Affordable Housing

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

At the start of the Texas legislative session, you might have characterized the number of bills reversing City of Austin regulations as an onslaught. There were bills to undo the city’s "ban the box" rule, its plastic bag ban, the city’s ride-hailing regulations.

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

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.

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. 

Martin do Nascimento / KUT

For years, residents of the Cross Creek Apartments in North Austin have been complaining about poor living conditions. They say they continue to pay rent while living with broken windows, poor security and a lack of hot water, among other issues.

Op-Ed: Let's Tackle Austin's Affordability Crisis Without Villainizing Newcomers

Apr 18, 2017
Jorge Sanhueza-Lyon / KUT

Nothing is quite as “un-Austin" and "un-Texan" as to be unwelcoming to new people. Yet some Austinites argue that outsiders are destroying our city; it has even become a mantra for them. But what makes someone an Austinite and gives them the right to be here? Being born here? Being here for 10 years? Longer? While Austin does have growing pains, we also have the tools to deal with them, and that does not mean pulling the ladder up on new people.

Gabriel Cristóver Pérez / KUT

The Austin City Council approved the strategic housing plan Thursday, though the document is now being called the strategic housing “blueprint.” It calls for the construction of 135,000 more housing units by 2025, with 60,000 of them being affordable.

Martin do Nascimento / KUT

After hours of debate last night, Austin City Council gave final approval to one of this year’s most divisive zoning cases. The Austin Oaks planned unit development, or PUD, will bring new housing, retail, office space and parkland to the current site of an office park near Spicewood Springs Road and MoPac. Last night’s vote was 8-2. 

Filipa Rodrigues / KUT

Author Richard Florida has made a career studying cities, both culturally and economically. He promotes what he calls the "creative class" and has said for years that cities prosper when they attract upscale innovators and entrepreneurs. Make your city a place where the creative class wants to live, and they, in turn, will create jobs.

Martin do Nascimento / KUT

Socar Chatmon-Thomas pointed at an apartment building under construction along the south shore of Lady Bird Lake, near East Riverside Drive.

“This whole thing used to just be nothing,” said Chatmon-Thomas, who has worked in Austin real estate since 1994. “Just fields and that’s it, and nobody lived over here.”

Gabriel Cristóver Pérez / KUT

This week, the Austin City Council is set to take up the city’s first-ever housing plan. The plan aims to address Austin’s growing affordability crisis by setting goals for new housing production. But apart from encouraging more affordable housing, there’s also the question of where exactly it should go. 

Gabriel Cristóver Pérez / KUT

Austin City Council members are hoping to make good on promises to create a more affordable Austin. Or, at the very least, ratify a plan to.

Miguel Gutierrez Jr. / KUT

The Austin City Council on Thursday will consider throwing its support behind nine affordable housing projects, all vying for competitive state tax credits that could help fund them. But some residents who live near one of these proposed projects in North Austin aren’t so happy with the idea.

Jorge Sanhueza-Lyon / KUT

Next week, the city of Austin is set to release the first draft of CodeNEXT, a much-awaited overhaul of the land development code. These rules govern everything from parking to how neighborhoods look. But as the change rolls in, some city leaders worry Austin’s affordable housing may be at risk.

Jorge Sanhueza-Lyon / KUT

Austin’s booming population continued to grow in 2016, which helped fuel another strong year for the housing market. But some analysts say the region’s home sales could begin to see a slowdown in the year ahead.

One of the biggest factors that draw people to the Central Texas region – employment – isn’t growing quite as fast as it used to. Eldon Rude, principal of 360 Real Estate Analytics, said that could signal a weaker growth in home sales for the year ahead.

Miguel Gutierrez Jr. / KUT

After months of discussion, and more after-hours debate and testimony at City Hall the Austin City Council is moving forward with plans for a controversial development known as the Grove at Shoal Creek.

Jorge Sanhueza-Lyon / KUT

In a late Friday ruling, a district judge sided with a local activist against the City of Austin, voiding a December vote taken by city council members on the housing development Pilot Knob. Called Easton Park, the development plans to offer 1,500 apartments and 6,500 single-family homes in southeast Travis County.


Jorge Sanhueza-Lyon / KUT

Last November, the Austin City Council loosened regulations for what are called “accessory dwelling units.”  Those are buildings like backyard flats and garage apartments. Supporters of the change hoped it would bring more affordable housing to pricey neighborhoods. So, is it working?


What Can Austin Do to Support Its Musicians?

Sep 13, 2016
Austin Anderson/Flickr (CC BY-ND 2.0)

From Texas Standard:

Austin bills itself as the “Live Music Capital” of the world. But a flood of newcomers to the city has produced some dire consequences for the very people who've earned the city that title – the musicians who can no longer afford to live there.

Mayor Steve Adler says the city has reached a tipping point. 

 


Ilana Panich-Linsman for KUT

Rents are slowly getting more expensive across the nation, but a new report finds that they’re rising even faster for the lowest-priced properties.


Jorge Sanhueza-Lyon / KUT

State lawmakers are set to hear testimony this morning on how to address affordable housing needs throughout Texas.


FLICKR.COM/WWWORKS

A city can feel like two totally different places depending on whether you rent or own your home, and Austin is no exception.


Miguel Gutierrez Jr. / KUT

The Housing Authority of the City of Austin is moving forward with a plan to renovate its public housing complexes, but some residents are concerned about where they’ll live during construction. 


Miguel Gutierrez Jr. / KUT

The Austin City Council has decided to postpone a zoning decision for the Elysium Park apartment complex, a new affordable housing development planned for North Austin. 


Jorge Sanhueza-Lyon / KUT

City officials are looking at expanding a tool to bring more affordable housing to Austin neighborhoods.

That tool is called a “density bonus.” Here’s how it works: The city grants developers certain privileges, like building more housing units or taller buildings than are typically allowed. In return, the development must provide a public benefit, like adding some units designated to be rented at below-market rates.

City leaders are considering a change that could add more affordable housing throughout Austin using the state’s Homestead Preservation District (HPD) designation.

Syeda Hasan / KUT

City of Austin regulators have released their latest report focused on making housing more affordable. This weekend, staff from the CodeNEXT initiative hosted a community walk to show how those changes could be implemented.


Joy Diaz/Texas Standard

From Texas Standard:

If you're a regular listener to the Standard, you may remember Courtney Meeks. She's homeless and pregnant. When we met her in January, Meeks was standing at the corner of a busy intersection in Austin asking drivers for money. Back then, she thought she was really close to giving birth.

Miguel Guitierrez Jr./KUT

As Austin’s housing prices continue to rise, the push for more affordable housing has grown louder, and there's an even greater need for places large enough to fit a family.


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