City of AustinFOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Communications and Public Information Office
On December 7, the Austin City Council passed new code amendments for the first phase of the “Home Options for Middle-Income Empowerment” Initiative.
On Thursday, December 7, the Austin City Council passed new code amendments for the first phase of the “Home Options for Middle-Income Empowerment” (HOME) Initiative, with a 9-2 supermajority. The approved code amendments are among a series of updates to the City’s Land Development Code (LDC), which governs land use regulations in Austin, intending to provide more housing types and increase housing supply within single-family zoned areas of Austin. These amendments also provide homeowners with additional flexibility and options for their properties by:
Allowing up to three units: Increasing the number of homes allowed on single-family lots to three units, giving homeowners the ability to provide on-site housing options to family members, a caregiver, or earn additional income.
Including Tiny Homes: Making it easier to install a tiny home, an accessible and affordable way to add a small house to a property.
Creating Preservation and Sustainability Bonuses: Incentivize saving existing homes that conserve neighborhood character and help keep materials out of area landfills.
Encouraging the Creation of Smaller Homes: Regulates the size and scale of houses while promoting smaller “starter homes” for homebuyers.
The amendments apply to Austin properties zoned as Single-Family Residence Large Lot (SF-1), Single-Family Residence Standard Lot (SF-2), and Family Residence (SF-3). Homeowners can check the zoning of their property using this interactive Property Profile tool. In addition to zoning, other considerations such as site limitations, homeowners’ associations, deed restrictions, and tree regulations may impact a property’s ability to add housing units.
Homeowners are not required to do anything new to their property. They can continue using their property as a single-family home or choose new options and build up to three homes, including tiny homes.
These amendments also eliminated restrictions in the LDC regarding the number of unrelated adults that can live in one home, including single-family homes and apartments. Occupancy limits will continue to be regulated under the City’s Property Maintenance Code (Chapter 4, Section 404) which has enforceable occupancy limits based on square footage per person to ensure health and safety and prevent overcrowding.