DALLAS – Austin, Texas, voters will likely vote in November on up to $65 million of general obligation bonds for affordable housing projects in the growing city.
The Austin City Council unanimously adopted a resolution Thursday directing City Manager Marc Ott to prepare an ordinance setting a Nov. 5 election on the bonds.
The ordinance will be considered at the Aug. 5 council session and must be adopted by Aug. 26 to meet the deadline for the election date.
The $65 million debt cap set out in the resolution is the maximum that can be issued without raising Austin’s property tax for debt service of 12.08 cents per $100 of assessed valuation.
Austin has all but exhausted $55 million of GO bonds for affordable housing approved by voters in 2006. A request for $78.3 million of housing bonds was narrowly defeated in 2012.
A group of business executives representing the Keep Austin Affordable coalition endorsed the council’s decision at a news conference at City Hall on Thursday.
Buddy Nicoson, a vice president at Samsung Austin Semiconductor, said affordable housing is essential to economic growth in Austin.
“I hear the concerns of employees who wonder if they will still be able to afford to live in the city where they work,” said Nicoson. “When hourly wage workers cannot find affordable housing, it puts at risk the ability of businesses to grow.”