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Austin Council districts not meeting 10-year goal on affordable housing

Officials say delays in hitting some of these goals are because of the time and resources necessary to launch the projects.

AUSTIN, Texas — New data shows Austin is off track on its goal of creating affordable housing.

The City of Austin and nonprofit HousingWorks revealed their Strategic Housing Blueprint Scorecard for 2021. It shows where we're at on building 135,000 housing units by 2028 –with 60,000 affordable a plan adopted by the council five years ago.

According to the latest progress report, the City is not meeting the 10-year goal toward building affordable homes in each council district. Only Districts 4 and 9 are making progress, but are on pace to meet more than 60% of that 10-year goal.

Officials said delays in hitting some of these goals are because of the time and resources necessary to launch the projects.

“Realistically, the slower pace of constructing new affordable units is understandable when you consider the time and resources required to build both rental and home ownership units,” said Housing and Planning Department Executive Director Rosie Truelove. “We are currently looking at more than 2,000 rental and home ownership units in the construction pipeline within the next two years from funds made possible in large part by the voter-approved $250 million affordable housing bond in 2018.”

RELATED: Austin ranks as the most expensive place in Texas to buy a house, per square foot

The City is hitting some benchmarks, like preserving some affordable units and building new moderate- and high-income homes.

"The increase in the number of affordable units preserved over the past year is especially encouraging. With the cost of living continuing to increase in Austin, it is important that we do not lose any of the existing affordable housing in the city while new units are built to address the current housing shortage," said Nora Linares-Moeller, the executive director of HousingWorks Austin.

The data also showed housing units produced in 2021.

"District 4, they got to 139%, but Districts 5, 6, 8 and 10 either had a 0% or 1%. District 10, they only produced seven units out of 846 that they should have produced," said Linares-Moeller.

For access to the Blueprint Scorecards, more about the Austin Strategic Housing Blueprint and links to all of the past versions of the Blueprint Scorecard visit: AustinTexas.gov/blueprint.

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