'Affordable Housing' may be on Austin ballot again - MyFoxAustin.com | KTBC Fox 7 | News, Weather, Sports

'Affordable Housing' may be on Austin ballot again

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The lack of affordable housing is a problem the City of Austin hoped to improve with a $78 million bond this past November.

Prop 15 -- Affordable Housing -- was one of 7 propositions on the ballot.  All of them passed except for that one.

Austin Mayor Pro-Tem Sheryl Cole was surrounded by many Saturday morning...all expressing the need for more affordable housing.

The last affordable housing bond passed in 2006.  Now Cole and other council members feel more is needed to help the thousands of children, veterans and seniors that live on the streets of Austin or below the poverty level.

"We have run out of money.  The $55 million is gone.  It's either spent or committed.  And without that, we will not be able to help these populations," Cole said.

Cole says the plan is to get enough support so the city manager can take steps to put the bond on the ballot again this November.

Today's meeting was held at one of the many Austin churches that provides a safe place for women to sleep at night.  Some of the local clergy tell us they're doing all they can to help but they can't do everything.

"There's not enough safe places for women to sleep.  And so we've provided that in our churches but the deal is, we're overwhelmed.  We can't do it all.  And there's no pathway for some of our homeless friends to get into housing and this bond and many of these measures will create that," said John Elford, Pastor of University United Methodist Church.

Jennifer Parker's life is a living testament to that.  Her life took a turn for the worst after moving here with her husband just months ago.

"Things didn't work out between he and I and I was left homeless.  'Safe Sleep' provided housing as well as moral and spiritual support while I looked for employment," Parker said.

Parker is now working again and hopes to get her own place soon.

She's just one of the many Austinites who knows the need for affordable housing first hand.

We're told this issue will be up for discussion at the regularly scheduled City Council meeting this Thursday.  If it's supported, the next step will be deciding how much they will ask for.

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