Affordability

Tristan Ipock for KUTX

A collection of 26 music venues, theater spaces and art galleries are getting as much as $50,000 each in one-time funds from the City of Austin to cover rent and other property costs.

Julia Reihs / KUT

There are vast differences when it comes to life expectancies between neighborhoods in Austin, according to new research from the Episcopal Health Foundation.

Julia Reihs / KUT

The Census Bureau released the latest batch of data from its American Communities Survey last week. The survey offers a glimpse into economic indicators, demographic shifts and population numbers.

It's a lot.

Here are a few items that stood out. 

Gabriel C. Pérez / KUT

The Austin City Council voted to scale back city rules on camping, panhandling and sitting or lying down in public. Council members heard hours of impassioned testimony on the ordinances at the tail end of a marathon meeting that stretched into early Friday morning. 

Gabriel Cristóver Pérez / KUT

To afford a two-bedroom rental home in the Austin-Round Rock area, you'll need a $25-an-hour job, according to a new report from the National Low Income Housing Coalition. If you're working a job that pays minimum wage, you're looking at a 140-hour workweek to afford that same two-bedroom.

Federal guidelines say residents should pay no more than 30% of their household income on rent and utilities.

 Google has reportedly leased an entire 35-story, 735,000-square-foot building under construction on Cesar Chavez Street in downtown Austin.
Jorge Sanhueza-Lyon / KUT

If you were relieved by last year’s announcement that Amazon’s HQ2 would go elsewhere – along with its potential 50,000 employees over 15 years – know this: Expansion efforts by Amazon, Apple and Google could produce a near-equivalent wave of folks coming to Austin – and sooner than any HQ2.

Gabriel C. Pérez / KUT

Homelessness increased 5 percent in Austin over last year, according to the results of Ending Community Homelessness Coalition's annual census. 

The survey, which was conducted overnight on Jan. 26 by about 500 volunteers, found 2,255 people experiencing homelessness on Austin streets and in shelters, compared to 2,147 people last year.

Gabriel C. Pérez / KUT

Bri Rodriguez buckled her son Rocky into his car seat. “Little grumps,” she said, teasing the 1-year-old as he scrunched up his face, unhappy at having to be in the car.

Gabriel C. Pérez / KUT

Austin is enjoying a robust economy. The city boasts monthly job numbers that are at or near what economists consider full employment; that is, almost everyone who can work is working. But the tighter job market is putting the squeeze on restaurants.

Jorge Sanhueza-Lyon / KUT

A new report says a third of households in Travis County struggle to make ends meet; in Austin, that number was higher, at 42 percent.

Gabriel C. Pérez / KUT

The bureaucratic stars over City Hall may just align in 2019.

Next year, the city will weigh four ambitious plans that aim to achieve the long-sought goal of making Austin more affordable.

Gabriel C. Pérez / KUT

On Monday, Julie Brown heard a voice beckoning her to get a piece of pie.

She listened, stopping at The Frisco on Burnet Road and ordering a piece of coconut pie – just like her parents did when they first met decades ago.

Gabriel C. Pérez / KUT

Ben Hamill was confused. Down the street from his house in Brentwood, a building was going up, and he and his wife couldn’t quite place what it was. It looked like an apartment or a condo, as far as they could tell, with floor-to-ceiling windows, some cubist-looking eaves and all the trappings of a typical condo. Then they put up a sign: STORAGE.

Jimmy Maas / KUT

It's not uncommon for cities, states – even countries – to highlight their workforce, investment opportunities, or visitor and tourism offerings at South By Southwest.

There are booths for places like Mexico, Ireland ... and Bastrop.

Gabriel C. Pérez / KUT

Hispanic families in Central Texas don’t have the same opportunities to access health care, employment and early childhood education, according to a new report from the Austin Community Foundation.

Gabriel Cristóver Pérez/KUT

Nearly two-thirds of Austin renters looking to settle down somewhere else are largely doing so because of affordability, according to a new report from the research firm Apartment List. While the 65 percent of city renters leaving isn't all that different from the national average of 64 percent, the reason they're leaving should be a concern.

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

The City of Austin is in the process of adopting a new land development code, rules that will govern everything from parking requirements to how tall buildings can be. As the city begins rolling out the proposal, some think the information needs to be translated into more languages, making it accessible to more Austin residents.

Gabriel Cristóver Pérez / NPR

In recent years, Austin’s creative community has been feeling the brunt of the city’s affordability crisis. As rents continue to rise, many artists have moved away, and studios and galleries have closed their doors.

Now, the city is looking to provide creative space for artists in some unexpected places, by partnering with local houses of worship.

Ilana Panich-Linsman for KUT

In a vote that pit representatives of the city’s lowest-income districts against their colleagues, Austin City Council members narrowly approved an 8 percent homestead exemption on Wednesday – an increase of 2 percent over last year’s exemption. To a resident with a home worth $250,000, that equates to a nearly $23 in annual savings on their property taxes.


Jorge Sanhueza-Lyon/KUT News

This week, Austin City Council members will reignite a discussion their predecessors started three years ago.

Council will look at the question of whether the city should have a policy to help renters who are forced to move through no fault of their own.