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'Surprise' Over Prop 15 Rejection in Austin

Mose Buchele for KUT News

Supporters of Proposition 15, a city ballot measure that would have spent $78.3 million on affordable housing, seem shocked that their bond proposal appears headed for defeat. It was the only bond proposition on the ballot that looks like it will be narrowly rejected. With almost 219,000 votes counted, 51.27 percent opposed the proposition and 48.73 supported it. 

“We’re going to have to take some time and figure out why the housing bond didn’t pass,” says Walter Moreau, executive director of the affordable housing non-profit Foundation Communities. “We had some visibility. We didn’t have opposition. We had support from the papers and Interfaith Action and affordable housing groups.”

The ballot proposition received an endorsement from the Austin American-Statesman and the Austin Chronicle. The waitlist for Section 8 housing vouchers in Austin is years long and currently closed.

“It didn’t say much on the ballot about it and maybe that’s the reason. We’ll just have to take some time to figure it out,” he says. “It’s a surprise.”

“It’s just going to make Austin a more challenging place to afford for folks that are in many cases working but for very low wages and just need a place to rent,” Moreau says. 

Nathan Bernier is the transportation reporter at KUT. He covers the big projects that are reshaping how we get around Austin, like the I-35 overhaul, the airport's rapid growth and the multibillion-dollar transit expansion Project Connect. He also focuses on the daily changes that affect how we walk, bike and drive around the city. Got a tip? Email him at Follow him on X @KUTnathan.
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