Austin residents reject housing bond proposal

Election Day came and went in Austin and throughout the United States. However, property buyers who are considering some of the homes for sale in Austin might be interested in the results regarding several local initiatives, including an affordable housing bond proposal.

The Austin American-Statesman reports that Austin voters rejected a $78.3 million affordable housing bond proposal on November 6, 2012. It lost by a margin of 2 percentage points. If the proposal had passed, it would have been used to fund 3,500 new apartments, condos and single-family residences for low-income and homeless people in the area.

Austin Mayor Lee Leffingwell noted that the city will look to new initiatives to provide homeownership opportunities to more of its residents.

"It means we need a new strategy moving forward for addressing the housing needs of our city's most vulnerable residents," Leffingwell told the newspaper.

Building permits in Austin
While the recent election will impact Austin's future, the rising number of building permit requests is also likely to affect the city's residents going forward. The rejection of the housing bond proposal might appear to offer fewer construction opportunities for local contractors, but there has already been steady demand for building permits throughout the region.

According to KVUE-TV, city officials have experienced significant delays in responding to building permit requests due to the high volume of applications. Donald Birkner, assistant director of planning and development review for the City of Austin, said that the overwhelming number of requests shows that the city's economy has improved over the past few years and more residents want to enhance their properties.

"The economy had been down for a while and folks were kind of starting to realize it was turning around a little bit, and it kind of overwhelmed us," Birkner told the news source.

An increased desire to make building modifications shows that Austin residents are willing to invest in their businesses and homes. Their projects could help the local economy by providing opportunities for construction firms to complete these renovations. Additionally, contractors could look to local job seekers for assistance, which could help further reduce the city's jobless rate.

City officials are also considering innovative measures to upgrade Austin's streets. The Austin Business Journal states that the Austin City Council is currently reviewing the possibility of spending $5.3 million to improve a stretch of East Fifth Street just east of U.S. Interstate 35 by adding bushes, grass, storm sewer lines and more.