Student Housing in Austin
Student Housing in Austin
City Council has directed staff to examine the need and availability of affordable housing for post-secondary students. In collaboration with higher education institutions and their students, the City will explore strategies to strengthen the housing capacity of campuses and increase students’ awareness of affordable housing options. At the end of this project, staff will report back to City Council with recommended actions and tools
Fall 2023/ Winter 2024
Needs Assessment and Analysis
Student Outreach: meeting with the College Student Commission and launching a survey to better understand students' current housing needs and conditions.
One-on-one meetings with post-secondary institutions: these meetings will inform potential future partnerships and recommendations based on each institution's housing opportunities, strengths, and needs.
Final Report to City Council
Student Housing Kickoff Meeting
On July 26, City staff met with representatives from Austin Community College, Concordia, Huston-Tillotson, University of Texas-Austin, and St. Edwards to identify the unique issues faced by each school and citywide challenges related to student housing. During this discussion, institutions voiced their concerns with the current student housing conditons as well as their interest in developing partnerships and programs to ensure that all students can access stable housing.
Student Housing Focus Group
In November, City staff invited higher education students to participate in a discussion on student housing as part of a focus group. The participants shared their housing preferences and highlighted the common challenges students encounter when seeking accommodation. Additionally, students suggested ways both their educational institutions and the City could promote the accessibility and affordability of housing.
College Student Commission
At the November College Student Commission meeting, a member of the Housing Department led a discussion on student housing with the representatives. Commissioners shared the housing preferences, needs, and challenges they and students at each of their institutions face. The Commission's November Agenda can be accessed here: CSC Agenda
Student Housing Poll
To supplement the feedback from the students serving on the College Student Commission, the City developed and launched a Student Housing Poll on PublicInput. The poll was marketed to students at all of Austin’s five higher education institutions who answered questions about their housing challenges, needs, and preferences. Additionally, students were able to leave any comment as well as indicate their interest in participating in the student housing focus group. Though not a formal study, the results offer general insight into students’ current views and experiences with housing.
Students play a vital role in Austin's community, economy, and character yet often struggle to find affordable and accessible housing. Tuition costs, limited income, and the need for proximity to campus can make traditional housing options financially inaccessible.
By ensuring affordable and accessible housing for students, the city fosters a diverse, and vibrant community that benefits all of Austin. The Student Housing Study will help the city to better understand:
- The specific challenges that students face in finding housing
- The partnerships and strategies needed to encourage the creation of student housing near campuses
- Policies that could support these partnerships and strategies
The City will engage with the community in several ways.
- Students: The planning process will include collaboration with the College Student Commission and relevant student groups.
- Higher education institutions: Meetings will be held with leaders of these institutions to develop partnership and strategies that encourage the creation of student housing near campuses.
- Austin Community College
- Concordia University
- Huston-Tillotson University
- University of Texas at Austin
- St. Edward's University
- Public: The City will provide the recommendations to Council and the public by the first quarter of 2024.
Frequently Asked Questions
The City will provide the recommendations to Council and the public by the first quarter of 2024. Any additional information or engagement opportunities will be posted on this page