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Distributing affordability in the decade to come

Monday, June 10, 2019 by Ryan Thornton

City Council approved a resolution at Thursday’s meeting setting its geographical targets for the 60,000 income-restricted units (households earning 80 percent of median family area income and below) written into the 2017 Strategic Housing Blueprint. The plan sets a goal of adding at least 135,000 new residential units to the city by 2027, with a quarter of the affordable units built within a quarter-mile of high-frequency transit. Thursday’s geographic goals lay out the location of those income-restricted units both by corridor and by Council district. City staffers predict that only 17,654 of the 60,000 units will be built along the 17 major corridors identified in the resolution. The corridors set to receive the most units are William Cannon Drive and Slaughter Lane, with Guadalupe Street and South Lamar Boulevard getting far fewer than any of the other 15 corridors. By Council district, West Austin’s districts 6 and 10 combined will get just under 30 percent of the total affordable units with districts 1 and 8 not far behind. At the other end of the spectrum, District 9, whose representative Council Member Kathie Tovo has long held is already burdened with density, shall see only 3,635 of those units while District 4, also relatively small and central, will hold only 3,105 new affordable units.

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