middle class to suburban sprawl, making traffic even worse and losing the spirit and soul of our city. If we do nothing except preserve our beloved two-bedroom bungalows, we’ll soon have a bunch of $1 Million two-bedroom bungalows. Continue reading
RECA Mayoral Townhall
Mar. 9, 2017
Mayor Adler deviated somewhat from his prepared text.
It’s good that we can be together today.
The guidance I was given gently suggested that y’all might like to have perhaps more time for questions this year and a bit less time for me to hold forth on my insights. Boy, you know the honeymoon is over when they ask you to hurry it up with the speech so they can get to the Q&A. Don’t worry. I want to get to your questions as much as you do. Knowing what’s on your mind is as important to me as you knowing what’s on my mind.
It’s been a year since we were together at this event. In the intervening months, I have spent literally tens of thousands of hours in City Council meetings. The process of governing might be sometimes awkward, and the results are rarely – if ever – to everyone’s liking, we are dealing with the big issue facing Austin: affordability. Continue reading