Group Equates Austin Affordable Housing Bond Ballot Measure With Rape

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This November, Austin voters will have the option of approving $65 million in affordable housing bonds. The bonds will allow the city to partner with organizations to utilize funds for affordable rental and ownership housing and preservation of existing affordable housing. City officials have said the city will be able to take on the full amount of this bond debt without raising taxes.

But according to the Travis County Taxpayers Union, the mere presence of this provision on the ballot constitutes rape. The group is using the slogan “No means no!” in their campaign against the bond provision, and to make sure the connection between affordable housing bonds and rape is clear, Don Zimmerman, representing the group, says, “The City of Austin is trying to rape voters by having it vote on the affordable housing bonds again after it said 'no.'” He then really drives his point home by repeatedly blowing a rape whistle in an interview with KEYE TV.

Read more below the jump. Last November, Austin voters rejected a ballot proposal that would have issued close to $80 million housing bonds for the creation of 3,500 affordable units for low-income families by a margin of 51-49. Many were confused by the proposal's failure since Austin voters do generally support affordable housing, and many believe it failed to pass due to confusing wording. A poll taken earlier this year suggests 55 percent of Austin voters would actually support the provision this time around, despite the allegations from the Taxpayers Union that providing them with this opportunity would be similar to sexual assault.    

Meanwhile, the need for more affordable housing in Austin is vast and growing. According to Elliott McFadden, a spokesperson for Keep Austin Affordable, “We have over 38,000 low income families who can't find affordable housing in Austin, and over 2,000 homeless children in the school district. we can't afford to wait around and not address this issue.” This year Austin rents reached an historic high, rising 4 percent from 2011-2012 and expected to increase 5 percent in 2013.  

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About Author

Emily Cadik

Emily is a Texas ex-pat and proud Longhorn living in Washington, DC, where she remains connected to the Lone Star State through her work on BOR and her enthusiasm for breakfast tacos. She works on affordable housing policy, and writes about health care, poverty and other social justice issues.

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