What Led to Austin’s Housing Crisis?

How the Texas capital quickly became one of the country’s hottest—and least affordable—housing markets.

1 minute read

March 9, 2023, 11:00 AM PST

By Diana Ionescu @aworkoffiction

Multiple bridges busy with cars cross Lady Bird Lake outside downtown Austin, Texas.

Mike Holp / Shutterstock

An article by Ryan Cavataro in Bloomberg CityLab analyzes the causes of Austin’s growing housing crisis, which is making it harder for longtime residents to afford housing in the city. Chief among them are outdated zoning codes and an influx of new residents and major employers.

According to Cavataro, “Austin's citywide zoning code hasn’t been updated since 1984, when the city was less than half its current population. And rules around single-family lots, which make up much of the city’s residential neighborhoods, are considered some of the more restrictive in the country.”

There is hope, however: “The city adopted a Strategic Housing Blueprint in 2017, which lays out a 10-year plan to create 60,000 affordable housing units. In 2021, the city exceeded its goal of building new housing units within a half-mile of targeted neighborhoods for the fourth year in a row.”

Thursday, March 9, 2023 in Bloomberg CityLab

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