Where Have All the Families Gone?
     Census data has confirmed what we have long suspected:  families with children are disappearing in the City of Austin. In fact, City of Austin Demographer Ryan Robinson includes “decreasing families-with-children share in the urban core” as one of his top 10 demographic trends. Our schools are feeling the squeeze. In January 2015, Austin ISD released a demographic report that projected a net loss of more than 4,000 school age children by 2024. Affordability is suspected as the primary driver of out-migration.
   HousingWorks recognizes that families – including middle-income families – are a critical component of a thriving city. In order to appeal to families with children, we need to ensure all kinds of homes in all parts of town for all kinds of people. The rewrite of the Land Development Code –
CodeNEXT – is one important way to ensure that we have a diversity of housing types (at a diversity of price points).
     At the end of the month, HousingWorks is teaming up with the
Urban Land Institute Austin to host a Technical Assistance Panel (TAP) on the “missing middle.” Our panel of experts, including nonprofit and for-profit developers, as well as Abe Farkas with ECONorthwest (the affordability subconsultant on CodeNEXT), will explore concrete strategies to develop, finance, and market housing that is affordable to middle income families. -- Mandy De Mayo, Executive Director, HousingWorks Austin

Pursuing Private Investment

     How can Austin attract private investment to bring more affordable housing? That was the subject of a Capital Absorption Workshop HousingWorks Austin co-sponsored on March 4th. Mayor Steve Adler kicked off the workshop with a message of support for affordable housing and smart development.  

Click on the image above to watch a video from the Capital Absorption Workshop.
Source of Income Challenged
In December 2014 the City of Austin expanded its local fair housing ordinance to prohibit discrimination against housing voucher holders solely because of their source of income.  While housing advocates celebrated this local victory, the Austin Apartment Association immediately filed suit to halt enforcement of the ordinance. Go to our website to read the latest on this story. 
Amplifying Affordability with the GNDC Community Land Trust
     An affordable home in the Guadalupe Saldana Subdivision made an interesting and appropriate location for an Amplify Austin kickoff party. It's one of two historic homes Guadalupe Neighborhood Development Corporation recently moved from Rainey Street and renovated. In the coming weeks they will be purchased by two low-to-moderate income families through GNDC's Community Land Trust Program, which makes homes affordable by allowing the buyers to lease the land they're on.  We enjoyed touring the home and partying with our friends from ECHO and GNDC.
     HousingWorks wants to thank our donors who participated this year during Amplify Austin. We experienced the largest number of pre-scheduled donations ever. We also welcomed the largest number of new donors to our team! We are happy with our results and look forward to continuing our partnership with Amplify Austin.
Our Keep Austin Affordable success story is one of the clients from the Guadalupe N.D.C. Community Land Trust Program. Jesse Hernandez explains what it means to his family to become first time home buyers through this affordable housing program. 
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