Developer Wet (Riverside) Dream: Pull Down Austin Affordable Housing, Build Less New

skyline of downtown Austin Texas
Austin Texas Lake Front photo by Stuart Seeger is licensed under CC BY 2.0
Austin, Texas.

Confused about what affordable housing really is? You are not alone. Austin City Council would appear to be more than confused, indeed thoroughly bamboozled. Which is just where any self-respecting profit-making developer would like them to be.

Let’s just suppose for a moment that there just is no ‘affordable housing crisis’, allowing a city to get on with building shiny new commercial and development megaplexes. We can point you to two analyses of America’s so called housing crisis which use solid statistics that, choosing your definition of affordable wisely, can lead to a sensible conclusion that no such affordable housing crisis exists. Try: Turn Menace Into Myth: How To Bigfoot An Affordable Housing Crisis

Regardless of the reasoning that makes an affordable housing crisis simply disappear into a ‘same-old same-old’ pattern of national growth, the one important thing that unites these two analyses — one right wing and one left wing — when our focus is narrowed to most poorly equipped Americans (those who need shelter and have the lowest salaries and least money to pay for it), there is indeed a growing crisis.

So why, one might ask, is Austin, Texas considering a planning-compliant and staff-recommended proposal that will remove 1,300 truly affordable rental units (3,700 bedrooms) and replace them with as few as 400 not-so-affordable units.

Two answers (among perhaps many). Austin is in love with its shiny development bauble, and the developer will receive government affordable housing subsidies, regardless of what gets torn down.

How does a city cope when at sea while wind and waves and tide all pull in different directions? And how do two levels of government wind up cooperating in the destruction of housing that without a question from anybody, is only making a truly affordable housing crisis that much worse? Read more in The Austin Chronicle:  Finally, Riverside Rezoning Case Arrives At Council


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.