As Austin faces a dire shortage of housing for its poor and working-class population, City Council is looking for every way to get developers to build units that rent at well below market rate.
In many cases, developers offer to provide affordable units in exchange for entitlements that Council would otherwise be reluctant to grant, such as increased density or exemptions from certain fees or regulations.
But how does the city ensure that the units the developer promised actually materialize, that they are in fact only available to those of certain income levels and that market rate rent is not being charged?
Austin CityUp (ACUP), a consortium of companies and organizations aimed at creating smart-city capabilities in Austin, Texas, plans to install a Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) beacon-based solution in the city center. The group plants to test how well the technology provides location-based content to individuals with an app, and what value that will bring to the city, local businesses and app users.
Consulting and strategic planning company Vizias is part of the ACUP team overseeing the project. The solution's BLE system is provided by technology company Connecthings, using BlueCats beacons on the city's 2nd Street corridor as part of ACUP's Smart 2nd Street project.
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