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?
On that front, the city is hoping to get an assist from its own formidable tech sector. Short of packing up and leaving, tech companies likely can’t undo the impact they’ve had on the cost of Austin housing, but they may be able to help the city find housing for those who aren’t making tech-level wages.
On Tuesday, representatives from Austin CityUP, a one-year-old consortium of 70 local companies whose stated goal is to “advance Austin through digital technologies, data collection, analytics, and modeling,” told Council members that the organization wants to help the city develop an app that people can use to search for income-restricted units.
Read full Austin Monitor article here.
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