Recent Headlines

A new Texas law goes into effect Friday – and city officials predict more confusion and litigation

Date: August 29, 2023

Local governments are days away from having to comply with a state law that cuts off their ability to regulate a huge swath of issues. That new law – which is slated to go into effect Friday – may well set off years of lawsuits and regulatory confusion.

Continue Reading

Austin passes $5.5 billion 2023-24 budget, increases property tax rate by 3.4%

Date: August 16, 2023

Austin passed a $5.5 billion budget for fiscal year 2023-24 on Aug. 16. The budget was adopted 10-1, with Council Member Mackenzie Kelly voting against it. Mayor Kirk Watson said that the key priorities for this budget include homelessness, public safety, resiliency, quality of life and affordability.

Continue Reading

Federal court rules Austin’s short-term rental rules unlawful

Date: August 3, 2023

Senior U.S. District Judge David Alan Ezra on Tuesday issued a ruling that overturns Austin’s short-term rental ordinance adopted in 2016. The plaintiffs, Robert Anding and his wife, Roberta, filed suit against the city after attempting to register one of their properties as a short-term rental. Because they did not occupy the property as their homestead, the city denied their application.

Continue Reading


Date: July 28, 2023

HUD’s has new inspection requirements which started as of July 1st for public housing and will take effect October 1st for any housing choice voucher units. 

Continue Reading


Date: July 28, 2023

The new HUD rules (largely about income reviews and income definitions) for Affordable housing will take effect January 1, 2024. 

Continue Reading

NMHC Encouraged Following HUD Meeting on Expanding Housing Supply

Date: July 28, 2023

Yesterday, NMHC President Sharon Wilson Géno participated in a roundtable discussion with HUD leaders, housing providers and other housing stakeholders on policy solutions to grow the nation’s housing supply.

Continue Reading

White House rolls out measures aimed at lowering cost of housing, increasing supply

Date: July 27, 2023

The White House is taking steps aimed at increasing the the supply of affordable housing while also bolstering protections for renters. The housing measures announced Thursday include providing communities with $85 million in funding from the Department of Housing and Urban Development to reduce barriers to affordable housing, such as zoning restrictions that in some places have become a hurdle to increasing the supply and density of affordable housing. HUD would provide grants upwards of $10 million.

Continue Reading

Biden Administration Announces Actions on Rental 'Junk Fees'

Date: July 20, 2023

The Biden administration announced an additional front — rental housing — for its standing opposition to so-called junk fees for consumers. “From repeated rental application fees to surprise ‘convenience fees,’ millions of families incur burdensome costs in the rental application process and throughout the duration of their lease,” the White House posted. 

Continue Reading

NMHC, NAA Support the Introduction of Choice in Affordable Housing Act

Date: July 13, 2023

The National Multifamily Housing Council (NMHC) and the National Apartment Association (NAA) applaud the introduction of the Choice in Affordable Housing Act, bipartisan legislation that aims to increase private sector participation in the Section 8 Housing Choice Voucher (HCV) program.

Continue Reading

City of Austin Suspends Partnership with Texas DPS

Date: July 12, 2023

Interim City Manager Jesús Garza has suspended the City of Austin’s partnership with the Texas Department of Public Safety in consultation with Mayor Kirk Watson. “From the start of this partnership with DPS, I said I wanted Austinites to feel safe and be safe. Recent events demonstrate we need to suspend the partnership with DPS. The safety of our community is a primary function of City government, and...

Continue Reading

As Texas Lawmakers Tussle Over Property Tax Relief, It's Unclear Whether Renters Will Benefit

Date: July 6, 2023

As a deal to cut Texas’ high property taxes continues to evade Republican lawmakers, Democrats in the Legislature unveiled a long-shot tax-cut proposal Thursday that targets relief to a group of taxpayers that have been largely left out of the debate: renters.

Continue Reading

Pflugerville ISD taking steps to provide affordable housing

Date: June 30, 2023

The board approved a memorandum of understanding to partner with the Texas Workforce Housing Foundation. According to the district, PfISD staff aims to collaborate with the TWHF to establish affordable housing options for employees. Through the partnership, Texas Essential Housing Foundation will provide subsidized rent rates at a local apartment complex specifically designated for staff members.

Continue Reading

Texas Governor Doubles Down on Lowering Property Taxes

Date: June 28, 2023

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott has called the state’s legislators back to the Capitol for a second special session that will focus exclusively on lowering property taxes.

The special session started Tuesday and is the second one since the Republican-dominated Texas Legislature wrapped up its regular 88th session at the end of May. The Texas Legislature meets every two years in Austin for a five-month regular session.

Continue Reading

A pandemic-era 'lifeline' for renters facing eviction in San Marcos is set to expire

Date: June 28, 2023

An ordinance passed during the pandemic gave tenants in San Marcos 90 days to pay overdue rent, fees and any additional charges before a landlord could begin the eviction process. Before the ordinance, individual landlords decided how many days tenants could be behind on rent before evicting them, which could be as few as three days.

Continue Reading

Apartment Rents Decline YoY for First Time

Date: June 28, 2023

May 2023 brought some unpleasant news for landlords and developers. For the first time in’s data history, there was a year-over-year rent decline for 0-2 bedroom-units since numbers started to be tracked three years ago. The two-bedroom properties dropped 0.5% to $1,923, which was $10 lower than a year ago and $47 lower than at the July 2022 peak. 

Continue Reading

Governor Abbott Announces Second Special Session Agenda

Date: June 27, 2023

Governor Greg Abbott today announced Special Session #2 and issued a proclamation identifying agenda items for the special session that begins at 3:00 PM today, Tuesday, June 27.

"We achieved a great deal during the 88th Legislative Session that I have signed into law, including laws to provide more than $5.1 billion for border security, hold rogue district attorneys accountable, and add $1.4 billion to make schools safer, but the job is not done," said Governor Abbott. 

Continue Reading

What Austin and Travis County learned about rental assistance during the pandemic

Date: June 22, 2023

When the Covid-19 pandemic hit in 2020, Austin and Travis County had no overarching infrastructure in place for distributing rental assistance or otherwise supporting low-income families at risk of eviction. Then, millions of people across industries lost their sources of income overnight. In an effort to stem a tide of evictions, the city and county enacted eviction moratoriums to keep people in their homes.

Continue Reading

'Largest property tax cut in the world' | Texas Senate passes $18B property tax bill

Date: June 20, 2023

AUSTIN, Texas — The Texas Senate on Tuesday passed what Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick is calling "the largest property tax cut in the history of the world." Senate Bill 26 (SB26), by Houston Republican State Sen. Paul Bettencourt, offers $18 billion in property tax relief. Similar to Senate Bill 1, the bill increases the homestead exemption to $100,000, but it puts more money toward compressing the school tax rate. It also doubles the franchise tax exemption to $2.47 million, which Bettencourt says would eliminate...

Continue Reading

Renting is much cheaper than owning in these housing markets

Date: June 19, 2023

Owning a starter home is now $1,000+ per month more expensive than renting one. While the metric has decelerated from a $1,188 peak in October 2022, it remains far above historic levels, according to John Burns Research & Consulting.

Austin Council Proposes Multi-Family Affordable Housing Program

Date: June 13, 2023

A new city program dubbed “Opportunity Unlocked” will allow Austin developers to build multi-family housing on single-family zoned lots, provided they make some of the units affordable, reports Jonathan Lee in the Austin Monitor. “Unlike other density bonus programs, Opportunity Unlocked ties requirements to bedrooms instead of units – a move aimed at incentivizing developers to build affordable homes for families.” 

Continue Reading

City of Leander looks at regulations for short-term rentals

Date: June 9, 2023

Regulations could be coming soon for short-term rental (STR) operators in Leander. This comes as the City of Leander considers updating ordinances, so that STR properties are subject to permitting and a local Hotel Occupancy Tax. In a May workshop, city leaders heard regulation recommendations from staff. The staff member presenting the recommendations said the city was approached by a third-party company that tracks STR data.

Continue Reading

Council Poised to Pass Three Housing Supply-Friendly Items

Date: June 9, 2023

The new City Council has already had a productive year in initiating changes to Austin's outdated Land Development Code, but at their final meeting before taking a six-week break in voting sessions, they're primed to make even more progress. On the June 8 agenda are three resolutions – each sponsored by a mix of Council Members Vanessa FuentesRyan AlterZo QadriChito VelaJosé Velásquez, and Natasha Harper-Madison – that would expand an existing density bonus program, create a new one, and ease...

Continue Reading

County-supported development brings more multifamily housing to market

Date: June 8, 2023

The Travis County Commissioners Court on Tuesday authorized final approval on a multifamily housing revenue bond for the Kensington apartments. The property spans 148 units located at 3300 Manor Road. All of the units are intended for those making at or below 60 percent of the area median income, according to county officials. The Travis County Housing Finance Corporation is issuing the bonds, though it is not a general partner on the project.

Continue Reading

Multifamily industry grapples with surging insurance costs in wake of climate risks

Date: June 7, 2023

Higher property insurance premiums have come at a time when costs to build and finance a commercial real estate project remain elevated, even though most materials pricing has stabilized since pandemic peaks.

Austin City Council votes to change code implemented to fight ‘stealth dorms’

Date: June 1, 2023

The Austin City Council voted Thursday to amend a city code that caps the number of unrelated adults living in a residential home from 4 people up to 6 people in a residential home. The amendment was sponsored by council members Qadri, Fuentes, Pool, Valeasquez and Mayor Pro Tem Paige Ellis. Qadri, who represents District 9, said the limit City Code Title 25 was outdated and no longer served a purpose amid the current housing crisis facing Austin.

Continue Reading

Housing and Planning Committee Grapples With How To Prioritize Code Amendments

Date: May 25, 2023

Members of City Council’s Housing and Planning Committee grappled during a Tuesday briefing with how to best approach moving forward on a set of amendments to the city’s Land Development Code.

The discussion occurred at the committee’s May 23 special called meeting, during which it received a briefing from staff on a plan for prioritizing the amendments. The group of city departments that put together the plan is known as the Land Development Code Cabinet, and includes representatives from the...

Continue Reading

Multifamily Rent Growth Returns to Pre-Pandemic Averages

Date: May 25, 2023, a commercial real estate data and listings platform, recently published a report illustrating recent slowdowns in multifamily rent growth, where they took place, and why the slowdowns occurred. The data highlights where multifamily rent growth increased, as well.

As a consequence of falling consumer confidence, seasonal shifts in rent, and rising multifamily vacancies, multifamily rent growth has fallen back to pre-pandemic averages on a national scale.

Continue Reading

A TOUGH JOB: Walter Moreau breaks his back to keep Austin affordable

Date: May 24, 2023

Walter Moreau is trying to tackle what's arguably the biggest threat to Austin: not enough affordable places to live. This is part of our special coverage of the 2023 Commercial Real Estate Awards.

Continue Reading

Bills to build more homes — and lower housing costs — fail quietly in last days of Texas Legislature

Date: May 24, 2023

sweeping agenda to slow Texas’ substantial rise in housing costs by reining in local regulations that opponents say get in the way of building new homes has died quietly in the Texas Legislature.

And when it came to a crucial vote this week, Democrats — who represent the state’s biggest urban areas, where home prices and rents are highest — accounted for most of the opposition.

Although Texas builds more homes than any other state, it’s not building enough to keep up...

Continue Reading

Austin Leading the Nation in Multifamily Construction Activity

Date: May 18, 2023

Austin had the hottest multifamily construction activity in the country, counting 61,873 units underway as of May 2023. According to Multihousing News, they barely beat out Dallas, who has just 1,341 short of Austin. In addition, the metro had more than 106,000 units in the planning and permitting stages.

Austin developers are building larger communities compared to other metros in this ranking, as well.

Continue Reading

Texas GOP’s Broadest Attempt Yet To Erode Blue Cities’ Power Gets One Step Closer to Becoming Law
Date: May 15, 2023
Republican state leaders’ broadest effort to prevent Democratic-run cities and counties from enacting progressive policies — which could drastically limit local government’s ability to make rules on areas like labor rights, drought restrictions and even noise complaints — is one step closer to becoming law.
By a 18-13 vote mostly along party lines, the Texas Senate gave final approval Tuesday to House Bill 2127. The bill will now head back to the House to hash out changes made in the Senate...

City to Calculate Housing Gains Possible With New Building Height Compatibility Rules
Date: May 8, 2023 
City staff members are moving ahead with analyzing how a change to area building height compatibility requirements could disrupt the local housing market. The analysis, which was called for as part of a December resolution by City Council that was intended to lessen restrictions on taller developments near single-family homes, could be disrupted by state lawmakers who appear determined to wipe away many such height restrictions in major cities across the state.

Council Votes to Get Rid of Parking Requirements
Date: May 5, 2023
City Council on Thursday directed city staff to eliminate parking requirements from the city’s land use regulations for new residential and retail developments outside the central business district.
The city eliminated downtown parking requirements, except for spaces for those with disabilities, in 2013. Thursday’s resolution would not change Americans with Disabilities Act requirements.
District 9 Council Member Zo...

To Tackle High Housing Costs, Texas Lawmakers Push to Build More Homes
Date: March 18, 2023
As Texas contends with historically high home prices and rents, state legislators might try to ease the affordability crisis with proposals rooted in a simple idea: build more homes and costs will come down.
Texas lawmakers have introduced several bills this legislative session intended to speed up the construction of new houses and apartments. Some would allow builders to use less land to build single-family homes, help them get local permits faster and make it more difficult for...

Property Owners in Travis County Will Be Getting Their 2023 Appraisal Notices Soon
Date: April 17, 2023
If you own property in Travis County, your notice of appraised value for the 2023 tax year is either on the way or will be soon. The Travis Central Appraisal District has begun the process of mailing out 434,362 of the notices, which include the market value assigned to each property as of Jan. 1 as well as the taxable value of the property based on exemptions. According to the appraisal district, Travis County’s appraisal roll has increased 13 percent, to $485 billion, led by big increases in the value of...

Austin ISD Looking to Fill Over 200 Vacancies for 2023-24 Year, Holding Career Fair Saturday
Date: April 11, 2023
The Austin Independent School District is holding a teacher career fair Saturday, April 15 to fill some of its nearly 225 openings for the 2023-24 school year.
The career fair will be held Saturday from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. at the Austin Convention Center. Those interested can RSVP online and are encouraged to apply for a teacher position before the career fair.
Arnoldo Gutiérrez, Assistant Superintendent of Human Capital for Austin ISD, told KXAN that...

Texas State Bill Targets Local Tenant Protections Against Evictions
Date: April 5, 2023
A bill before the Texas state legislature would block city and county governments from issuing new laws to restrict evictions or enforce existing local regulations, potentially affecting thousands of renters in Austin, Dallas and beyond.
The proposal comes in response to ordinances passed by those cities as well as San Marcos, a fast-growing Austin suburb, that require landlords to give tenants additional notice before they file..

Is Relief in Sight for Austin-area Apartment Renters? What You Need To Know.
Date: March 27, 2023
Renters have faced sharply rising rents for quite some time in the Austin-area market.
Rates hit all-time highs last year, with apartment dwellers in some cases seeing their monthly rents spike by a few hundred dollars.
This year, however, might bring some price relief for renters as the pace of job growth slows and the supply of apartment units coming online exceeds demand, experts say...