Austin's affordable housing crisis
It's no secret that Austin rent prices have gone up significantly. Austin Interfaith says they're fighting to keep life-long Austin residents, right here in the city “Keep Austin Weird” is slowly becoming "Keep Austin Expensive"
“We have increase in low wage jobs, low and moderate wage jobs and we don't have the housing affordable to those populations,” Mandy De Mayo, with Housing Works Austin said.
She says in some of the city's higher income districts there is a large concentration of lower wage jobs, but nowhere the workers can afford to live.
A recent study shows Austin needs another 48,000 units for low wage workers. Housing Works Austin recently received an additional $65 million that they plan on using to provide more affordable housing.
“If we can increase the diversity of our housing types so we don't just have micro-units that are renting at a really high rate,” De Mayo said.
“Many of us are aware of the gentrification that's going on and the less and less housing available for people who do the jobs,” Brian Ferguson, with Austin Interfaith said.
Take The Heights on South Congress for example. A developer plans to tear down the property and rebuild it. The residents can come back to their homes, but a market rate apartment complex will be built next door. Market rate in Austin, is high for many.
“Our concern there is we want to make sure the families are not displaced,” Raymond Sinatra with Austin Interfaith said.
Wednesday night the residents of that complex talked it out at a community meeting. The city and Housing Works Austin, want to fix the affordability problem but it's going to take some time.
“We're investing that in deeply affordable housing for low wage workers, families, seniors, people with disabilities,” De Mayo said.