KATHIE TOVO has a proven record of championing progressive policies to provide greater affordability for working Austin families.
Greg Abbott and the state government have attempted to stop Austin from passing robust affordability housing policies, while they take more than half a billion dollars away from Austin taxpayers each year. Kathie has stood up for innovative and creative solutions that have made – and continue to make – real progress, despite state-imposed barriers.
- Leading the effort to fight against utility rate increases, successfully and significantly cutting down Austin Energy's proposed increases.
- Supporting the Strategic Housing Blueprint and the Strategic Direction, which establish ambitious goals for affordable housing and metrics for determining whether we are meeting these goals.
- Voting for three affordable housing bonds, including the successful 2013 housing bond and the $250 million affordable housing bond on the ballot for voter approval this year.
- Leading Council to allocate approximately $10 million in a mid-year budget amendment to help affordable housing developments continue to move forward after the 2012 housing bond failed.
Challenging the undervaluation of commercial properties in order to have them pay their fair share and prevent them from shifting the tax burden to residential properties.
- Providing after-school and parent support specialist programs that defray school district costs, and exploring a "tax swap" to lower property taxes for Austin residents.
- Increasing the amount of money transferred to the Housing Trust Fund to create and preserve affordable housing.
- Developing an affordable housing strike fund the city can use to purchase and preserve existing affordable housing.
- Directing the City Manager to identify underutilized city properties for development as affordable housing.
- Creating financial mechanisms to help form affordable residential cooperatives.
There are no easy solutions to Austin's affordability challenges, but with Kathie on City Council, we are moving in the right direction – and we are doing so together. Kathie looks forward to continuing to work with the community to lead us forward on policies that make a real difference for working families in Austin.