The Housing and Planning Division introduced an replace on town’s growth subsidy applications for inexpensive housing at Tuesday’s Housing and Planning Committee.

“We all know that it’s not sufficient, however we’re pleased with seeing that pipeline get crammed,” stated James Might, neighborhood growth supervisor with the division.

“This answer of town coming in and offering subsidies I believe is crucial if we need to preserve low-income folks within the metropolis,” Council Member Greg Casar stated.

The Austin Housing Finance Company provides just a few methods to assist builders make income-restricted inexpensive housing financially possible. Two applications, Rental Housing Improvement Help (RHDA) and Possession Housing Improvement Help (OHDA), present direct help to builders who construct income-restricted housing. The division additionally funds everlasting supportive housing (PSH) and continuum of care (CoC), two forms of housing providers for individuals who have skilled homelessness.

The chart beneath reveals the quantity of housing produced within the final a number of years by the division’s subsidy applications. Extra charts and statistics could be discovered here.

Picture courtesy metropolis of Austin Housing and Planning Division 

A lot of the growth help funding – roughly 75 % – comes from normal obligation bonds, just like the 2018 inexpensive housing bond. As these funds run out, Venture Join’s $300 million anti-displacement fund, town’s largest-ever funding in inexpensive housing, is more likely to turn into the principle income over the following a number of years.

As a result of town tries to maintain growth help below $50,000 per unit – models usually value between $175,000 and $200,000 to construct, in accordance with Mandy De Mayo with Housing and Planning – tasks that take part within the applications sometimes get extra funding and incentives from different sources, such because the state’s Low-Earnings Housing Tax Credit score program. “We actually work with our growth companions to leverage our bucks with extra funding sources,” De Mayo stated.

Presently there aren’t sufficient funds for the entire tasks in search of help. Ten tasks have requested for a complete of $39 million in RHDA funding within the final quarter of this fiscal yr, greater than the division can supply. “If we had been to approve or advocate approval for all of those investments, it might value us just a little over $39 million, which is a big quantity that we don’t have,” Might stated. “Which is why our employees works with these builders to not solely drive these numbers down, however to pick out the suitable funding on the proper time.”

The division is engaged on a number of initiatives associated to growth help, together with higher integrating OHDA subsidies into incentive applications like SMART Housing and Affordability Unlocked and making a bundle for PSH tasks that obtain the state 9 % low-income housing tax credit that would come with computerized RHDA grants, housing vouchers and assist providers.

Casar famous that the following massive piece of labor for the division – administering Venture Join’s anti-displacement funds – should be accomplished urgently because the rise in housing prices within the metropolis reveals no signal of abating. “It’s actually vital for us to get that work transferring as shortly as we are able to, as a result of if costs are going up and up and up for the on a regular basis individual, then meaning displacement is accelerated. Meaning will probably be much more costly for town to maintain folks in place.”

Photograph made accessible by a Creative Commons license.

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