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New Plan Could Provide Much-Needed Subsidized Housing

A new plan targeting nonprofit organizations spearheading affordable housing could lead to an increase in dense, subsidized housing throughout Austin. The program, recently introduced to the Austin City Council by council member Greg Casar, waives zoning and design standards, as well as parking and other requirements, for groups such as Habitat for Humanity.

The program also would waive compatibility standards for height and setbacks, and could allow at least six units on a lot — if feasible — for projects of three units or greater. This would assume that at least half the units are reserved for renters at or below 60% of the median-family income, or at or below 80% of median family income.

The city council will soon vote on the resolution. If approved, it will go through the planning commission for analysis of land code changes before returning to the council for a final vote.

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About Mark El-Rayes

Mark El-Rayes is an award winning designer and photographer from Beirut, Lebanon. El-Rayes has over 15 years in the design industry, 5 years of which he served as a Mass Communication Specialist in the United States Navy at Naval Air Station North Island, Navy Public Affairs Support Element - West (NPASE). El-Rayes is a full-stack developer, seo specialist, photographer, and artist.

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