Austin falling far short of goals to build enough affordable housing


An income-restricted affordable housing unit in East Austin (KXAN/Alyssa Goard)

AUSTIN (ABJ/KXAN) — Austin lags far behind the necessary pace to meet housing affordability goals outlined by the city four years ago, a new progress report shows.

The affordability goals are part of the city’s Strategic Housing Blueprint, which aims to significantly increase the city’s affordable housing stock by 2028. Austin City Council adopted the current blueprint in 2017.

The Strategic Housing Blueprint calls for 135,000 new housing units to be built in Austin over the course of the 10 years. It said 50,000 of those should be affordable to those earning at least 121% of the median family income, 25,000 for those earning 81-120% of the MFI, 15,000 for those earning 61-80%, 25,000 for those earning 31-60% and 20,000 for those earning less than 30% of the MFI.

Real estate company Zillow recently used pricing data to determine the U.S.’ least affordable cities for home-buying — data showed Austin could very soon be the least affordable city outside of California to own a home.

Zillow projected Austin homeowners will be spending over 30% of their entire household monthly income to pay their mortgages by the end of 2021. Percentages over 30% indicate cities that are “housing burdened,” Zillow reports.

Despite the low grades on its progress report, the City of Austin is making efforts to bring affordable areas back into the Capitol city. The City may soon begin negotiations to develop a 5.5 acre area in north Austin into a mixed-use development with about 350 units.

To read more, visit Austin Business Journal.

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