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Study breaks down Austin’s affordable housing crisis

Friday, July 28, 2017 by Chad Swiatecki

To the surprise of pretty much no one, a new study on the Austin housing market shows the area’s cost of living outstripping the earning power of many residents, and getting more expensive every day. The study – Innovative Solutions To Address the Affordable Housing Crisis – comes from Glasshouse Policy and the University of Virginia’s Frank Batten School of Leadership and Public Policy, and finds that 69 percent of renters spend more than 30 percent of their annual income on housing costs. It also found that in 2012, 52 percent of renters were forced to forgo a basic necessity such as health insurance or food to pay for housing. The study’s policy recommendations include transitioning existing rental assistance programs to a voucher-only system, developing community land trusts, and restructuring regulations on land use, zoning and construction. The goal of the study is to advise growing cities such as Austin on strategies to combat rising costs of living that impact low-income and middle-class residents.

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