Austin’s City Council Passes 60 Day Rent Deferment

Austin’s City Council passed the Opportunity to Cure Ordinance – providing tenants financially impacted by COVID-19 60 days to catch-up on their rent. The city’s order requires landlords to notify tenants of a “proposed eviction” first, giving tenants 60 days to respond or pay rent in full before the landlord can post a “notice to vacate.” Additionally, the Mayor suspended a landlord’s ability to remove property from an apartment or lock out a tenant. This applies to both residential and commercial properties.

Note: Travis County judges have suspended eviction hearing until at least May 9, 2020. This website includes a current count of confirmed cases in Houston, including the current loss of life.

San Marcos City Council Amends Affordable/Workforce Housing Policy

City staff recommended the following amendments, which were proposed by the Workforce Housing Council Committee, be made to the policy:

  • Amend criteria to ensure if a project is requesting a tax exemption, revenues from such a project remain in San Marcos.
  • Amend criteria to ensure projects (whether tax-exempt or not tax-exempt) utilize local support services.
  • Add a flowchart to the LIHTC application to more easily distinguish the process and criteria for projects requesting a tax exemption and projects not requesting a tax exemption.
  • Add minor revisions to the policy language so that it is easier to read.

The council voted 6 to 0 with Council Member Dr. Jocabed Marquez absent to amend the modified language and replace ‘Should’ with ‘Shall’ in criteria 8 through 8c.

See the amended policy.


February 2020 Issue

Land Development Code (LDC) Second & Third Reading

Since October 2019, Austin’s City Council, staff, and community groups have been following, discussing, and providing input on the proposed new Land Development Code (LDC). The LDC sets the land use policy which determines the type, the size, and the location a development that can be built on a parcel of land within the city limits. This include, but not limited to, single- and multi-family housing, light and heavy commercial, green spaces, and public works facilities. With rising rents and homes prices, the city is striving to increase the number of market and affordable units city-wide. (The Austin Strategic Housing Blueprint calls for 135, 000 units built by 2027.)

The LDC passed first reading on December 13th with a vote of 7-4. Since that time, city staff has incorporated the amendments from Council and the Planning Commission into the next draft of the LDC which was released last Friday – with Supplemental Staff Report Number 3, the updated LDC draft and the updated city-wide zoning maps. Second reading for the LDC will occur over February 11th through February 13th. Public testimony can occur on all three days. The third and final reading for the LDC is expect in late March.

HousingWorks 2019 District-by-District Analysis

Last October, HousingWorks published their City Council District-by-District & Community at a Glance Housing Analysis. This research provides information about income, rent and home prices, subsidized homes, and other factors related to affordability in all ten city council districts and citywide. Click Here to view the 2019 reports.


December 2019 Issue

Land Development Code (LDC) Rewrite Heads to City Council

Last August, Austin’s City Council tasked City Manager Spencer Cronk to develop and propose a new process for reforming the city’s land development code. This new process will meet the objectives outlined in the Imagine Austin Plan, the Austin Strategic Housing Blueprint, and the Austin Strategic Direction 2023 Plan. View the city’s resolution here.

The new land development code draft was released Friday, October 4. The Planning Commission released their amendments to the LDC to Council on November 22 and city staff released the Supplemental Staff Report Number 2 – which is intended to guide on-going changes to the LDC.

On Saturday, December 7, City Council Public will have a public hearing on the LDC starting 10am and is expected to hold its first of three votes on December 9th.

Austin Homelessness Ordinance

On June 21st, Austin’s city council passed changes to the current ordinances around panhandling, camping, sitting, and lying down in public areas. However, some camping restrictions for city property, public parks and public right-of-way obstruction have remained in place. These ordinances’ changes sparked a tsunami of feedback regarding the impact this ordinance has had on the community. The city held several community meetings spurring city council to bring the ordinance back up for formal public debate on September 18th. Over 300 residents signed up to speak or donate time and with hours of public testimony heard, city council abstained from calling a vote. On October 17th, city council voted on changes to the ordinance.

See Austin NPR’s thread on the evolution of changes at the local level regarding the city’s homelessness ordinance and local and state efforts to tackle homelessness.


October 2019 Issue

Land Development Code Rewrite
Last August, Austin’s City Council tasked City Manager Spencer Cronk to develop and propose a new process for reforming the city’s land development code. This new process will meet the objectives outlined in the Imagine Austin Plan, the Austin Strategic Housing Blueprint, and the Austin Strategic Direction 2023 Plan. View the city’s resolution here.

The new land development code draft was released Friday, October 4 and will be discussed at the Planning and Zoning Commission meeting on October 26.


August 2019 Issue

Affordability Unlocked
In early May, Austin City Council approved the “Affordability Unlocked” program to spur denser affordable housing development within and around the city’s core. Introduced by Council Member Greg Casar, this program will waive compatibility and design standards, such as density, setback, height, and parking regulations, to increase the number of affordable housing units produced for low- to moderate-income families. The key to the program is to meet the goal of building 60,000 income-restricted housing units (defined as 60% of median family income (MFI) or below for rental units and 80% MFI for ownership developments) by 2027.
To learn more about Austin’s Affordability Unlocked program for affordable housing development, please click here and here.

CodeNext 2.0
Last August, Austin’s City Council tasked City Manager Spencer Cronk to develop and propose a new process for reforming the city’s land development code, known as CodeNext. This new process will meet the objectives outlined in the Imagine Austin Plan, the Austin Strategic Housing Blueprint, and the Austin Strategic Direction 2023 Plan. Check out the city’s resolution here.

To stay engaged on Austin’s CodeNext, see the city’s progress here.

Founded in 1997, the Texas Affiliation of Affordable Housing Providers (TAAHP) is a non-profit trade association serving as the primary advocate and leading resource for the affordable housing industry in Texas. Our vision is to inspire and engage our members and stakeholders to end the affordable housing crisis in Texas.

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221 E. 9th Street, Suite 408
Austin, TX 78701

TAAHP

TAAHP

Phone: 512-476-9901 | Email: info@taahp.org

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