Stay informed and connected with the latest headlines that matter to our association and its members. Discover timely information, industry insights, and important updates that shape the multifamily housing landscape in Austin.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Date: July 28, 2023
The new HUD rules (largely about income reviews and income definitions) for Affordable housing will take effect January 1, 2024.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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...
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
'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...
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.”
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.
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 Fuentes, Ryan Alter, Zo Qadri, Chito Vela, José Velásquez, and Natasha Harper-Madison – that would expand an existing density bonus program, create a new one, and ease...
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.
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.
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...
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.
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.
Bills to build more homes — and lower housing costs — fail quietly in last days of Texas Legislature
Date: May 24, 2023
A 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...
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.