Rapid gentrification in Austin has resulted in the loss of thousands of unsubsidized, affordable housing units. As more families find themselves fighting rising rents and property taxes, maintaining a diverse city population remains a challenge. Although the City has increased new construction of affordable housing units in some areas, such as the Mueller airport redevelopment, more efforts are needed to stem this trend. This City Forum will focus on the current housing situation, efforts to preserve affordability, and challenges to these efforts.
Francie Ferguson is the chair of the National real estate team, NeighborWorks America, HousingWorks Board, the Founding Director of Foundation Communities and a consultant on the Affordable Housing plan for Mueller Airport.
Cathy Echols serves on the boards of Liveable City, a local civic organization dedicated to improving the quality of life for all in Austin, and Housing Works. She has participated in local planning issues as a community leader for many years, helping to shape the Triangle development on behalf of a local neighborhood. Over the past few years, she has helped ensure attention to housing needs in such planning efforts as the downtown plan, the PUD ordinance, and vertical mixed use design standards.