(Community Matters) The City considers another housing bond ballot initiative. Potentially interesting – as are ideas of how to fund even without bond monies. I agree it’ll probably never cost less to address the problem. I’d like to see more land banking and property trades for entitlements as part of the package.
Update: See Paul’s comments
Couldn’t agree more Eugene. I’m currently on the non-profit Board for the Austin Geriatrics Center Inc (aka RBJ Senior Center) in East Austin. Our 16-story building is more than 40 years old, we have 250 units, affordable housing for Seniors. Our building needs a great deal of work to improve the quality of housing for our residents (i.e. sprinkler system, new HVAC, new elevators etc). While we are a poor non-profit, we own the 18-acres of land along Lady Bird Lake and we will pay off both our mortgage and HUD 236 loan in April of this year. For the last 3 years we have worked with our residents and the community to develop a redevelopment plan in an effort to double the number of affordable units for seniors from 250 to 500, provide more affordable housing and market rate units, and incorporate commercial & retail that would benefit both our residents and the neighborhood. Our redev plan also calls for potential property trades for entitlements to capture revenue to invest in our new afford housing units and to retrofit our existing building. I’m happy to say after 3 years of planning we are ready to issue a RFQ for a potential partner and master developer. While I am a strong proponent of funding affordable housing, I’m not convinced that moving immediately into another bond package is the right thing to do without first pursuing and/or developing other sustainable solutions and creative ideas. Thanks! Paul Saldana