AISD to look into affordable housing options

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The Austin ISD board of trustees adopted a resolution Monday night that seeks to identify district property suitable for affordable housing that could provide more residential options for district staff and families.

A joint subcommittee made up of representatives from AISD, Austin City Council and the Travis County Commissioners Court have agreed to explore available options to develop affordable housing on public lands. This comes on the heels of a statistic which indicates that 40 percent of teachers leave the district because of affordability issues. More than 1,000 employees in AISD make less than $25,000 annually, and the average AISD teacher has an annual salary of $48,000 per year, according to board documents.

Member of the joint subcommittee and vice president of the board Paul Saldaña explained that adopting the resolution could be a step forward in working collaboratively to alleviate the burden of living expenses for the district workforce.

“This is an opportunity to explore some synergy that can be created with no commitments, to say we are willing to formally have these conversations and that if any proposals come back to the governing body we have no obligation to accept or approve,” Saldaña said.

The trustees voted 8-0-1 to approve the resolution to work collaboratively with the outside entities to explore affordable housing options on public lands.