Stories by Chad Swiatecki

Tuesday, January 21, 2020 by Chad Swiatecki

Fannie Mae award will bring services to Montopolis affordable housing project

The federal housing lender Fannie Mae has awarded $555,000 to a local affordable housing nonprofit to help add health care and educational services to a project that will bring 90 new housing units to the Montopolis neighborhood.The Guadalupe Neighborhood Development…

Thursday, January 16, 2020 by Chad Swiatecki

Austin neighborhoods facing gentrification pressures, Dallas Fed finds

Recent analysis on incomes and migration patterns in Texas shows that Austin and three other Texas metro areas – Dallas, Houston and San Antonio – have seen significant patterns of gentrification in recent years. The recently released research by the…

Wednesday, January 15, 2020 by Chad Swiatecki

Eureka waiting for Land Development Code changes to shape East Austin holdings

Eureka Holdings is continuing to plan work and community engagement related to its many holdings in East Austin, but a local consultant for the company said slow progress on the city’s new Land Development Code has put most other projects…

Tuesday, January 14, 2020 by Chad Swiatecki

State empowerment zones seen as wrong tool for city to preserve affordable housing

The city’s Neighborhood Housing & Community Development Department has opted not to use a state statute created to encourage infill development as a method for preserving affordable housing stock, instead choosing to enter into direct partnerships with developers using city…

Monday, January 13, 2020 by Chad Swiatecki

Council may move forward with study of minority business contracting disparities

City Council will decide at its Jan. 23 meeting whether to approve a study – first requested in late 2018 – examining how well small businesses owned by women and minorities are represented in the city’s contract procurement process. The…

Thursday, January 9, 2020 by Chad Swiatecki

Music working group seeks cooperation, transparency between artists and venues

Advocates for local musicians are hoping some of the city’s Hotel Occupancy Tax funds for commercial music will be used to formalize relationships between venues and artists and lead to an agreement on a living wage for performers.Monday’s meeting of…

Wednesday, January 8, 2020 by Chad Swiatecki

Downtown Commission hears fundraising plans for 300 new shelter beds

A partnership between the Downtown Austin Alliance and the Austin Chamber of Commerce has identified 14 sites that could become the location for a new large shelter to serve the city’s homeless population.At last month’s Downtown Commission meeting, representatives from…

Tuesday, January 7, 2020 by Chad Swiatecki

Activists push for friendlier block party rules, as special events task force trudges on

A member of the city’s Pedestrian Advisory Committee is beginning a campaign to push the city to relax its rules and regulations for organizing block parties, which came under a new permitting process last year.Adam Greenfield, the committee member who…

Friday, January 3, 2020 by Chad Swiatecki

Adler: 2019 saw action, and frustration, on city’s long-standing issues

Looking back on 2019, Mayor Steve Adler sees a year where a series of major issues came to inflection points on which he and City Council had to take decisive action – and then face the criticism that often follows…

Thursday, December 26, 2019 by Chad Swiatecki

Ellis looks at District 8’s place in transit, homelessness issues in reviewing 2019

Ask Paige Ellis about one of the first lessons she learned as a new City Council member and her answer is immediate: patience.The old adage that the wheels of government turn slowly takes on a whole new meaning for someone…

Monday, December 23, 2019 by Chad Swiatecki

Fiscal questions on revenue caps, transit plan remain with Flannigan after 2019

Council Member Jimmy Flannigan likes to refer to himself as the “fiscally responsible progressive” on the Council dais, pushing for ambitious action supported by the operational discipline needed to make sure money isn’t wasted.In that light, he said 2019 left…

Friday, December 20, 2019 by Chad Swiatecki

Harper-Madison looks back on lessons and growth in first year on Council

Looking back on her first year representing Austin’s District 1 seat on City Council, Natasha Harper-Madison said her early motivations for running for office were largely personal. She wanted to address issues specific to her district and its people rather…

Thursday, December 19, 2019 by Chad Swiatecki

Community court touts data showing sharp drop in recidivism among clients

The city’s Downtown Community Court on East Sixth Street has released data showing a drastic reduction in recidivism among its clients, thanks to the social services and case management the court offers. The analysis of data from the 2018 fiscal…

Wednesday, December 18, 2019 by Chad Swiatecki

Austin’s opportunity zones expected to see increased investment, development in 2020

Real estate professionals and the investment community expect development activity to increase in the 21 census tracts in the Austin area that qualify as federal opportunity zones. Those zones, created as part of the 2017 federal tax cut, were designed…

Wednesday, December 18, 2019 by Chad Swiatecki

Tourism Commission hears latest on convention center progress, homelessness funds

City staffers are engaged in talks with the owners of two and a half blocks of property located west of the Austin Convention Center in an attempt to learn what kinds of sales, leases or other property agreements can be…

Monday, December 16, 2019 by Chad Swiatecki

Panelists examine impact of taxes, paid leave and school funding for Latinos

The importance of federal tax policies, family paid leave programs and the effects of the state’s school financing structure on affordability in Austin were among the issues discussed Thursday by a panel of state and federal policy analysts, with the…

Thursday, December 12, 2019 by Chad Swiatecki

Arts Commission renews concerns over new assistance for creative spaces

Members of the Arts Commission have stepped up their criticism of the Music and Entertainment Division and its handling of the Creative Space Assistance Program that recently announced grants totaling just over $750,000 to 26 arts and music groups around…

Wednesday, December 11, 2019 by Chad Swiatecki

Council looks at legal options after appeals court throws out housing voucher challenge

Members of City Council have criticized a recent decision by the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals to throw out the city’s lawsuit against state Attorney General Ken Paxton over a state law passed in 2015 that prevents cities from…

Tuesday, December 10, 2019 by Chad Swiatecki

Workforce housing conservancy lands first bank investor, with $500,000 pledged

A $500,000 investment from Texas Capital Bank, announced last week, marks the first money from a large financial institution put into a fund created to preserve workforce housing units around Austin.In addressing the investment in the Austin Housing Conservancy Fund…

Monday, December 9, 2019 by Chad Swiatecki

Music commissioners want urgency, care in spending hotel tax money for industry

Members of the Music Commission and interest groups related to the city’s music industry are pushing for quick decisions on how to spend an initial pool of Hotel Occupancy Tax dollars that City Council allocated for the city’s commercial music…

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