Recent Headlines

Austin Mayor Kirk Watson to run for reelection; 4th candidate so far on November ballot

Date: April 10, 2024

Austin Mayor Kirk Watson is seeking reelection. Watson served as Austin's mayor from 1997-2001 and later as a Democratic state senator for over a decade before being elected mayor again in 2022.

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Austin land-use code changes including 'HOME' Phase 2 to be considered this spring

Date: April 1, 2024

Austin city officials and staff are moving toward approving a slate of land-use code amendments this spring, including the second phase of the controversial "HOME" initiative aimed at creating more attainable housing.

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Biden Administration to Cap Rent Increases for Some Affordable Housing Units

Date: March 29, 2024

The Biden administration is set to announce a new cap on how much rents can go up in certain affordable housing units that are subsidized by the federal government.

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T.C. Broadnax likely to be Austin's next city manager

Date: March 26, 2024

After deliberations behind closed doors March 26, Austin City Council intends to move forward with T.C. Broadnax as its next city manager, according to a city council message board post from Mayor Kirk Watson.

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The Austin Example: Is It Time to Drop Minimum Parking Rules to Make Housing More Affordable?

Date: March 24, 2024

In car-dependent Texas, most cities have rules on how many parking spots must be built anywhere people live, play or do business. But those requirements have come under scrutiny in recent years, with critics saying they do more harm than good.

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City seeking $191M state loan to cover costs of caps and stitch for I-35

Date: March 21, 2024

The city will turn to a state loan program as a major source of the funding for the more than $500 million cost of constructing caps and a stitch over Interstate 35 after it is buried and expanded over the course of the next decade.

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For the first time in 20 years, more people are leaving Travis County than moving in

Date: March 20, 2024

Between July 2022 and July 2023, roughly 2,500 more people moved out of Travis County than moved in. This figure, which comes out of population estimates released by the U.S. Census Bureau last week, marks a reversal in population trends over the last two decades.

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City seeks feedback from disability community on five-year federal housing plan

Date: March 14, 2024

The Mayor’s Committee for People with Disabilities heard a briefing last week from the Housing Department, which is seeking input from Austin residents with disabilities to identify the greatest community needs that could be addressed using federal funds from the Department of Housing and Urban Development through the 2029 fiscal year.

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City, Austin Police Association to re-enter APD contract negotiations

Date: March 6, 2024

The City of Austin and the Austin Police Association (APA) have set a date to come back to the table to discuss a long-term police contract, according to APA President Michael Bullock.

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Groundbreaking Study Shows Seniors Housing Residents Live Longer Than Counterparts in Greater Community

Date: March 6, 2024

Older adults who live in seniors housing communities live longer, receive more home health services and benefit from greater rehabilitative and preventive care in the two years following move-in than those who do not, according to new research conducted by NORC at the University of Chicago.

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Austin leaders revive affordable building program, without redevelopment protections

Date: February 29, 2024

After an Austin affordable housing program was struck down in court last year, officials have rolled out a replacement allowing for taller residential buildings across the city.

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Austin Energy: Rate increasing 5% March 1

Date: February 22, 2024

Beginning March 1, Austin Energy (AE) said it would implement a 5% increase to the Power Supply Adjustment (PSA) rate. The impact is expected to be roughly a $2 monthly increase for the typical residential customer.

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City Announces Request for Qualifications for Central Austin Multifamily Housing Development Opportunity

Date: February 21, 2024

The Austin Housing Finance Corporation (AHFC) released a competitive Request for Qualifications (RFQ) to identify a preferred development partner to develop, own, and operate a proposed approximately 300-unit multifamily apartment at 6909 Ryan Drive, a 5.5-acre AHFC-owned property located in the Crestview neighborhood of central Austin.

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A look inside Austin City Council's climate investment plan, city manager search & more

Date: February 15, 2024

Shortly after I moved to Texas, I heard several horror stories about the fallout from the two severe winter storms that battered the Austin area in 2021 and 2023. I received several tips from friends and family members: make sure you have extra bottled-water on hand, buy an extra charger for your car and, most of all...

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Austin rents lose steam, with second-steepest decline in December among major US metros

Date: February 12, 2024

Just as it is now a buyer's market in Central Texas' single-family housing market, so too is it a renter's market in the Austin-area apartment market. Likely to the dismay of landlords and delight of tenants, Austin saw the second-steepest yearly decline among the metro areas in the latest study by Rent.com.

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Grand opening for North Austin apartment complex to help people exiting homelessness

Date: February 7, 2024

A new apartment complex in North Austin will help put a roof over the heads of people who have experienced homelessness.The Espero Rutland had its grand opening on Wednesday. It will be run by nonprofit Caritas of Austin and house 171 residents who were formerly living on the streets.

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Council OKs ordinance on police pay, benefits

Date: February 2, 2024

City Council on Thursday approved an ordinance extending pay and benefits for Austin police officers in line with the ordinance passed last year, including extra pay for longevity, for field training officers, bilingual officers, officers with mental health certification and other stipends. 

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More Texas Renters are struggling to find affordable housing, new report finds

Date: January 31, 2024

Experts say that as more high-income Texans rent, prices on existing homes are driven up. Meanwhile, the number of expensive units in the state is increasing as more affordable homes disappear.

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'A huge need' | Nonprofit aims to bring more affordable housing to East Austin

Date: January 30, 2024

The need for affordable housing in Austin continues to grow, and one nonprofit is trying to bring more options to the city's east side. Foundation Communities is building a 156-unit complex called Norman Commons, next to Norman Sims Elementary. 

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Austin, Travis County leaders advise residents to prepare for arctic cold front. What to know.

Date: January 11, 2024

Austin and Travis County leaders joined together Thursday in urging residents to ensure they are prepared for and exercise caution during the arctic blast that's expected to hit the region Sunday through Tuesday.

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With Six Seats Up in the Air, City Council Could Look Very Different Next Year

Date: January 5, 2024

The filing period for City Council elections does not open until late July, but the races are already beginning to take shape, with 10 candidates already having declared their intent to run for five of the Council seats on the 2024 ballot.

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Teachers can’t afford housing, so school districts are building homes

Date: January 4, 2024

Just about everyone who reflects on their younger years can point to a teacher who had a significant impact on their life. From art teachers to football coaches to paraprofessionals, educators change the lives of hundreds of students each year. But gratitude and appreciation don’t pay the bills.

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Worsening Austin EMS response times linked to staffing shortages and high cost of living

Date: January 2, 2024

According to city data, Austin-Travis County EMS saw a decline in response times last year. Comparing December of 2022, to December of 2023, ATCEMS saw a 5% decrease in on-time responses in Austin and Travis County combined.

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New leadership begins at Austin Police Association

Date: January 1, 2024

On this New Year's Day, a new president is taking over leadership of the Austin Police Association. Michael Bullock spoke one-on-one with FOX 7 Austin's Meredith Aldis, discussing his goals and what he says needs to happen to ensure the community is safe.

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Navigating Austin's Housing Landscape: A Look Back at 2023 and Predicting Trends for 2024

Date: December 29, 2023

As we bid farewell to 2023, it is a great time to reflect on the significant developments that shaped Austin's multifamily and overall housing landscape throughout the year. AAA’s Friday Facts newsletter has reported each week, offering insights into the challenges and opportunities that have unfolded throughout the year. Let's delve into the top eight articles of 2023 and explore what trends may lie ahead for the vibrant city of Austin in 2024. 

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Austin officials consider financial help for residents adding housing on their property

Date: December 19, 2023

One week after Austin officials voted to increase the amount of housing allowed on single-family properties, City Council moved to create a financial support program for low- and middle-income residents seeking to build additional units on their lots.

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Austin looks into plan that would give residents financial help to build backyard apartments

Date: December 14, 2023

Austin is trying to make it easier for more families to be able to build additional homes in their backyards, or what are sometimes referred to as accessory dwelling units or ADUs. The prospect can be costly and daunting.

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Council set to commit $15.4 million for design work on I-35 caps and stitches

Date: December 12, 2023

City Council plans to move forward with adding four plaza-like caps and four “stitch” crossings to portions of the reconstruction of Interstate 35. A memo released yesterday from Transportation and Public Works Department Director Richard Mendoza updates Council and Mayor Kirk Watson on the timeline and funding options involved in the cap-and-stitch effort, which is projected to cost more than $500 million on top of the state’s budget for sinking and expanding the roadway.

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Austin City Council Passes HOME Code Amendments – Phase 1

Date: December 7, 2023

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. 

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$8 million available for Austin rental assistance, eviction support

Date: December 6, 2023

The City of Austin’s Housing Department announced Tuesday it is now accepting applications for $8 million available to aid residents with rental assistance and eviction prevention support. The “I Belong in Austin” program is being administered by community organization El Buen Samaritano and “will provide financial assistance with rent, moving, and storage/relocation costs for tenants at risk of eviction,” city officials said in a Tuesday release.

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What is the HOME initiative? What to know about Austin’s latest push for more housing

Date: November 30, 2023

 If you’re paying attention to Austin politics, you’re probably hearing a whole lot about the “HOME” initiative. There’s both staunch opposition and support for the measure.

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More Evidence for Missing Middle

Date: November 30, 2023

Talk about good timing! A new study by UT researchers takes a look at the effect of small lots in Houston. Houston famously lacks zoning, but until 1999 it had a minimum lot size of 5,000 sq ft. That year, the city reduced it to 1,400 sq ft, prompting a surge in the construction of townhomes in central neighborhoods.

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City loses second suit over development rules

Date: November 14, 2023

A group of citizens who sued the city over four ordinances designed to make it easier to develop new housing projects have apparently prevailed on three of the four laws. That means the city will have to go back to the drawing board on Vertical Mixed-Use 2 zoning and ordinances on compatibility on corridors and residential uses in commercial areas, according to a press release from the plaintiffs.

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Help Us Comment on the Proposed FTC Junk Fee Rule

Date: November 10, 2023

Today, the Federal Trade Commission officially published its Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) to establish a Trade Regulation Rule on Unfair or Deceptive Fees (Docket No. FTC-2023-0064). This broad rule which touches a large swath of the American economy would target so-called “junk fees” in rental housing.  

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Austin City Council strikes some parking requirements in effort to increase housing density

Date: November 2, 2023

In an effort to promote more housing density, the Austin City Council voted Thursday to eliminate the minimum number of off-street motor vehicle parking spaces currently required by the city, except for accessible spaces.

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FACT SHEET: Biden-‚Ā†Harris Administration Takes Action to Create More Affordable Housing by Converting Commercial Properties to Residential Use

Date: October 27, 2023

Today, the Biden-Harris Administration is announcing new actions to support the conversion of high-vacancy commercial buildings to residential use, including through new financing, technical assistance, and sale of federal properties. These announcements will create much-needed housing that is affordable, energy efficient, near transit and good jobs, and reduce greenhouse gas emissions, nearly 30 percent of which comes from the building sector.

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Texas Constitutional Amendments Election 2023: What You Need to Know

Date: October 24, 2023

The great state of Texas is gearing up for a significant event in its democratic process - the 2023 election on constitutional amendments. From October 23 to November 3, early voting is open to all eligible voters, and the main event, Election Day, is set for November 7. This year, Texans will have a chance to shape the future of their state by deciding on 14 separate constitutional amendments. 

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Texans to vote on funding to increase electric grid’s ‘reliability’

Date: October 19, 2023

Texans will soon vote on a proposition that would create funding to increase “reliability” for Texas’ electric grid in the upcoming election.Texas Proposition 7, originating from S.J.R. 93, would create the Texas Energy Fund, which would support and finance the “construction, maintenance, and modernization of electric generating facilities.”

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FTC Announces Proposed Rule on Junk Fees

Date: October 11, 2023

The Federal Trade Commission today announced a new proposed rule to prohibit junk fees, which are hidden and bogus fees that can harm consumers and undercut honest businesses. The FTC has estimated that these fees can cost consumers tens of billions of dollars per year in unexpected costs.

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New State Law Limits Austin's Parkland Dedication Ordinance

Date: September 28, 2023

The city’s Parks and Recreation Board on Monday learned about the impacts of Texas House Bill 1526 on Austin’s existing Parkland Dedication Ordinance and the future of Austin’s park system.

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Research Finds 93 Cents of Every Rent Dollar Keep Apartments Running

Date: September 26, 2023

Updated research from the National Apartment Association (NAA) reveals that nationally, on average 93 cents of every rent dollar cover essential operational expenses and support local communities. In addition to national data, NAA’s research now provides insights for 37 states plus D.C.

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City of Austin Passes Multifamily Compost Ordinance Effective October 1, 2024

Date: September 21, 2023

The City of Austin will require commercial composting collection at all multifamily properties starting October 1, 2024. The Austin City Council approved the amendment to the Universal Recycling Ordinance on September 21, 2023.

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Are Rents Falling? Apartment Association Sees Construction, Weak Demand Causing 'Negative Rent Growth'

Date: September 11, 2023

A combination of softer demand by renters and new multifamily apartment units completing construction has caused some lowering of rents in the Austin market, according to members of the Austin Apartment Association.

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Judge in One of the County’s Busiest Courts to Be Appointed This Month

Date: September 6, 2023

In Travis County, the Justice of the Peace for Precinct 5 runs one of our busiest courts, handling evictions, bond conditions, certain Class C misdemeanors, and more. It’s a court where many defendants have their first experiences in the criminal justice system, and where an empathetic judge can spot people in need of urgent mental health care.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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NSPIRE

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. 

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HOTMA

Date: July 28, 2023

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

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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.

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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.

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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. 

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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.

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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...

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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 Realtor.com’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. 

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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. 

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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.

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'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...

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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.” 

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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.

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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...

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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.

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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.

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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...

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Multifamily Rent Growth Returns to Pre-Pandemic Averages

Date: May 25, 2023

MyEListing.com, 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.

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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.

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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...

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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.

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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: May 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...