Affordable Housing Award


AUSTIN, Texas – Nov. 3, 2014 – The Austin District Council of the Urban Land Institute (ULI) is pleased to announce the City of Austin has earned national recognition for its multifaceted approach to addressing affordable housing challenges throughout the community.

At ULI’s fall conference, The City of Austin was one of just two cities in the country to receive the 2014 Robert C. Larson Housing Policy Leadership Award. The other city honored was Pasadena, Calif.

According to the ULI Terwilliger Center for Housing, which issued the awards, the City of Austin “is tackling its affordable housing shortage through a variety of mechanisms. In addition to the housing trust fund and general obligation bond funding, the city implemented planning and development policies and programs that encourage the production of affordable housing – securing affordability for more than 18,000 units since focusing on this crucial issue. Currently working on packages of programs to increase affordable housing near transit and to produce more multi-family housing, the city of Austin is showing impressive leadership to meet future affordable housing needs.”

“We’re incredibly honored that an organization as committed to affordable housing as ULI has recognized the City of Austin’s and our partners’ hard work to preserve and expand affordable housing in our community, but we all understand the ongoing and growing struggle to keep up with Austin’s unprecedented growth and strong demand for affordable and workforce housing,” said Betsy Spencer, Director of the City of Austin Neighborhood Housing and Community Department. “We’re proud of this milestone and we thank ULI for the honor, but we’ll all be prouder when affordable housing is no longer at the top of our city’s issues.”

The Terwilliger Center for Housing recognized the City of Austin’s broad range of affordable housing tools over the past decade to help address affordable housing challenges while Austin remains one of the fastest-growing communities in the country.

Specifically, the City cited the 2000 Housing Trust Fund; the 2006 Housing Bond Program; the S.M.A.R.T. Housing initiative; vertical mixed-use incentives; density bonus programs, such as the 2004 University Neighborhood Overlay, the 2013 Downtown Density Bonus initiative and the East Riverside Corridor Program; transit-oriented development (TOD) efforts; and public-private partnerships like the Mueller Airport redevelopment, which is a partnership between the City’s Economic Development department and Catellus Development Corp.


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