- Austin City Council recently passed the HOME initiative to help solve its housing crisis.
- Under the changes to the Code, it will be easier to build additional housing on a single family lot.
- These changes should help by increasing density and providing more needed housing.
The Austin City Council has been on fire lately. At least with respect to housing. I’ve written a lot lately in this blog about the pro-housing positions that this City Council has taken. Ever since the last election, the Council has turned far more to pro-housing positions and passed a number of measures that will have a long-term positive effect on Austin’s housing situation.
Well they did it again recently. The Council passed another very progressive pro-housing measure that could have a profound effect on the future of Austin. So lets talk about it.
Austin City Council Passes HOME Initiative
In a landmark decision, the Austin City Council recently enacted the HOME proposal, a set of changes to the city’s Land Development Code aimed at addressing the housing affordability crisis and increasing housing supply. This initiative stands for “Home Options for Middle-Income Empowerment” and represents a significant step forward in creating a more accessible and inclusive housing market in Austin.
At the core of the HOME proposal are changes that allow for more flexibility and density on individual lots. Previously, most single-family residential lots could only have one dwelling unit. However, the new regulations now permit up to three homes on a single lot in specific zoning districts. This includes allowing for the construction of accessory dwelling units (ADUs) and tiny homes. These options offer a wider range of housing choices and can provide affordable options for individuals, young professionals, and families.
The increased density permitted by the HOME proposal should significantly increase the housing supply in Austin. By allowing for more homes to be built on existing land, the city can meet the growing demand for housing without encroaching on green space or expanding urban sprawl. This increased supply can help to stabilize housing prices and make it easier for people to find affordable housing options.
Furthermore, the HOME proposal includes several measures specifically designed to promote affordability. These include:
- Allowing up to three units on single family lots, giving homeowners the ability to provide additional on-site housing options.
- Making it easier to install a tiny home on a property.
- Incentivize saving existing homes that conserve neighborhood character and help keep materials out of area landfills.
- Promote smaller “starter homes” for homebuyers.
These changes will be to current properties that are zoned SF-1, SF-2, and SF-3.
Overall, the Austin City Council’s enactment of the HOME proposal is a significant step towards addressing the city’s housing affordability crisis. By increasing housing supply and promoting affordability, the initiative has the potential to make Austin a more accessible and inclusive city for all residents. While there are challenges to overcome, the HOME proposal represents a positive step forward in creating a more equitable and sustainable housing market in Austin.