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Austin Housing Affordability… what affordability?

Posted on : 26-08-2010 | By : Sumina | In : Austin, Education

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I was recently at an Workforce Housing Forum held at the Omni downtown, which is only one of 4 such forums offered nationwide. During the course of the 2 days, there was much discussed about the barriers to affordable housing, and how poorly Texas ranks. Exactly how bad? According to the Texas Association of Realtors (or TAR), Texas ranks 44th out of 50 in overall homeownership. Gulp.

That homeownership gap is widest in Texas among Hispanics, who account for 36 percent of the state’s population but only 5 percent of homeowners.

So what are we doing to address the problem? TAR has launched TXHomePrograms.com to help homebuyers indentify programs that are available on the city, county, state and federal level to help with affordability.

Going through the ‘Program Search’ feature on the site with the following criteria, 2 person household, annual household income of $60k, looking in Travis county, and I selected all the programs… guess how many programs were available to help me purchase a home. Drumroll please. Zero. Nada.

Try it for yourself and see if you come up with something different.

So the saying goes, ‘Drive till you qualify’. We’ve got to get more people who work in the city, who are service providers, police officers, medical service providers, living closer to where they are working.

Thoughts?

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