Syeda Hasan

Development and Affordability Reporter

Syeda Hasan is KUT's development and affordability reporter. She previously worked as a reporter at Houston Public Media covering county government, immigrant and refugee communities, homelessness and the Sandra Bland case. Her work has been heard nationally on public radio shows such as Morning EditionAll Things Considered and Marketplace.

She got her start in public radio as an intern at KUT while earning her bachelor’s degree in journalism, with a minor in French, at the University of Texas at Austin where she served as a reporter for the Daily Texan student newspaper.

Ways to Connect

Gabriel C. Pérez / KUT

A new study from the University of Texas points to widespread gentrification in Austin, stretching from northern neighborhoods to the eastern edge of South Austin. Researchers say the groups most impacted by displacement are low-income African-American and Hispanic renters.

Gabriel C. Pérez / KUT

Watchdog groups say changes to the 2020 census could make it harder to accurately count people living in rural areas, which could ultimately lead to future funding shortfalls.

Gabriel C. Pérez / KUT

For the first time in four years, the housing choice voucher program – formerly known as Section 8 – has reopened its waitlist to Austin residents in need of rental assistance.

Gabriel C. Pérez / KUT

Austin is slowly making progress toward becoming a more affordable city, according to a new analysis, but many residents are still finding it difficult to pay for housing.

Jorge Sanhueza-Lyon / KUT

Development in Bastrop has been temporarily put on hold.

The Bastrop City Council voted unanimously last week to put a 90-day moratorium on development permits. The city wants to use this time to update its land-development rules to try to prevent flooding, an effort it’s calling Building Bastrop. The council also approved an emergency ordinance related to drainage.

Pavel Mezihorak for KUT

The number of partnerships between public transit agencies and private ridesharing companies like Uber has been booming. Since 2016, at least 27 such programs have sprung up across the country, including one in Central Austin. 

Julia Reihs / KUT

The Austin City Council voted unanimously today to scrap CodeNEXT, the controversial overhaul of the city's land development code.

In a resolution, the council said "due to a combination of significant disruptions to the process, CodeNEXT is no longer a suitable mechanism to achieve its stated goals or address the critical challenges currently facing our City."

Pavel Mezihorak for KUT

Local money alone is not enough to improve public transit and ease traffic congestion in the region, Capital Metro CEO Randy Clarke said at a board of directors meeting Monday.

For years, the region’s transit agency has been working to develop Project Connect, a plan to build a transit network that can move more people faster. Austin City Council members joined the Cap Metro board to explore how to pay for it.

Gabriel C. Pérez / KUT

Candace Hunter applied to live at the Reserve at Springdale as soon as she could. When the nearly 300-unit property opened last year, it brought much-needed affordable housing to East Austin.

Within the year, the complex – which houses Austinites earning 60 percent or less of the median income ($51,600 annually for a family of four) – completely filled up.

As condemnation of the summit between Trump and Putin mounts in Washington, we head to rural Texas to hear how Trump supporters in Burnet County are reacting to criticism of the president.


Gabriel C. Pérez / KUT

Over the last month, thousands of people have rallied in Austin and across the country to protest the Trump administration’s so-called zero-tolerance immigration policy, which has left thousands of migrant children separated from their parents after attempting to cross the U.S. border.

Gabriel C. Pérez / KUT

A city statute that governs the makeup of Austin’s Planning Commission is at the center of a legal challenge from Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton’s office.

Paxton is taking legal action to remove eight members of the 13-member commission, citing a rule that limits how many commissioners can have some sort of affiliation with real estate or land use interests.

Martin do Nascimento / KUT

After months of negotiation, the Austin City Council has opened the door to seizing the site of the old Montopolis Negro School in East Austin.

Callie Hernandez for KUT

Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton is seeking to remove eight of the 13 members of Austin’s Planning Commission. The commission is responsible for making and amending a master city plan, making recommendations to the City Council on proposed zoning changes and weighing in on land use decisions.

Renee Dominguez/KUT

Crowds descended on the lawn of the Texas Capitol this afternoon for the Families Belong Together rally despite triple-digit temperatures to protest the Trump administration's "zero tolerance" immigration policy. The demonstration in Austin was one of dozens held across the country Saturday. 

Demonstrators carried signs with messages including, "People are not illegal," "God is watching us," and "The Pilgrims were undocumented." 

Gabriel C. Pérez / KUT

Austin’s system of police oversight may be more effective than others at promoting long-term change, but there's still skepticism about the agency, according to a new report

Carlos Morales/Marfa Public Radio

President Trump signed an order Wednesday to stop family separations at the southern border, but experts say the more than 2,000 children who have already been separated could face major mental health problems.

Montinique Monroe for KUT

The Austin-Round Rock metro area is the ninth fastest growing in the country, according to 2017 population estimates from the U.S. Census Bureau.

Callie Hernandez / KUT

The Austin City Council is set to vote tomorrow on adopting the city manager’s recommendation for a 2018 bond package. Austin voters would decide on whether to approve the $816 million referendum this November. 

ATXN screenshot

Austin City Council members are fine-tuning their goals for a new land-development code at a meeting Tuesday, and they’re trying to do it in a respectful manner. 

Gabriel C. Pérez / KUT

Apurva Sukthankar picked a good day to take the bus in Austin for the first time – the fare was free and Capital Metro staff were out assisting riders Sunday, the first day of the Cap Remap launch.

Jorge Sanhueza-Lyon / KUT

In one rapidly changing East Austin neighborhood, dogs now outnumber children nearly 2 to 1, according to a new report from UT’s Institute for Urban Policy Research and Analysis.

Gabriel C. Pérez / KUT

The Austin City Council today approved a revised version of a proposal from Mayor Pro Tem Kathie Tovo to create a mortgage-assistance program for low-income homeowners.

The city manager will research similar programs used in other cities and return to City Council with a proposal by September.

Gabriel C. Pérez / KUT

It’s been a few years since East Austin resident Bonnie Hauser sold her car. The librarian's commute is short enough that she usually bikes or walks to work with the Austin Independent School District. When she has a meeting downtown, Hauser takes the No. 17 bus from her neighborhood.

Pavel Mezihorak for KUT

In just over two weeks, more than half of all Capital Metro’s bus routes will be altered – and some will be eliminated

Gabriel C. Pérez

Residents of the Goodall Wooten dormitory say the building is closing after decades of providing affordable housing near the UT campus.

Gabriel C. Pérez / KUT

Watchdog groups in Austin say a plan to raise rents for millions of people who get federal housing assistance would hurt the area’s most vulnerable residents.

Jorge Sanhueza-Lyon / KUT

When Leilah Abdennabi met Sirat Al-Nahi inside Kerbey Lane Café one morning in December 2015, she found her friend in tears.

While Abdennabi was parking at the Guadalupe Street restaurant, Al-Nahi heard an older white man who was also waiting for a table criticize her driving. "She should just go back to Saudi Arabia where she came from," he said.  

Gabriel C. Pérez / KUT

Gilbert and Jane Rivera bought their home in the Rosewood neighborhood of East Austin in 1983 for $39,000. Seventeen years later, it was worth $79,000. Another 17 years later, it was worth over $500,000.

Jorge Sanhueza-Lyon / KUT

David Jones has been renting his apartment in North Austin for four years. He's grown an impressive herb garden on his front porch: Rows of parsley, oregano and thyme line one side. He’s a veteran on a fixed income, and his housing story hasn’t been an easy one.

“In 1999, I was renting a house here in Austin,” Jones said. “I came home on a Friday evening, and there was a notice to vacate – eviction notice – on my door. I panicked, and I moved all my stuff by that Monday.”

Pages