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HousingWorks Austin published their seventh version of the Austin City Council District-by-District and Community at a Glance Housing Analysis in June of 2022 as part of their commitment to providing useful research about issues and trends related to housing. This research provides information about income, rent and home prices, homelessness, and other factors related to affordability in all 10 city council districts and citywide. The analysis shows that although the City of Austin is making progress in supporting the values highlighted in the Austin Strategic Housing Blueprint, additional efforts are required to address the affordability challenges faced by Austin residents.

Executive Summary:

In the  2021 District-by-District Analysis and Austin Community at a Glance , we’ve made a few noteworthy changes that we hope will add more context to the picture of housing affordability in the City of Austin:

  • Information on the status of subsidized affordable housing in each Council District;
  • The number of subsidized housing units are currently located along high-frequency public transportation routes
  • A measure highlighting where Austinites experiencing unsheltered homelessness lived prior to losing their housing (this temporarily replaces the Point-in-Time count which was postponed due to health concerns)

 

The 2021 District-by-District Analysis and Austin Community at a Glance shows that the City of Austin is undergoing a rapid increase in housing costs, while affordable housing options for households remain unevenly distributed throughout the city.

Over 2021, housing prices have increased significantly across the entire city:

  • Between 2020 and 2021, the median home sale price has risen from $424,900 to $536,311, a 26% increase across the whole city.
  • Additionally, the average monthly rent has gone up by $359 to $1,658, a 27% increase from 2020 across the whole city.
  • The steep increases in housing prices for both owners and renters over the past year have not been matched by an increase in the average household’s wealth. Median family incomes grew by 12%, less than half of the growth rate of housing costs, and the poverty rate went down by less than 2%.

 

In nearly every Council District across the city, home sale prices have increased by at least 26% and average rents by at least 15% from 2020 to 2021.

However, the economic disadvantages that stem from a history of racial discrimination within certain parts of the city have led to these sharp price increases yielding more significant impacts on families’ housing stability in certain Districts.

  • In Districts 1, 2, 3, and 4, at least 48% of renter households pay 30% or more of their income toward housing (housing cost-burdened).
  • Whereas in Districts 6, 8, and 10 less than 39% of renter households are housing cost-burdened.
  • Furthermore, 65% of the Austinites who experienced unsheltered homelessness in the past year last lived in Districts 1, 2, 3, and 4 prior to losing their housing.
  • In comparison, only 5% of those experiencing homelessness were previously living in Districts 6, 8, and 10.

These findings not only suggest that the city needs more affordable housing in Districts 1, 2, 3, and 4 but also emphasize the lack of affordable and accessible housing for low- and moderate-income households in high-cost areas of Austin, primarily west of MoPac Expressway.

  • Districts 6, 8, and 10, where home sale prices and rents are well above the city average, contain less than 6% of the city’s subsidized units between the three Districts.
  • In comparison, Districts 1, 2, and 3 contain 64% of the city’s subsidized housing. 

The high cost of housing and short supply of affordable housing in certain parts of the city make it very difficult for many households to have the ability to choose to live in all parts of Austin. As Austin continues to experience unprecedented housing prices, the continued growth of affordable housing options for low- and moderate-income families has become a priority. To ensure that any Austin household is able to comfortably afford their home and feel they have a choice in where they can live, the city must be proactive in advancing efforts to increase the supply of affordable and accessible housing for all incomes and in all parts of the city.

Please click here to access their full report, interactive District Analysis Story Map, and other resources.

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