Welcome! The purpose of this listening forum is to gather input on policies that the City of Austin Neighborhood Housing and Community Development Office may use to encourage all types of housing, for all kinds of people, in all parts of town when using local and federal funding.
The City hosted a Community Forum on Tuesday, April 24th, where participants heard from housing officials in Dallas, San Jose, Charlotte, Raleigh, and Washington about affordable housing siting policies nationwide.
You can read more about the event here, and you can answer questions related to the forum below this introductory section.
The City of Austin currently uses the Kirwan opportunity map to address geographic opportunity in funded projects. You can view the entire scoring matrix for City's Rental Housing Development Assistance and Acquisition & Development funding programs here. After a scan of national practices for housing siting policies, three additional approaches have emerged as starting points for this conversation:
1- Goal-Based Siting Policies: In this approach, a jurisdiction sets a number of expected affordable units per defined (new or exisiting) geographic area. Example: Portland Metro area created a "fair share" model whose goal is to achieve an equitable distribution of housing opportunity among local jurisdictions in the region by working toward a similar distribution of household incomes within each Metro jurisdiction that reflects the regional income distribution as a whole.
2-Capacity-Based Siting Policies: In this approach, a jurisdiction creates a formula by which to exempt communities/geographic areas from an affordable housing requirement if they can demonstrate they have already reached a quota based on a formulaic capacity. Example: Seattle's affordable housing development siting policy (pg. E5-E6) defines capacity as any given census block group having a proportion of 20% or more affordable housing for extremely low-income households (<30% Median Family Income). There are exceptions to this policy, such as in defined priority areas for funding, if the project has neighborhood support , or if the area is also receiving new market-rate housing.
3-Strategic Siting Policies: This is a place-based approach, in which the jurisdiction targets investment in affordable housing in specific geographic areas. Often this investment is aligned with other systems to ensure maximum efficiency in affordable housing siting (e.g. public transit, employment centers, social services, health facilities, schools). Example: Denver's TOD fund offers funding to affordable housing development seeking to preserve affordable housing near current or proposed rail lines. We'd like to know what you think would help the public, policy makers and developers achieve their goals of developing affordable housing throughout Austin. Below are a series of questions we'd like to answer, and if you wouldn't mind, please share with us the perspective you're bringing to the discussion (e.g., you are a neighbor of affordable housing, you live in affordable housing, you work for an organization that builds affordable housing, etc.).
Thanks for your participation! *Several community meetings and focus groups took place during the fall of 2011. To view notes from the October 3-10, 2011 Listening Sessions, click here. To view notes from the November 17, 2011 PSH Workshop at First United Methodist Church, click here. To view notes regarding geographic dispersion from the December 17, 2011 Listening Session at One Texas Center, click here. And to view notes from an April 24th event, click here.