Expert: Lack of affordable housing due to regulations

Austin skyline (KXAN Photo: Frank Martinez)

AUSTIN (KXAN) — The housing market in Austin is hot. And while some may blame the lack of affordable housing to the increase in population, those who analyze housing costs believe that’s only half the story.

The real issue that needs to be addressed, according to experts, are the regulations in place for how land can be used.

Due to the major delays in getting a plan approved – some developers who could build affordable housing are opting not to because the delays cost them money. During the 14th annual Policy Orientation sponsored by the Texas Public Policy Foundation at the Hilton Friday, experts will discuss how this can easily be changed.

“The best move forward is reducing the restrictions on zoning and also by cleaning up the code to make it easier for developers to get approval for their site plans and not have the ambiguity that currently exists in the law,” said Kathleen Hunker, Sr. Policy Analyst for Center for Economic Freedom.

Right now in Austin, a group appointed by city council, is in a long two year process of rewriting the land use code – which would do two major things. Create a vision for areas of downtown on what it should look like when development comes in and make it easier for developers to construct affordable housing. Their plan is expected to be presented to city council for approval in mid 2017. provides commenting to allow for constructive discussion on the stories we cover. In order to comment here, you acknowledge you have read and agreed to our Terms of Service. Users who violate these terms, including use of vulgar language or racial slurs, will be banned. If you see an inappropriate comment, please flag it for our moderators to review.

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