Dear Mayor, Mayor Pro Tem, and Council Members,
The Austin Housing Coalition is requesting that you amend Item 39, before adoption at the Regular Meeting of the Austin City Council on April 22, 2021. This resolution would initiate a code amendment to repeal or amend City Code section 25-2-586 (B)(6) and direct the City Manager to revise the in-lieu fees applicable to the Downtown Density Program and Rainey Density Bonus Program.
Specifically, we ask that you remove the language initiating a code amendment to repeal or amend City Code section 25-2-586 (B)(6), along with the request for a report on Floor to Area Ratio best practices. We support the language that pertains to revising the in-lieu affordable housing fees for residential and non-residential development for the Downtown Density Bonus and Rainey Density Bonus Programs and encourage council to adopt it. However, unless the language regarding Code section 25-2-586 (B)(6) is removed, we ask that you do not vote in favor of this resolution.
Code section 25-2-586 (B)(6) currently provides important opportunities for City Council to consider affordable housing and homelessness funding opportunities. If the resolution is passed without amending the language as we suggest, we could potentially jeopardize these opportunities. In addition, we ask that you initiate code amendments to all of the city’s twelve density bonus programs in the near future, as opposed to initiating changes only to one subsection of the Downtown Density Program. It is integral that we make comprehensive changes to align our current density bonus programs with the affordability goals outlined in the Austin Strategic Housing Blueprint.
Please support a resolution that only concentrates on revising in-lieu affordable housing fees for residential and non-residential development and does not contain language that would repeal or amend City Code section 25-2-586 (B)(6). The current resolution language threatens much-needed funding for affordable housing and does not initiate critical comprehensive changes to our density bonus programs.
We thank you in advance for considering these changes.