LAKEWAY, Texas (KXAN) — Lakeway City Council members voted 4-3 on Monday against a workforce housing development that was proposed for the corner of FM 620 and Nightingale Lane.
“I left hopeful, because we went in there that night thinking it was going to be 7-0,” said business owner and Lake Travis Chamber Chair Christy Black. “What’s next is we don’t give up.”
The proposal was for a roughly 250-unit building with three private courtyards and a public park. Those who would have qualified are workers and families making about $40-$60,000 per year.
“This is the wrong fit for this piece of property,” said one woman during public comment at the council meeting.
“We’re not against workforce housing, no one is against that,” added another. “It’s simply the density of the development we’re against. We’re concerned about the density. We’re concerned about the traffic.”
Workforce housing is not the same as Section 8 housing. The proposed unit was designed for middle-class workers and families making between about $40,000 and $60,000 per year.
According to the last census count, the Greater Austin Area gained 500,000 new residents.
“So when that’s the case, prices increase,” said Jeni Williams, deputy director of government affairs for the Austin Board of Realtors. “People are unable to afford that, because their wages have not kept up with the price increases that we’ve seen in housing.”
She adds in the past decade, housing costs have gone up 138%, while income has only gone up 38%.
A new workforce development may not go up on 620 and Nightingale, but Black says she’s planning a summit with other Lake Travis leaders and business owners to discuss other options.
“Those are my people. I employ them,” she said.