Austin Strategic Housing Blueprint Implementation

April 2019   Austin, TX

Client

  • City of Austin, Neighborhood Housing and Community Development Department

Team

  • Austin Community Design and Development Center

Recognition

  • 2019, Best Practice Silver Award, American Planning Association Texas Chapter

An implementation plan that identifies priority locations for investment in affordable housing preservation and new affordable housing construction.

Key Points

The Implementation Plan for Austin's Strategic Housing Blueprint analyzed opportunity, environmental hazards, and displacement risk to recommend affordable housing allocations for Austin's City Council Districts.

Implementation

The goal of the project was to develop an implementation plan for the Austin Strategic Housing Blueprint, an ambitious housing plan adopted by the City Council in 2017. The Implementation Plan and Atlas of Existing and Historic Conditions identified actionable and quantifiable steps to reach Austin’s affordability goals.

Equity

The Implementation Plan and Atlas worked to identify locations for affordable housing in the city that maximize opportunity for residents while mitigating displacement, environmental hazards, and concentrated segregated housing.

Evidence-based policy recommendations

Asakura Robinson conducted an analysis of data aggregated at the Council District level to determine areas with varying degrees of opportunity, access to transit, displacement risk, and concentrations of affordable housing. This analysis was the basis for the recommended allocation of future affordable housing units for Austin City Council Districts in accordance with the Austin Strategic Housing Blueprint, which set the goal of constructing an additional 60,000 housing units affordable to households at 80% median family income (MFI) and below by 2027.


The Austin Strategic Housing Blueprint, which was adopted by the City Council in 2017, identified a multifaceted set of coordinated strategies that the City of Austin and its partners should pursue in order to effectively address growing affordability gaps for Austinites. The Blueprint also set clear goals for Austin’s housing production — including affordable housing production — over the next 10 years.

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Asakura Robinson and the Austin Community Design and Development Center (ACDDC) have been working with the City of Austin to develop an implementation plan for the Strategic Housing Blueprint. The Austin Strategic Housing Blueprint Implementation Plan and accompanying Atlas of Existing and Historical Conditions have been released and are available for public comment. This continuation of the Blueprint effort identified actionable and quantifiable steps to reach Austin’s affordability goals. The Asakura Robinson / ACDDC team produced two major documents: an Implementation Plan to put the Blueprint into action and an Atlas of Existing and Historical Conditions that will guide future development. The process included extensive stakeholder and implementer outreach.


The Implementation Plan recommendations include action steps and priorities for the two year and ten-year timeframes, metrics of success for action steps, resource and funding needs for implementation, and a process and timeline for reporting to City Council on progress. The Atlas of Existing and Historical Conditions helps define key terms from the Blueprint such as “high-opportunity areas” and “gentrifying areas,” and uses four key areas of emphasis from the Blueprint to create a set of geographically-specific goals for housing production and preservation within different areas of the City. It also includes a focused analysis on housing production and preservation needs near 2016 Mobility Bond corridors.

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