Announcing the release of the sixth annual Affordable Housing District Analysis for the City of Austin and its 10 City Council Districts. HousingWorks' research analysis presents an overview for each District, as well as an overview of the City of Austin as a whole.
Woody Rogers, Research Manager at HousingWorks, says "Over the past year and a half, the need for safe and affordable housing opportunities in Austin has come into sharp relief. Despite the injection of emergency housing assistance and temporary halts on evictions and foreclosures, many families within Austin struggle to pay for their housing, with 45% of renter households and 22% of owner households paying more than 30% of their monthly income to housing costs (cost-burdened)." In Districts 4, 5, and 9, more than 40% of all households are housing cost-burdened.
At the same time, the Austin housing market remains one of the hottest in the country. The Median Sale Price of homes shot up by 5% across the city in 2020. In most Districts, the increase in home prices was significantly greater, with homes selling on average for at least $50,000 more than they had in 2019. The increase in home sale prices accompanies a decrease in poverty across the City, which decreased from 15.3% to 14.4% in 2020, while the Austin Median Family Income continued to rise to nearly triple digits ($97,600).
"While the City of Austin has seen overall gains in home sale prices, household wealth, and a decreasing poverty rate, these trends have not occurred equally across the city," according to Nora Linares-Moeller, Executive Director of HousingWorks Austin. Patterns of discriminatory housing policies that have historically limited opportunities for wealth building in minority neighborhoods continue, as City Council Districts with the highest percentage of individuals who identify themselves as a Person of Color - Districts 1, 2, 3, and 4 – have higher poverty rates than majority white Districts and have Median Family Incomes nearly half of the city-level MFI.
Additionally, concentration of 68% of Austin's income-restricted affordable housing units in only 4 of the 10 City Council Districts exacerbates the unequal dispersion of economic stability across the city.
Linares-Moeller continued, "To affirmatively address the spatial inequalities brought on by race-based discrimination in housing stability and economic prosperity, efforts to build affordable housing should prioritize developments in areas of high opportunity and those that currently lack a sufficient number of housing units affordable to working families.
About HousingWorks Austin
HousingWorks Austin is a 501 c 3 nonprofit organization. They advance their mission to preserve and increase the supply of affordable housing through research, education, and advocacy in Austin, Texas and the surrounding region, with a commitment to ensuring those most in need have access to safe and affordable housing. Advocacy is guided by the maxim, 'All Kinds of Homes, in All Parts of Town, for All Kinds of People'.