The housing affordability crisis in Central Texas is becoming increasingly dire. According to the report, the region is the ninth least affordable metropolitan area in the country. This is due to a combination of population growth, rising demand for housing, and stagnant hourly wages. The result is a desperate situation for low- and middle-income residents.
Fortunately, there is still time to address the issue and invest in ways that lead to vibrant, diverse, and healthy communities. The situation in Central Texas is dire. Home prices and rents have reached historic levels due to an influx of millennials and corporate buyers looking to buy homes, combined with a limited supply of housing. This has caused a crisis for low- and middle-income residents who are struggling to find affordable housing.
Texas State Representative Craig Goldman, R-Fort Worth, has proposed a bill that would override existing lot sizes and require cities in counties with more than 300,000 residents to adopt a minimum lot size of 1,400 square feet for a single-family home. This is the standard in Houston, but significantly smaller than in most other major urban areas. The philanthropic sector can also play an important role in investing in solutions to the affordable housing crisis in Central Texas. Over the past decade, Texas has lost nearly half of its low-rent housing units, making it even more difficult for low-income families to find housing they can afford.
MoneyGeek reports that the high demand for homes with few homes on offer is the main reason homeownership isn't affordable in Travis County. Texas ranks 49th in state spending on housing and community development as a percentage of its overall budget, just ahead of Nebraska, a state with less than 2 million residents. To address this issue, another Republican bill would create a state housing tax credit to complement the federal tax credit program - the main way affordable rental housing is built in Texas and across the country. Affordable housing is often an issue championed by Democrats, but this time Republicans are behind many of the housing construction bills under consideration.
This may be due to the enormous increase in housing costs seen across almost every part of the state in recent years. The affordable housing crisis in Central Texas is becoming increasingly urgent and requires immediate action from both public and private sectors. Investing in solutions that lead to vibrant, diverse, and healthy communities is essential for ensuring that all Texans have access to safe and affordable housing.