Home Real Estate Austin Locals Priced Out by Wealthy Tech Workers Have Glimmer of Hope

Austin Locals Priced Out by Wealthy Tech Workers Have Glimmer of Hope

by Ozva Admin
  • Several technology companies and their employees have moved to Austin.
  • Their presence has helped push housing costs to unaffordable levels in the city.
  • A new $350 million housing bond is intended to help Austinites struggling with the high cost of living.

Austin’s tech industry is booming, as is its affordability crisis.

In recent years, tech giants like Apple, Google, Oracle and Tesla have taken advantage of the city’s relatively low cost of living and business-friendly climate by opening new satellite offices or relocating its world headquarters to the area

As the city becomes a bona fide tech hub, thousands of technology employees have infiltrated the Austin real estate market, bringing with them hefty six figure salaries. Taking advantage of the increased demand for homes and larger income brackets, home sellers have increased their sales prices, while landlords are steadily raising rents. price off many locals in the process.

Although price growth has begun to slow in Austin, the median home price is at an astonishing level. $562,212. For many native Austinites, especially those earning the area’s median household income, $79,542 – well below the average salary of a tech worker of $104,566: Home affordability remains out of reach.

Residents and legislators have had enough.

To address Austin’s affordability crisis, city council members, as well as a community coalition, proposed a $350 million housing bond that was approved by voters Tuesday. Austin council members say they intend to use the funds for the “creation, rehabilitation and retention” of affordable rental and home ownership.

The tax-backed housing bond, called Prop A — which will cost the typical homeowner an additional $45 a year in property taxes — is the city’s largest housing bond to date.

Steve Adler, the mayor of Austin, who said in july that the city was suffering from a “bleeding” of people, says the bond will encourage the production of more affordable housing for everyday residents.

“What this bond does is say that we have funds to make sure housing projects can be built that the market would never build,” Adler said in a statement Wednesday. “And that key layer of funding allows us to keep thousands of working-class people in Austin.”

Austin has passed numerous housing bonds over the past decade. The one before Prop A, which was approved by voters in 2018, allocated $250 million to create affordable housing. According to Austin Eligibility Guidelines, families earning 80% or less of the area median income are considered low-income. For a family of four, the area median household income for Travis County is $110,300.

Austin American statesman reports that most of the loan money was used to acquire land, build new multi-family developments, and address safety risks associated with existing homes. However, in 2023, most of the fund was almost exhausted, at a time when the city’s cost of living has fallen. risen at astronomical levels.

It makes the implementation of Prop A as important as ever.

With more technology companies likely to relocate to Austin in 2023, a move that could keep home prices and rents inflated, and home prices in the city rising surpassing wage growth, residents who earn less than their new tech-industry neighbors are likely to have a hard time competing for affordable housing.

Adler said the voters who approved the bond show how seriously the city views this problem. “This is the third housing bond that this city has passed in the last eight years, 10 years,” Adler saying KXAN News. “It is the second that we have approved in the last four years. And I think that is very significant because it shows the priority that our city has.”

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