Why doesn t austin have more affordable housing?

Housing advocates attribute much of the blame for the crisis to the city's territorial development code, which governs land use. The code has not undergone substantial reform since 1984, when Austin's population was less than half its current size. A new territorial development code would also address other issues. The process of obtaining permits in Austin is notoriously slow, increasing the cost of development and reducing the supply of housing. Austin's complicated land development code is also often contradictory, said a real estate development consultant who declined to be named because of his relationships with city staff.

In Austin, approving the land plan for multifamily development can take more than a year, while other Texas cities manage the same task in three or four months, he said. AUSTIN, Texas Central Texas is changing, and with more and more people moving to Travis County, the cost of living is rising. Most residential land in Austin, as well as in cities across the country, is reserved for single-family homes. In July, a report from the Austin Metropolitan Area Home Builders Association and the Austin Board of Realtors found that rates for multi-family residential development are significantly higher in Austin than in any other city in Texas.

Matthew had grown up in Austin and divided his time between his mother's house in the city and his father's, in the rolling western countryside, where, over the years, he witnessed trees being cut down and land covered with concrete to build luxury housing developments. A graduate of the University of Texas at Austin, Mehra had dedicated most of his career to finance, working for Fidelity Investments in Boston. In June, city staff analyzed compatibility standards, which limit what can be built next to what, and discovered that Austin has some of the most restrictive regulations in the country. In part, this is because homeowners in West and Central Austin have so effectively resisted anything other than single-family homes that many developers are no longer even trying to build in those areas.

Demand for housing in Austin has increased over the past decade, driven largely by the relocation of major technology companies, including Apple, Amazon and Tesla, to the city.

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