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Create More Housing Supply

January 23, 2015

RECA unveiled our white paper on affordability in the region earlier this month. Affordable Austin: Building the Housing We Need at Prices We Can Afford quantifies Austin’s housing shortage and sets a target for how our community can meet the demands of our rapidly growing city. 

We have broken down the key housing facts and figures from the white paper for quick reference, but you can also find the full white paper here:

  • The average rent in the Austin area increased 50 percent from 2004 to 2013 while median incomes rose by only 9 percent.
  • Property tax bills for homeowners in Austin have increased by 40 percent in just seven years.
  • Today half the city’s renters and 28 percent of homeowners spend more than the recommended 30 percent of their income on housing.
  • Housing production has not kept pace with the rate and distribution of job growth:
    • 70 percent of the region’s jobs are within the Austin city limits.
    • 100,000 jobs were added in the region in the last decade.
    • Buyers were willing to pay a premium to avoid long commutes.
    • But 60 percent of those new jobs were in sectors that pay less than $45,000 a year.
  • Approximately one third of the homes for sale in Austin cost more than $300,000. That percentage has tripled since 2000.
  • In October 2014, there were only 88 homes for sale in Austin priced at $180,000 or less.
  • In mid-2014 there were only six neighborhoods in Austin with listings for apartments at or below $1,000/month.
  • To keep up with anticipated population demand, Austin will need to produce by 2025:
    • 69,000 more housing units within the city limits
    • 317,000 more units in the five-county urban area

To improve the current affordability picture, RECA is calling for 100,000 new housing units within the city limits, closer to education and employment centers, in neighborhoods in all parts of the city, including options at price points that are attainable at the income levels of the jobs being created today. In order to achieve that goal, our cities policies need to encourage housing of all types for a variety of income levels throughout all neighborhoods in Austin.

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