Austin (KXAN) - It's an area of town that's seeing growth like no other; East Riverside Drive. Located just two miles from downtown there about 5,000 new apartment units going up.
But the great location and scenic views come with steep price tags that not everyone can afford; forcing many families to move out.
Rick Urias has lived on East Riverside Drive for most of his life, but he says the last year has brought about several changes to his old neighborhood.
"The rent went up from $500 to $600 in the last year, and they say it's going to go up even more soon," said Urias.
Older apartments are trying to compete with what's being built right across the street; new luxury apartments with hefty price tags. What was once affordable housing is now getting upgraded forcing rent to go up as well.
"Many of these families over here can't afford that so they are leaving," said Urias. "Several of my neighbors have already moved out because the rent is going up."
Six apartments have recently been built and 13 more are expected to be complete by the next two years. The going rate for a new pad on Riverside is about $2 per square foot which equals out to about $1,200 for a one bedroom apartment.
Melissa Lamb is one of thousands of new renters flocking to the area. She moved into an apartment right next to I-35 about a month ago.
"This area is so nice I kind of feel like I hit the jackpot," said Lamb. "It's pricier, but I think it's well worth it especially when I'm cutting down on traffic."
It's location, luxury, and leisure that Urias says has left him hanging on to his neighborhood by a thread.
He's hoping the city council will make new policies that will bring a better mix of housing projects to serve more mixed-income households as well.
There are requirements on the new developers to provide housing to low-income people as they build these new complexes.
Right now the city of Austin's High Performing Housing Authority is assisting more than 18-thousand people in the city.
Still, low-income housing advocates say more needs to be done for those who fall through the cracks. The people who work and make too much money for subsidized housing but not enough to afford the rising rents.
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