_Guest Post by Ann Teich, Vice President, North Austin Coalition of Neighborhoods
The 2012 Citizen Bond Election Advisory Task Force has been asked to recommend $100 million in the bond package for affordable housing. What does that mean for North Austin? Some of that money could be used to secure permanent supportive housing for some chronically homeless individuals. That means that they would come off the streets, stabilize their lives, avoid having to access costly emergency services (many of them cost the community millions of dollars every year), and find some measure of success and dignity. That means that we might eventually see a reduction in the number of homeless individuals in our neighborhoods.
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_It also means that many people who would like to live in Austin rather than commute to their jobs from the suburbs could afford to do so. Affordable housing is not just for the homeless or the indigent. It is also for people of modest means: teachers, firefighters, police officers, mechanics, electricians, plumbers, blue collar workers, librarians, childcare workers…you get the picture.
Many of us complain about how expensive it is to live in Austin. Creating more affordable housing provides opportunities for more of the middle class to live in Austin. That saves energy, in more ways than one, and it enlarges Austin’s tax base. Residents shop locally and pay local sales tax, and they pay property taxes that support public schools, libraries, parks, police, etc.
The Citizen Bond Election TaskMore people found jobs in the Austin area in March Force will meet on Monday, April 23 to discuss its recommendations. If you support including $110 million for affordable housing in the 2012 Bond Package, you can make your views known in several ways:
1. E-mail the Task Force members at firstname.lastname@example.org
2. Call or text 512-539-0060
3. Attend the April 23 meeting and speak directly to the Task Force (6:00PM, Town Lake Center, Room 130, 721 Barton Springs Road
For more information about the Citizen BEATF and its recommendations, go to www.austintexas.gov/BondDevelopment.
you can also download these documents:
Memo from ECHO