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Tag Archives: City of Austin Neighborhood Housing and Community Development Department

Monday, July 17, 2017 by Elizabeth Pagano

Reporter’s Notebook: Don’t say that

Yeah, OK, on the record, then… During the May 9 meeting of the Community Development Commission, commissioners took up the issue of developing Levander Loop with affordable housing. After a bit of misunderstanding, Neighborhood Housing and Community Development Assistant Director…

Wednesday, May 3, 2017 by Jo Clifton

Bills threaten Austin’s land use plans

Brie Franco, the city of Austin’s chief legislative strategist, gave City Council a brief update at Tuesday’s work session before rushing off to do some last minute lobbying. The city is facing a number of legislative attempts to curb its…

Thursday, March 30, 2017 by Joseph Caterine

Planning Commission unanimously votes to recommend Strategic Housing Plan

It would be a stretch to call Tuesday night’s vote a confident one, but the Planning Commission nevertheless unanimously passed a motion to recommend the Austin Strategic Housing Plan to City Council at its meeting Tuesday night. The plan, if…

Friday, March 24, 2017 by Chad Swiatecki

Council seeks more details from long-term housing plan

Some City Council members felt underwhelmed with the latest version of the city’s Strategic Housing Plan, one puzzle piece in an assortment of plans and codes city leaders are hoping will help solve Austin’s affordability and transportation woes over the…

Thursday, December 8, 2016 by Jo Clifton

Grove affordable housing plan explained

If approved on third reading, the new plan for affordable housing for the Grove at Shoal Creek will not only increase the amount of affordable housing available but will also save Austin Water more than $5.3 million over 20 years. These…

Monday, October 10, 2016 by Jo Clifton

Report details more accusations at Neighborhood Housing and Community Development

A report on 15 separate allegations involving current and former management-level employees of the city’s Neighborhood Housing and Community Development Department shows that Betsy Spencer, the department’s former director, made numerous decisions in an apparent attempt to shield one employee,…

Thursday, September 29, 2016 by Jo Clifton

Complaint filed against former housing director

The chief of investigations for Austin’s Office of the City Auditor filed a complaint late Wednesday against Betsy Spencer, the former director of Neighborhood Housing and Community Development, with the city’s Ethics Review Commission. In that complaint, Chief of Investigations…

Thursday, August 18, 2016 by Jo Clifton

Council looking at help for displaced tenants

City Council will consider an ordinance today affecting tenants who are forced to move out of properties slated for demolition or redevelopment. Under the proposed ordinance, an owner of a multifamily complex with five or more units would have to…

Monday, August 8, 2016 by Elizabeth Pagano

Reporter’s Notebook: Resignations and resignation

“Sent using OWA for iPhone”… On Friday, the Austin Monitor reported that Neighborhood Housing and Community Development department executive Steve Ritchie had quit, following the sudden retirement of Director Betsy Spencer over the public release of allegations of harassment and…

Friday, August 5, 2016 by Austin Monitor

Embattled manager quits housing department

By Jo Clifton and Cate Malek Facing allegations of sexual harassment and retaliation, Steve Ritchie, the embattled chief of construction and development for the Neighborhood Housing and Community Development department, submitted his resignation on Thursday. In July, department Director Betsy…

Monday, August 1, 2016 by Jo Clifton

Report shows flaws in city’s HR complaint process

While she was the director of Austin’s Neighborhood Housing and Community Development Department, Betsy Spencer sought to block the impact of a finding that her chief of construction and development had engaged in sexual harassment. In so doing, Spencer directly…

Monday, August 1, 2016 by Austin Monitor

Reporter’s Notebook: Chokeholds and other chaos

More here, more to come… On Friday, the Austin Monitor broke the story about a series of disturbing complaints at the city’s Neighborhood Housing and Community Development Department. As astute readers might have guessed, we weren’t able to include all…

Friday, July 29, 2016 by Austin Monitor

Sexual harassment and retaliation claims haunt Austin’s housing department

By Jo Clifton, Cate Malek and Elizabeth Pagano City of Austin documents show that employees in the Neighborhood Housing and Community Development Department have made numerous complaints involving inappropriate behavior, a hostile work environment, sexual harassment and retaliation over the…

Tuesday, July 19, 2016 by Jo Clifton

Ott announces Spencer’s retirement

City Manager Marc Ott sent a memo to City Council late Monday informing it that Betsy Spencer, the embattled director of the city’s Neighborhood Housing and Community Development Department, has decided to retire. Ott’s memo to the mayor and Council…

Tuesday, June 7, 2016 by Syeda Hasan

Austin’s first-ever housing plan hits City Hall

This week, city leaders released a draft of Austin’s first-ever strategic housing plan. Unlike broader visions for the city’s future, it focuses on how development will impact the housing supply. The plan is the direct result of a startling 2015…

Tuesday, May 24, 2016 by Vicky Garza

Tenant relocation assistance program moves forward

In recognition of urgent community need, the Planning Commission’s Committee on Codes and Ordinances voted unanimously to push forward with a proposed tenant relocation assistance program, despite the lack of a draft ordinance at the meeting. As requested by City…

Monday, April 18, 2016 by Elizabeth Pagano

Committee considers expanding proposed tenant relocation policy

Though the city of Austin currently has no formal policy for helping displaced tenants, change is on the way. And, after a meeting of the Housing and Community Development Committee, it looks like that policy could be expanded to offer…

Tuesday, November 17, 2015 by Elizabeth Pagano

City audit finds trouble with affordable housing

A city audit has found that Austin does not have an effective strategy to meet its current affordable housing needs. The audit of the Neighborhood Housing and Community Development Department found that NHCD “has not adopted a clear goal, established…

Monday, October 5, 2015 by Stephen Carlson

Committee zeros in on affordable housing

Lack of affordable housing, an issue that continued to plague Austin during the boom times of the last decade, was the main focus at the last Housing and Community Development Committee meeting. The city of Austin’s Neighborhood Housing and Community…

Monday, July 13, 2015 by Jo Clifton

Housing investment collaborative advancing quietly

Back in April, when Mayor Steve Adler made his first state of the city address, he noted a troubling statistic: Austin is the most economically segregated big city in the United States. In particular, that statistic applies to housing, with…

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