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 Cristóver Pérez / KUT

Austin City Council is set to take up a measure Thursday to encourage affordable housing to be more evenly dispersed throughout the city.

Jorge Sanhueza-Lyon / KUT

It’s hard to come by vacant land in downtown Austin these days, and the few empty blocks that remain are quickly being scooped up by developers. One of the area’s latest projects is at 308 Guadalupe Street.

Jorge Sanhueza-Lyon / KUT

Dozens of activists and affordable housing residents gathered on the steps of City Hall on Saturday to speak against proposed cuts to the Department of Housing and Urban Development, or HUD.

Jorge Sanhueza-Lyon / KUT

The rising cost of construction has made it harder to build affordable homes in Central Austin, housing analysts said Thursday at the Home Builders Association of Greater Austin midyear housing forecast event.

Syeda Hasan / KUT

Mayor Steve Adler is proposing a new plan for addressing homelessness in downtown Austin – by making tourists chip in.

Jorge Sanhueza-Lyon / KUT

Tim Mattox doesn’t want to live in Austin, but soon he might not have a choice. Mattox has lived in the River Place neighborhood for 19 years. It’s a community of about 1,100 homes just northwest of the city near Lake Austin. In December, Mattox’s neighborhood is scheduled to be annexed by the city.

Martin do Nascimento / KUT

Anyone who has driven or taken a bus down Guadalupe Street near UT-Austin knows how bumpy the ride can be.

Though the Drag was repaved just a few years ago, its bus lanes are already marred with potholes. Now, the city has begun making repairs to those lanes.

Miguel Gutierrez Jr. / KUT

When we talk about gentrification in Austin, the conversation tends to center around rapid redevelopment on the city’s East Side. But residents of other neighborhoods near the city center have their eyes on the changes that Austin’s new land development code, CodeNEXT, could bring.

Jorge Sanhueza-Lyon / KUT

When you’re out enjoying some live music in Austin, you’re probably not thinking about the development rules governing the venue you’re in. But Austin’s new land development code, known as CodeNEXT, will have implications for clubs and the city’s other creative spaces. 

Martin do Nascimento for KUT

As Austin’s new land development code, known as CodeNEXT is being written, city staff and the private sector are working to understand how it will shape future development.

Martin do Nascimento / KUT

The Austin City Council has approved some changes to the review process for the city’s new land development code, known as CodeNEXT, allowing for additional scrutiny at City Hall before its planned adoption in April of next year.

Gabriel Cristóver Pérez / KUT

There is plenty of parking in downtown Austin, but often those spaces aren’t available, according to a parking study released Wednesday by the nonprofit Downtown Austin Alliance. 

Miguel Gutierrez Jr. / KUT

Austin is in the process of adopting several plans that will guide the future of development and transportation in the region. The city revealed a new guide Tuesday for the future of street design.

Gabriel Cristóver Pérez / KUT

For years, talk of affordable housing has dominated discussions at Austin City Hall. As the cost of living continues to climb, Mayor Steve Adler has expressed concern that the city is on its way to sky-high real estate prices like those in San Francisco. But how much power does the city actually have to influence the housing market?

Jorge Sanhueza-Lyon / KUT

Austin City Council approved a review today of how fair housing practices measure up in Austin and across Central Texas. 

The federal Fair Housing Act aims to protect people from discrimination when renting, buying or financing a home. Despite those protections, the reality is that housing discrimination persists in many cities. This will be the first time the Austin-Round Rock metro area gets a comprehensive look at this issue across the entire region. 

KUT

For years, Central Texas has seen ripples of population growth with Austin at the center.

“Without question, you essentially see this concentric movement outward from the urban core,” State Demographer Lloyd Potter said last month at the Texas Demographic Conference.

Mary Kang for KUT

As rents for residents and businesses continue to climb, Austin City Council has approved a plan to help the city’s artists afford to keep their venues and creative spaces.

Gabriel Cristóver Pérez / KUT

Austin City Council is set to consider a program that would bring more affordable housing units to the East Side. It’s called a community land trust, and it could create homes that remain affordable for decades to come.

Gabriel Cristóver Pérez / KUT

For years, Mike “Truth” Johnston has been pasting his colorful portraits of icons from Michael Jordan to Martin Luther King Jr. on dumpsters, billboards and electrical boxes around the city. 

KUT’s Syeda Hasan caught up with the Austin street artist to learn more about his creative process. 

Jorge Sanhueza-Lyon / KUT

A new traffic study recommends adding sidewalks, bike lanes and bus stops to ease congestion in the Rainey Street neighborhood. 

Gabriel Cristóver Pérez / KUT

You’ve probably seen them while driving around town – those handwritten signs next to the road with messages like: “We buy houses for cash! Call now!”

Martin do Nascimento for KUT

The current draft of CodeNEXT continues to face scrutiny at City Hall. Last night, members of Austin’s Planning Commission and the Zoning and Platting Commission met to drill into the details of the proposed land development code.

Jorge Sanhueza-Lyon / KUT

City leaders have been hosting a series of open houses to inform Austinites about CodeNEXT, the proposed land development code that will shape Austin for years to come. The process has brought up different issues in different council districts.

Jorge Sanhueza-Lyon / KUT

Since the city released its first draft of a new land development code earlier this year, residents and city leaders have been working to understand how it will shape Austin neighborhoods.

In Hyde Park, residents have adopted a tool that both regulates development and aims to preserve the historic neighborhood’s character, but some say this exempts the area from having to follow the new code.

Jorge Sanhueza-Lyon / KUT

This may be the most anxious time of year for affordable-housing developers in Texas. In a few weeks, they'll find out whether their applications for low-income housing tax credits have been approved, and the decision could spell life or death for their proposed projects.

Miguel Gutierrez Jr. for KUT

For many Austin artists, finding affordable space to create is an enormous concern. The Austin City Council is set to consider a plan Thursday to help them out.

Syeda Hasan / KUT

Government officials and community activists from across the state gathered outside the Texas Capitol on Tuesday to voice support for taking legal action to stop the so-called “sanctuary cities" law.

Ilana Panich-Linsman for KUT

The federal housing choice voucher program, which used to be called Section 8, is aimed at helping low-income families meet their housing costs. Here in Austin, it’s one way the city is trying to meet the growing demand for deeply affordable housing. 

Jeff Heimsath for KUT

For much of her life as a homeowner, Joan Reames never noticed the drainage charge on her monthly utility bill. Then the city revised the system in 2015. 

Reames said the monthly fee for her condo complex suddenly increased by more than $2,000. The city bills her homeowner’s association and then the cost is split among the residents.

Jorge Sanhueza-Lyon / KUT

For the past several months, the city's Visitor Impact Task Force has been exploring new uses for the millions of tax dollars brought in by Austin hotels. The group also has to contend with a host of state and local regulations that govern how exactly the money can be spent.

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