| Jul 21st, 2021

Austin families continue to struggle to pay for housing

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Austin families continue to struggle to pay for housing, says HousingWorks' analysis

by Stephanie Becerra

Tuesday, July 20th 2021


HousingWorks released its 2020 Affordable Housing District Analysis for the City of Austin and research shows families are still struggling to pay for housing. (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

HousingWorks released its 2020 Affordable Housing District Analysis for the City of Austin and research shows families are still struggling to pay for housing.

Woody Rogers, Research Manager at HousingWorks, says “Over the past year and a half, the need for safe and affordable housing opportunities in Austin has come into sharp relief. Despite the injection of emergency housing assistance and temporary halts on evictions and foreclosures, many families within Austin struggle to pay for their housing, with 45% of renter households and 22% of owner households paying more than 30% of their monthly income to housing costs (cost-burdened).”

In Districts 4, 5, and 9 – which cover parts of north, west-central, and south Austin respectively – more than 40% of all households are housing cost-burdened.

At the same time, the Austin housing market remains one of the hottest in the country, according to the analysis. The Median Sale Price of homes shot up by 5% across the city in 2020. In most Districts, the increase in home prices was significantly greater, with homes selling on average for at least $50,000 more than they had in 2019. The increase in home sale prices accompanies a decrease in poverty across the City, which decreased to 14.4% in 2020, while Austin's median family income continued to rise to $97,600.

According to the report, the average rent per month in Austin is $1,299 with a median home price of $424,900.

“While the City of Austin has seen overall gains in home sale prices, household wealth, and a decreasing poverty rate, these trends have not occurred equally across the city,” according to Nora Linares-Moeller, Executive Director of HousingWorks Austin.

Patterns of discriminatory housing policies that have historically limited opportunities for wealth building in minority neighborhoods continue, as City Council districts with the highest percentage of individuals who identify themselves as a person of color - Districts 1, 2, 3, and 4 – have higher poverty rates than predominantly white districts and a median household income nearly half of the city average.

Linares-Moeller continued, “To affirmatively address the spatial inequalities brought on by race-based discrimination in housing stability and economic prosperity, efforts to build affordable housing should prioritize developments in areas of high opportunity and those that currently lack a sufficient number of housing units affordable to working families.

For a more thorough look at HousingWorks' 2020 Affordable Housing District Analysis, click here.


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