Friday, April 28, 2023

Wooldridge Square Park Historical Marker Dedication Ceremony, Friday, May 12 at 10:00 a.m.

Join the City of Austin Parks and Recreation Department and the Friends of Wooldridge Square for a Dedication Ceremony on Friday, May 12 at 10:00 a.m. for a Texas Historical Commission Marker at Wooldridge Square Park, 900 Guadalupe St. This is an outdoor park event, so please dress comfortably.

The historical marker replaces an existing outdated marker and provides an expanded explanation of the park's historic significance. When Judge Edwin Waller platted the City of Austin in 1839, he designated four public squares in each quadrant of the city. Only three of the original squares remain and Wooldridge Square, in the northwest quadrant of downtown, is relatively unchanged and retains a high degree of historic integrity. For its first sixty years, Wooldridge Square was used by the public but remained municipally undeveloped. By 1907, improvements were made to the park, and in 1909, Austin Mayor A. P. Wooldridge, for whom the square was already named, sponsored the construction of a classical revival-style gazebo for public engagements in the park. In the early 20th century, many women's suffrage rallies leading to Texas ratifying the 19th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution on June 28, 1919, were held at Woolridge Park.

The park became known as an area where politicians and great orators were able to make an impact on the public. In 1911, Governor Colquitt began the tradition of launching campaigns from the square, followed by Governors Allan Shivers, Pat Neff, Dan Moody, Jimmy Allred, Jim Ferguson, and W. Lee “Pappy” O’Daniel. Booker T. Washington addressed the crowd in Austin at Wooldridge Square in 1911 after he was not allowed to speak on the floor of the Texas Legislature due to the color of his skin. Minnie Fisher Cunningham, who helped organize the National League of Women Voters, announced her campaign as the first Texas woman to run for the U.S. Senate from the park in 1928. Lyndon Baines Johnson famously announced his bid for the U.S. Senate in 1948 at Wooldridge Square. The history of Wooldridge Square is not only significant because of its age, but its ties to the pulse of Austinites in the Texas State capital city also makes this park special.

City of Austin has completed third and final citywide pass to collect storm debris


Customers with debris that still needs to be collected should contact Austin 3-1-1 for a special collection through June 30, 2023.

AUSTIN, TX – Austin Resource Recovery (ARR), a department of the City of Austin, has completed its third and final pass through the city to collect storm debris from customers as a result of the February 2023 winter storm. Crews drove along all streets and picked up debris properly set at the curb. In addition, over 40,000 storm debris service requests were submitted through Austin 3-1-1. All existing 3-1-1 service requests for storm debris collection are now being closed.

Customers should contact Austin 3-1-1 to request a new special collection if they still have debris to be collected. Customers can enter a service request online or download the Austin 3-1-1 mobile app at Crews will respond to service requests through June 30, 2023. After June 30, standard City operations for curbside collections will resume.

Austin and Travis County residents can also drop off debris such as tree limbs, branches, shrubs and leaves at Austin Water's Hornsby Bend Biosolids Management Plant at 2210 FM 973 from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Saturday. The facility has accepted over 4,166 tons of storm debris through 8,922 customer drop-offs.
ARR collected an unprecedented amount of debris from the 2023 winter storm. Crews have collected over 169,637 tons of debris in over 23,668 truckloads during the past three months. That is enough debris to fill Q2 stadium more than four times. ARR typically collects around 6,000 tons of material in an entire year of semiannual large brush collections.

Sites that were used as temporary storm debris storage areas to help speed up debris collection efforts are being restored. Grass seed and hydromulch have been added to Circle C Ranch Metro Park, and the grass will need time to grow. However, the walking trail has been fully restored. All storm debris has been removed from the Bolm District Park and Old Manor Road, and the sites were cleared of any litter and illegal dumping that was there prior to storm operations. The storm debris material brought to these sites was ground into mulch and transported to Austin Water's Hornsby Bend Biosolids Management Plant, where it will be used to create Dillo Dirt™.
“We want to thank our customers for their patience during the winter storm cleanup efforts over the past three months,” says ARR Acting Director Richard McHale. “Storm debris removal at this scale is a massive undertaking that takes time, but we are through the majority of it now. We know some material remains to be collected.  Customers with branches at the curb should contact Austin 3-1-1 through June 30.”
Storm debris collection information and updates can be found at
# # #
About Austin Resource Recovery   
Austin Resource Recovery (ARR) is a department of the City of Austin. We provide essential services that protect people and our planet. We collect recycling, composting, trash, large brush, bulk items and dead animals. We also sweep the streets, recycle and safely dispose of household hazardous waste, and provide community outreach and education. ARR is driving the global transformation of traditional waste management to sustainable resource recovery. Learn more at

Thursday, April 27, 2023

City Council Joins Other Cities in Seeking Solutions to Global Challenges

Ten members of the Austin City Council have signed on to an important declaration outlining the framework for pursuing solutions to global challenges addressed this week at the Cities Summit of the Americas in Denver.
The U.S. Department of State, in partnership with the City of Denver and ICLEI Local Governments for Sustainability, is hosting thousands of attendees from the Western Hemisphere in Denver this week. Policymakers, NGO leaders, and private sector stakeholders are joining local elected officials from North and South America for the State Department’s first-ever Cities Summit of the Americas.
District 7 Council Member Leslie Pool is attending the Summit as a representative of the City Council and a member of ICLEI-US (International Council for Local Environmental Initiatives). A key event during the Summit will be the presentation of the “Denver Declaration” which was co-signed by Pool’s colleagues on the Austin City Council, including Mayor Kirk Watson and Mayor Pro Tem Paige Ellis. The Denver Declaration closely aligns with the City of Austin’s housing and sustainability goals and other community values.
“It’s no secret that Austin shares many if not all of the same challenges of cities across the U.S. and other countries,” Pool said. “What’s inspiring is that we’re all committed to finding innovative solutions to overcoming climate obstacles and creating pathways toward more sustainable housing.”
Some key shared priorities outlined in the declaration include:
Housing and Sustainable Development: Pursue housing policies and development to ensure a greater supply and to reduce the cost burden on households.

  • Commit to building communities where migrants find safety and avenues for full and social inclusion.

Climate Change and Resilience: Commit to create resilient communities and to invest in vulnerable communities.

Digital Transformation: Commit to inclusive investment to expand access to the digital world in our communities and schools.
More information on the Cities Summit can be found here.

Austinites to Vote on Police Oversight on May Ballot

Early voting for the May election began on Monday, April 24 and runs through Tuesday, May 2. Election Day is Saturday, May 6.
City of Austin Special Called Election Ballot:
Proposition A    
Proposition A: Shall the voters of Austin adopt an initiated ordinance, circulated by Equity Action, that will deter police misconduct and brutality by strengthening the City's system of independent and transparent civilian police oversight?

Proposición A: ¿Adoptarán los votantes de Austin una ordenanza iniciada, circulada por Equity Action, que impide la mala conducta y brutalidad policial reforzando el sistema civil independiente y transparente de supervisión policial de la ciudad?

Proposition B
Proposition B: Shall the voters of Austin adopt an initiated ordinance, circulated by Voters for Oversight and Police Accountability, that will strengthen the City’s system of independent and transparent civilian police oversight?

Proposición B: ¿Deberían los votantes de Austin adoptar una ordenanza iniciada, circulada por Votantes a Favor de Supervisión y Responsabilidad Policial, que refuerce el sistema municipal de la Ciudad de supervisión policial civil independiente y transparente?

Polling Locations:
In-person early voting: Monday, April 24 - Tuesday, May 2
Election Day: Saturday, May 6

What are the voter ID laws in Texas?
See Voter identification laws.
More information about the City of Austin May 2022 Election:

May 13, 2023: CelebrASIA Family Friendly Festival at Asian American Resource Center

Join the City of Austin, Parks and Recreation Department for CelebrASIA on Saturday, May 13 from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Asian American Resource Center, 8401 Cameron Rd. This indoor/outdoor event offers performances, food vendors, exhibits, and cultural experiences for the entire family. It is free and open to the public. The 2023 festival will commemorate 10 years of the AARC being rooted in community and culture!

Get ready for performances from A.C.T Pasifika (Arts Culture & Traditions of Pasifika), Aiping Tai Chi Center – Austin, Austin Japanese Minyo Group, Austin Kyudo, Austin Matu Hula, Austin Moonflower Performing Arts Group, Austin Pinay Movement Collective, Bollywood Bachkus, Devi School of Dance, FASCA (Formosa Association of Student Cultural Ambassadors), Heavenly Dragon Lion Dance Association, Lee Young Korean Traditional Dance, Austin South Asian (ASA) Fashion Show by Livvie's Shining Stars, Setsuko Kuniyoshi Okinawa Dance School, and The Vietnamese American of Austin Texas (VACAT) Non-Profit!

This year’s food vendors include Bake 'n Bite ATX, Dosa Shack, Flavors of Guam Food Truck, Sharetea, Snobelly Shaved Ice, Sinta, The Curative Plate, The Garden Bakehouse, and Mama Kong.

Enjoy cultural experience rooms by Austin Taiwanese Association & Taiwanese American Professionals – Austin, Indonesian Diaspora Network - Greater Austin, Korean American Association of Greater Austin, Vietnamese American Community of Austin Texas, Austin Japanese Minyo Group, and KhushATX.

Want to volunteer? Sign up at GivePulse! Lunch will be provided to volunteers.

Additional partners for this year’s event include the City of Austin Watershed Department, Sustainable Food Center, Austin History Center, Oakwood Cemetery, Asian Family Support Services of Austin, American Gateways, Austin Public Health, Texas Book Festival, and Truc Viet.

RSVP at the CelebrASIA Austin 2023 Eventbrite page and learn more about the AARC at

Austin Animal Center participates in "Empty the Shelters" event

BISSELL Pet Foundation, a national animal welfare organization dedicated to ending pet homelessness, is excited to announce it will team up with Dogtopia for the foundation's first “Empty the Shelters” national adoption event of 2023. From May 1 to May 15, BISSELL Pet Foundation's Spring National “Empty the Shelters” will occur at more than 350 shelters in 45 states with pets available for adoption for just $50 or less, including Austin Animal Center.

Austin Animal Center will be offering $25 adoption fees for all animals May 1-15. Additionally, Austin Animal Center will hold a Late Night Adoption event on Friday May 12 from 1-9 pm.

Since the 2016 inception of BISSELL Pet Foundation’s “Empty the Shelters,” nearly 140,000 pets at 605 animal welfare organizations in 47 states and Canada have received second chances. An average of 1,000 shelter pets are adopted each day during each quarterly national event. Through this partnership and continued support, the foundation is looking forward to reaching more pets in more shelters and communities during this upcoming event. 

"BISSELL Pet Foundation's "Empty the Shelters’ is proven to make a lifesaving difference, and we are thrilled to team up with Dogtopia, who shares our vision to give every pet their best life," said Cathy Bissell, Founder of BISSELL Pet Foundation. "This is a very difficult time for shelters across the country, with increasing owner surrenders due to the housing crisis and inflation as well as slowed adoption rates. With Dogtopia's partnership, we are hopeful more pets than ever will find homes during this national event." 

“This event could not come at a better time,” said Chief Animal Services Officer Don Bland. “We have been struggling for months with a higher amount of dogs coming in than are going out, so we’re very excited to take part of this initiative to get more pets adopted.”

BISSELL Pet Foundation and Austin Animal Center urge families to do their research about the pet they are interested in adopting, as well as adoption requirements. For more information on adopting or donating to “Empty the Shelters,” visit and
About BISSELL Pet Foundation
BISSELL Pet Foundation is a charitable 501©(3) nonprofit organization with a mission to help reduce the number of animals in shelters through pet adoption, spay/neuter programs, microchipping, and crisis and disaster response. Founded in 2011 by Cathy Bissell, BPF is an extension of her long-standing love for animals and commitment to their welfare. BPF has since partnered with more than 5,700 shelters and rescues across the U.S. and Canada to help pets find loving homes. The foundation is supported by generous donors and BISSELL Homecare, Inc., where every purchase saves pets. To learn more, visit

Wednesday, April 26, 2023

Bat found at Zilker Park tests positive for rabies

City of Austin Animal Services and Austin Public Health are asking the community to be alert and take precautionary measures with wildlife such as bats, raccoons, skunks, coyotes, and foxes after a recent confirmed case of rabies.

On April 22 at 3:50 p.m., an Animal Protection Officer (APO) responded to a call on the Great Lawn at Zilker Park near Lou Neff Point about a bat near the ground on a tree trunk.
The bat was submitted for rabies testing with the Texas Department of State Health Services in accordance with standard protocol regarding any human interaction with bats that could potentially result in exposure to rabies. Bat bites can be imperceptible due to the tiny size of their teeth.
The bat has tested positive for the rabies virus.
“First and foremost, our concern is identifying any person or animal that may have had direct contact with the bat,” said Jason Garza, deputy director of Animal Services. “Anyone known to have contact with the bat is urged to seek medical care to begin preventative treatment.”
If someone is bitten by a wild animal, Animal Protection should be called immediately by dialing 3-1-1 or 512-974-2000. The victim should also contact a physician immediately.
Any contact with a bat, or any sick or dead bat should also be reported to 3-1-1 or 512-974-2000.
Rabies is present in Central Texas through bats, raccoons, foxes, skunks, and coyotes. It is spread through contact with an infected mammal’s saliva. Rabies is fatal if not treated before onset of symptoms. Symptoms of rabies include change in personality, fever, loss of appetite, excessive salivation (foaming), weakness, paralysis, and death.
In addition to vaccination, area residents are advised to take the following precautions to avoid possible exposure to rabies:
  • Do not allow pets to run loose; confine them within a fenced-in area or with a leash.
  • Do not leave uneaten pet food or scraps near your residence.
  • Do not feed wildlife.
  • Do not go near wildlife or domestic animals that are acting in a strange or unusual manner.
  • Caution children not to go near any stray or wild animal, regardless of its behavior.
  • Advise children to tell an adult if they are bitten or scratched by any animal.
For more information, visit
About the Animal Services Office
The City of Austin Animal Services Office operates the Austin Animal Center, and is the municipal shelter for the City of Austin and unincorporated Travis County. Austin Animal Center provides shelter to more than 11,000 animals annually and safely places more than 95% of all pets. Our goal is to keep pets with their families and in their communities, provide a safe place for homeless animals, promote responsible pet ownership, and preserve the human-animal bond.

Earn $20/hour and Up to $800 in Summer Bonuses for Temporary Operations and Maintenance Jobs

The City of Austin Parks and Recreation Department is hiring nearly 50 full-time temporary positions to support Operations and Maintenance at parks and facilities over the spring and summer. Pay starts at $20 per hour and positions include cashiers, maintenance workers, and park grounds assistants. These seasonal employees will be eligible to receive up to $800 in bonuses.

The bonus structure is tied to the number of hours worked, meaning an employee must work a certain number of hours between until October 31, 2023 to be eligible. The payouts are as follows: 

  • 400 hours worked = $400 bonus
  • 600 hours worked = $400 bonus

For more information about working with the Parks and Recreation Department, please visit

City Nature Challenge at Red Bluff Nature Preserve on April 29

Who: City of Austin Parks and Recreation Department
What: City Nature Challenge
When: Saturday, April 29, 9 a.m.–12 p.m.
Where: Red Bluff Nature Preserve, 5808 Harold Ct.

Join the City of Austin Parks and Recreation Department, Texas Parks and WildlifeTexas Master NaturalistThe Nature ConservancyTravis Audubon, and many others in a fun global challenge to see which city can use iNaturalist to document the most species April 28 through May 1. 

On Saturday, April 29 from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m., Austin Parks and Recreation will host a bioblitz event at Red Bluff Nature Preserve. Come take photos and document the local ecosystem! You can also help with IDs for other people's observations to increase our species count.

With the iNaturalist app, simply take a picture of a plant or animal, and the community will help identify which species it is. Any observation in the greater metropolitan area of Austin will count during the four-day challenge. You can participate by exploring the life in your backyard, in your local park, or on a field trip with your local naturalist group. 

The City Nature Challenge is organized by Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County and California Academy of Sciences. For more information about the City Nature Challenge visit

Tuesday, April 25, 2023

City seeks public comment on federal funding for affordable housing, community development, and related services

La versión en español sigue a continuación.

Austin, TX – The City of Austin announces public hearings and a 30-day public comment period to receive public input on the draft FY 2023-24 Action Plan from Tuesday, May 9, 2023, to Friday, June 9, 2023.  Austinites are invited to help decide where federal funding can be allocated to support City programs and services. 

The Action Plan outlines funding allocations and service goals for federally funded programs related to affordable housing, community development, homelessness services, public services, and economic development activities. These activities are primarily funded through four grant programs received from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD): Community Development Block Grant (CDBG), HOME Investment Partnerships Program (HOME), Emergency Solutions Grant (ESG), and Housing Opportunities for Persons with AIDS (HOPWA).   

View the Draft FY 2023-24 Action Plan on the SpeakUp Austin website. 

During the FY 2023-24 Action Plan Community Needs Assessment, public input was received and considered through public hearings before Austin City Council and the Community Development Commission, through the SpeakUp Austin website, and various commission meetings. Additional feedback and input opportunities through the Housing and Planning Department’s main phone line and postal mail were offered to the community as sources for providing input.   

Opportunities to Review and Provide Feedback on the Draft FY 2023-24 Action Plan  

The public is invited to review the draft FY 2023-24 Action Plan from Tuesday, May 9, 2023, to Friday, June 9, 2023, on the SpeakUp Austin website. The plan is also accessible in paper form at the following locations:   

  • Austin City Hall, 301 W 2nd Street   
  • Austin Central Library, 710 W Cesar Chavez St  
  • Asian American Resource Center, 8401 Cameron Rd  
  • Gus L. Garcia Recreation Center, 1201 E Rundberg Ln  
  • Housing Authority of the City of Austin, 1124 S I-35 Frontage Rd  
  • Dove Springs Recreation Center, 5801 Ainez Dr  
  • Carver Branch Austin Public Library, 1161 Angelina St  
  • St. John’s Branch Austin Public Library, 7500 Blessing Ave  


SpeakUp Austin  

The draft FY 2023-24 Action Plan will be available for review and comment on the SpeakUp Austin website  from Tuesday, May 9, 2023, to Friday, June 9, 2023.   

Public Hearing Before the Community Development Commission (CDC)  

The public is invited to provide input during the Community Development Commission (CDC) meeting on Tuesday, May 9, 2023. Meeting details and instructions for providing public comment during the virtual public hearing can be found on the meeting agenda on the Community Development Commission website. Community members must sign up by noon the day before the meeting to provide public comment.  

Public Hearing Before the Austin City Council  

The public is invited to provide input during the meeting of the Austin City Council scheduled for Thursday, June 8, 2023. Meeting instructions for providing public comment during the virtual public hearing can be found on the meeting agenda on the City Council Meeting Information Center website. Community members must sign up by noon the day before the meeting to provide public comment.  

Submit by Postal Mail:  

Written comments may be submitted until 5:00 PM on Friday, June 9, 2023. Please include a name, address, and phone number: 

Housing and Planning Department  
Attn: City of Austin Draft FY 2023-24 Action Plan  
P.O. Box 1088   
Austin, Texas 78767   

Submit by Phone:  

Dial 512-974-3100, Monday through Friday between 9:00 a.m. and 4:00 p.m.    

Submit by Email:  
Subject Heading: City of Austin Draft FY 2023-24 Action Plan  

La Ciudad busca comentarios del público sobre fondos federales para viviendas económicas, desarrollo comunitario y otros servicios relacionados 

Austin, TX – La Ciudad de Austin anuncia audiencias públicas y un periodo de 30 días para comentarios del público con el fin de recibir opiniones sobre la versión preliminar del Plan de Acción del año fiscal 2023-24 desde el martes 9 de mayo hasta el viernes 9 de junio de 2023.  Los residentes de Austin están invitados a ayudar a decidir cómo se asignarán los fondos federales para apoyar los programas y servicios de la Ciudad. 

El Plan de Acción describe la asignación de fondos y las metas de servicios para los programas que funcionan con fondos federales relacionados con vivienda económica, desarrollo comunitario, servicios para las personas sin hogar, servicios públicos y actividades de desarrollo económico. Estas actividades son financiadas principalmente a través de cuatro programas de subvenciones del Departamento de Vivienda y Desarrollo Urbano de EE.UU. (HUD, por sus siglas en inglés): Subvención en Bloque para Desarrollo Comunitario (CDBG), Programa de Sociedades de Inversión para el Hogar (HOME), Subvención para Refugios de Emergencia (ESG) y Oportunidades de Vivienda para las Personas con sida (HOPWA).   

Vea la versión preliminar del Plan de Acción del año fiscal 2023-24 en el sitio web SpeakUp Austin. 

Durante la Evaluación de las Necesidades de la Comunidad del Plan de Acción del año fiscal 2023-24, se recibieron y consideraron los comentarios del público ofrecidos en audiencias públicas ante el Concejo Municipal de Austin y la Comisión de Desarrollo Comunitario, a través del sitio web SpeakUp Austin y de varias reuniones de la comisión. También se ofreció a la comunidad la oportunidad de proveer comentarios y sus opiniones a través de la línea telefónica principal del Departamento de Vivienda y Planificación y por correo postal.   

Oportunidades para leer la versión preliminar del Plan de Acción para el año fiscal 2023-24 y ofrecer comentarios  

Se invita al público a leer la versión preliminar del Plan de Acción para el año fiscal 2023-24 a partir del martes 9 de mayo de 2023 hasta el viernes 9 de junio de 2023 en el sitio web SpeakUp Austin. También se puede acceder al plan en papel en los siguientes lugares:   

  • Ayuntamiento de la Ciudad de Austin, 301 W 2nd Street   
  • Biblioteca Central de Austin, 710 W Cesar Chavez St  
  • Centro de Recursos Asiático-americanos, 8401 Cameron Rd  
  • Centro Recreativo Gus L. Garcia, 1201 E Rundberg Ln  
  • Autoridad de Vivienda de la Ciudad de Austin, 1124 S I-35 Frontage Rd  
  • Centro Recreativo Dove Springs, 5801 Ainez Dr  
  • Sucursal Carver de la Biblioteca Pública de Austin, 1161 Angelina St  
  • Sucursal St. John’s de la Biblioteca Pública de Austin, 7500 Angelina St  

SpeakUp Austin  

La versión preliminar del Plan de Acción del año fiscal 2023-24 estará disponible para revisión y comentarios en el sitio web SpeakUp Austin a partir del martes 9 de mayo de 2023 hasta el viernes 9 de junio de 2023.   

Audiencia pública ante la Comisión de Desarrollo Comunitario (CDC)  

Se invita al público a proveer comentarios durante la reunión de la Comisión de Desarrollo Comunitario (CDC) programada para el martes 9 de mayo de 2023. Los detalles de la reunión y las instrucciones para proveer los comentarios del público durante la audiencia pública virtual se encuentran en la agenda de la reunión en el sitio web de la Comisión de Desarrollo Comunitario. Los miembros de la comunidad deben registrarse antes del mediodía del día antes de la reunión para poder proveer comentarios públicos.  

Audiencia pública ante el Concejo Municipal de Austin  

Se invita al público a proveer comentarios durante la reunión del Concejo Municipal de Austin programada para el jueves 8 de junio de 2023. Las instrucciones de la reunión para proveer comentarios públicos durante la audiencia pública virtual se encuentran en la agenda de la reunión en el sitio web del Centro de Información de Reuniones del Concejo Municipal. Los miembros de la comunidad deben registrarse antes del mediodía del día antes de la reunión para poder proveer comentarios públicos.  


Envío de comentarios por correo postal:  

Se pueden enviar comentarios escritos hasta las 5:00 PM del viernes 9 de junio de 2023. Por favor incluya su nombre, dirección y número de teléfono:  

Housing and Planning Department 
Attn: City of Austin Draft FY 2023-24 Action Plan
P.O. Box 1088 
Austin, Texas 78767  


Envío de comentarios por teléfono:  

Llame al 512-974-3100, de lunes a viernes de 9:00 a.m. a 4:00 p.m.    


Envío de comentarios por correo electrónico:  
Asunto: City of Austin Draft FY 2023-24 Action Plan  


About Housing and Planning Department  

The Housing and Planning Department provides resources related to planning, zoning, housing, and community development to enhance the quality of life of all Austinites. Equitable, efficient, and comprehensive planning with displacement prevention as a prioritized focus is the Department’s core charge in delivering housing services to the community. 

Información sobre el Departamento de Vivienda y Planificación  

El Departamento de Vivienda y Planificación ofrece recursos relacionados con planificación, zonificación, vivienda y desarrollo comunitario para mejorar la calidad de vida de todos los austinianos. La tarea principal del Departamento es la entrega de servicios de vivienda a la comunidad con una planificación equitativa, eficiente e integral con prevención de desplazamiento como enfoque prioritario.

46th Annual O. Henry Museum Pun Off at Hilton Austin on May 13

The City of Austin Parks and Recreation Department’s Brush Square Museums and the Brush Square Museums Foundation present the 46th Annual O. Henry Museum Pun Off World Championships on Saturday, May 13 from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. at Hilton Austin, 500 E 4th St. The O. Henry Museum Pun-Off World Championships is an internationally renowned spoken word competition focused on the art of the pun.

This classic Austin event includes live music, a silent auction, and t-shirt sales to benefit the O. Henry Museum. Two separate live contests will be held, Punniest of Show and Punslingers. Contestants may enter either or both contests. Winners will be selected by a panel of judges.

Registration and attendance is free! No ticket or reservation is required to attend the event. A maximum of 32 entrants per event will be accepted for registration. Contestants are chosen via lottery and entering doesn't guarantee you a spot in either competition. Register to participate at

Usually held behind the O. Henry Museum, this year the Pun Off will temporarily be hosted courtesy of Hilton Austin while Brush Square is under renovation. Event parking at Hilton Austin is $20. There is metered parking and public parking garages located nearby. Public transit is also an option.

Punsters are excited to return to the event’s traditional springtime date, the day before Mother’s Day. For the last few years, the event has been held in October due to scheduling issues caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. To express excitement about returning to the traditional date, this year’s theme will be “Spring for Words!”

Monday, April 24, 2023

New Program Will Help Small-Scale Real Estate Developers Create More Affordable Housing in Austin

Funded by the Austin Housing Finance Corporation, a new program will provide small-scale real estate developers who have been historically excluded or overlooked in Austin with the tools they need to grow their businesses. The Austin Small Developer Training Program will help these organizations be more involved in the region’s booming real estate market and, in turn, create more affordable housing and job opportunities locally. Applications are open from April 24 - May 19 at 5 p.m. 

The free, four-month program will provide developers with training, technical assistance, mentorship, networking, and potential pathways for financing. The Austin Small Developer Training program is being led by Capital Impact Partners, which has trained more than 200 developers through its Equitable Development Initiative in four regions nationwide, including the Dallas region, and has been working to help disinvested communities in Austin since 2015.  

“The Austin region continues to grow, but that growth has also led to rising housing costs, pushed longtime residents out of the city, and contributed to low rates of homeownership and business ownership in communities of color,” said Raymond Guthrie, Chief Investment Officer and Head of Capital Deployment of Capital Impact Partners, one of the Momentus Capital branded family of organizations, which also includes CDC Small Business Finance and Ventures Lending Technologies, among other organizations. “By helping small-scale Austin real estate developers, we can also close wealth gaps while bringing more affordable housing and investment into historically underserved communities.” 

Capital Impact Partners is partnering with HousingWorks Austin, a nonprofit organization that aims to increase the supply of affordable housing in Austin by providing research, education, advocacy and thoughtful, workable affordable housing policy recommendations. 

“Affordable housing must remain part of the fabric of our community in Austin and Travis County,” said Nora Linares-Moeller, Executive Director of HousingWorks Austin. “In Austin alone, more than 222,000 households are at or below 80% of the median family income, including more than 44,000 households living below poverty level. The Austin Small Developer Training will help contribute to our goal of ensuring that all types of people and households can call Austin home.” 

In 2022, the Austin Housing Finance Corporation put out a call for a program that would help create more affordable housing developers — particularly developers whose companies are owned by women or people of color who are familiar with traditionally marginalized and excluded communities. For example, less than five percent of housing developers in the United States are people of color, and only one-third of housing developers in this country are women. 

“Our commitment to create and retain safe, affordable housing for all Austinites is a mission our team is deeply committed to achieve. Exploring collaborative partnerships assists with that mission, which is why we are proud to be a part of the Austin Small Developer Training program,” said James May, Community Development Officer for the Austin Housing Finance Corporation. “We encourage historically excluded developers to take advantage of this opportunity and help us build additional affordable homes in Austin.”  

Apply for the Austin Small Developer Training on Capital Impact Partners website. 


An Important, Ambitious Goal for the City of Austin 

In 2017, the City of Austin adopted its Strategic Housing Blueprint, which included a 10-year aspirational goal to construct 60,000 affordable housing units for households at or below 80 percent of the median family income, and an additional 75,000 units for households earning more than 80 percent of the median family income. 


How the Austin Small Developer Training Program Will Help 

The Austin Small Developer Training program has been specifically crafted to confront the top challenges real estate developers face in Austin.  

Local industry leaders will provide capacity-building and insights to participants on successfully navigating the local review process, preparing financial applications, and leveraging business partnerships with community members. Speakers include experts from Affordable Central Texas, Broaddus Construction, and Lionheart Places, with many more soon to be confirmed. 

Developers will also learn strategies for finding more attainable land opportunities for small-scale development and learn from zoning experts, who will walk through the process and best practices to avoid common delays and challenges. 

The program also provides potential pathways to financing. Capital Impact Partners provides financing for eligible real estate projects in Austin. Capital Impact and its partners have formed a referral network of regional community development financial institutions and local lenders in order to connect developers with other courses of financing. 

Eligibility Criteria 

Successful candidates for the program will be selected based on the following criteria: 

  • Demonstrate experience as a small-scale developer (either for-profit or nonprofit organizations) who is seeking to further their experience developing affordable housing and/or growing their portfolio. As this is not an introductory program, candidates are expected to have some direct real estate development experience. 
  • Live in or have a strong connection to Austin. 
  • Demonstrate a commitment to affordability and fair housing in Austin. 
  • Commit to attend mostly virtual* training on Monday afternoons (between noon-5pm Central Time) during the months of July-October for up to five hours per week. There will be up to three in-person sessions, as well as an additional 2-4 hours of weekly training, assignments, and team meetings. 
  • Demonstrate interest in responding to Requests for Proposals (RFPs) for real estate development opportunities in Austin, with or without a development partner, within six months of completion of the program. 


To learn more about the Austin Small Developer Training: 




About the Austin Housing Finance Corporation: 

The Austin Housing Finance Corporation (AHFC) was created as a public, non-profit corporation and instrumentality of the City of Austin. The mission of the AHFC is to generate and implement strategic housing solutions for the benefit of low- and moderate-income residents of the City of Austin.  


About Capital Impact Partners: 

Capital Impact Partners is transforming how capital and investments flow into communities to provide people access to the capital and opportunities they deserve. We work to champion key issues of equity and social and economic justice by deploying mission-driven financing, capacity-building programs, and impact investing opportunities. 

Capital Impact is part of the Momentus Capital branded family of organizations, including CDC Small Business Finance and Ventures Lending Technologies. Collectively, we offer a continuum of financial, knowledge, and social capital to help local leaders build inclusive and equitable communities and create generational wealth. This includes a comprehensive package of loan products, impact investment opportunities, training and business advising programs, and technology services that advance locally-led solutions. 

A nonprofit Community Development Financial Institution, Capital Impact has disbursed more than $3 billion since 1982 to create access to critical social services, grow entrepreneurs, and create quality jobs. Capital Impact’s leadership in delivering financial and social impact has resulted in the organization being rated by S&P Global and Fitch, and recognized by Aeris for its performance.  

Headquartered in Arlington, VA, Capital Impact Partners operates nationally, with local teams in Austin, TX, Dallas, TX, Detroit, MI, New York, NY, and Oakland, CA. 

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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. HousingWorks Austin is guided by the maxim, “All Kinds of Homes, in All Parts of Town, for All Kinds of People.”