A key part of any change agenda this year has to focus on affordability. We must make Austin affordable for people who live in Austin, and we need to build ladders of opportunity for communities that historically have been cut off.
If we’re going to change in a way that promotes affordability the Austin way, first 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.
There’s no rule that says we have to keep having the same planning and zoning fights over and over again.
(Actually, for all we know, there really might be such a rule in the land development code. I mean no one can be completely sure what’s in it.)
This year, we will rewrite our land development code. There are going to be few things, if any, that are as important as this project.
It is also critical that we change the land use code in the Austin way.
CodeNEXT, the name we’ve given to the land development code re-write process, is a huge opportunity for our community.
New multi-year grant of up to $1.5 million will be awarded to help Austin tackle homelessness
Today, Bloomberg Philanthropies recognized the city of Austin as a new member of its Innovation Team program, which helps City Halls drive bold innovation, change culture, and tackle big problems to deliver better results for residents. Austin was selected from a pool of municipalities with a demonstrated commitment to designing and delivering bold solutions to solve homelessness. Other cities selected for the global program include Be’er Sheva, Israel; Toronto, Canada, and Anchorage, AK; Austin, TX; Baltimore, MD; Detroit, MI; and Durham; NC in the United States.
Currently in the third round of funding, the program will allow Mayor Steve Adler and the City Council to fund an in-house innovation team, or “i-team”, to pioneer new approaches on homelessness.
“This grant will help us tackle problems in new ways that reflect who we are in Austin, and I’m excited to see what can come from this,” said Mayor Adler. “When we effectively ended veteran homelessness, we learned how effective new partnerships between the business community, philanthropists and non-profits could be. Bloomberg’s grant will allow our Innovation Office to experiment with new ways to house the homeless.” Continue reading