Austin drops on 'Best Places to Live in the USA' list as affordability skyrockets
AUSTIN, Texas - This year's U.S. News and World Report’s best places to live ranks Austin at number 40 on the list. The report mentions it was influenced by several factors including a city’s affordability.
In the previous six years, Austin has been ranked between number 1 and 14.
"We don't want to become a city where people say, ‘I used to love to live there’. We want to be a city that people say, ‘I love to live here, and I want to keep living here’," said Stacey Armijo, Chief Experience Officer with Amplify Credit Union.
The list consists of 150 cities. To make the list, U.S. News says the city had to "have good value, be a desirable place to live, have a strong job market and a high quality of life."
RELATED: Austin drops for third year on 'Best Places to Live in the USA' list
"The biggest issue in Central Texas right now is affordability," said Armijo.
Amplify Credit Union held a summit with Mayor Kirk Watson to discuss ways to make Austin a more affordable city.
"If we want to remain an inclusive community, this has to be the place where everyone can find the right home for them, whether it's rental or whether it's homeownership, but affordability across the board is the key challenge," said Kendall Garrison, CEO with Amplify Credit Union.
Mayor Kirk Watson says the city passed several bonds last year that it is now using to create more affordable housing.
"Right now, a lot of the housing that's being built is 60 to 80% of median family income. We really need some of that housing to be at 30 and 40%. And so I want us to look at how we utilize those bonds for affordable housing, but maybe get a bigger bang for the buck in terms of median family income," said Mayor Watson.
Mayor Watson says affordability in Austin does not stop at just housing.
"Our economic development paradigm has always been how do we create certain jobs, but we need to have a new playbook and that new playbook is how do we get Austinites into those jobs that we're creating? The other big thing on affordability is child care," said Mayor Watson.
Top 10 Best Places to Live in the U.S. according to U.S. News:
- Green Bay, WI
- Huntsville, AL
- Raleigh & Durham, NC
- Boulder, CO
- Sarasota, FL
- Naples, FL
- Portland, ME
- Charlotte, NC
- Colorado Springs, CO
- Fayetteville, AR