City Council sets a goal of creating 60,000 affordable units.
The Austin City Council today adopted the City’s first Strategic Housing Blueprint, which sets a goal of creating 60,000 affordable units in the next decade for households earning approximately $60,000 or less per year. This will be achieved by integrating policy initiatives and leveraging community partnerships to achieve the goal.
The Strategic Housing Blueprint proactively addresses issues of affordability and transportation in a region projected to continue experiencing population growth for the foreseeable future. City planners have expressed concern that without concerted action, existing resources and tools would not create even 10,000 affordable units over the next 10 years, thereby exacerbating an already strained housing market.
“I think one of the biggest issues that we have in this city is that we're losing people and we're losing communities at a time when housing prices are rising faster than incomes,” Said Austin Mayor Steve Adler. “I am not willing to admit defeat on gentrification and losing the middle class in Austin.”
“Setting housing goals and then figuring out how we can achieve those goals is mission-critical for affordability, which is why I am so gratified that the Council adopted the Strategic Housing Blueprint,” Mayor Adler said.
Developed by the Department of Neighborhood Housing and Community Development, the Strategic Housing Blueprint was developed with extensive community outreach. City staff spent hundreds of hours soliciting citizen input through more than 30 public meetings, a statistically valid, bi-lingual survey, and outreach through senior centers, libraries, faith-based communities, neighborhood associations, and schools.
City planners said that during those meetings, residents uniformly stressed the importance of affordable housing in all areas of Austin and to ensure balanced livability for all income levels. Participants also emphasized locating affordable housing in proximity to transportation choices, particularly for the elderly and those with disabilities.
The Strategic Housing Blueprint identifies five community values and provides thoughtful strategies and approaches to address each:
- Prevent households from being priced out of Austin
- Foster equitable communities
- Invest in housing for those most in need
- Create new and affordable housing choices for all Austinites in all parts of town
- Help Austinites reduce their household costs
Ultimately, the Blueprint seeks to take a holistic approach that emphasizes the importance of both preserving existing affordable homes in communities and producing new housing by increasing supply at all income levels.
To see the new Austin Strategic Housing Blueprint, along other documents and programs supporting affordable housing in Austin, go to the Neighborhood Housing and Community Development site at www.austintexas.gov/housing. For more information, contact Jonathan Tomko, principal planner (512-974-1057) or Jeff Patterson, public information specialist (512-974-3172).