Housing Affordability in Austin, a new report commissioned by Austin Community Foundation, in partnership with JPMorgan Chase & Co., NI (formerly National Instruments Corp.) and St. David’s Foundation, calls attention to the need for philanthropic investment to address the region’s housing crisis and outlines potential funding strategies to produce, protect and preserve affordable housing in Central Texas.
According to the report, Central Texas is the 9th least affordable metropolitan region in the country. Steady population growth coupled with increased demand for housing and stagnant hourly wages is creating desperate affordability issues for low and median income residents. The insufficient supply of affordable housing contributes to chronic instability pulling vulnerable community members deeper into poverty and possibly homelessness.
The purpose of the report is to provide context, increase understanding of housing-related issues, and present ideas for consideration by individual philanthropists, corporate funders and private foundations in the region, particularly those with little history of funding affordable housing.
“The lack of affordable housing and the increasing rate of unsheltered homelessness in the Austin area threatens the social and economic vitality of our region, and philanthropy is well positioned to play a significant role in addressing these issues,” said Mike Nellis, chief executive officer, Austin Community Foundation. “I implore funders to use this report as a resource to determine where they can invest and help advance solutions to the housing crisis.”
The report outlines recommendations in three primary areas that create a path for funders of all size to explore and identify the role they can play in contributing to affordable housing solutions:
- Public will – Building community acceptance of affordable housing and political support through education, research, messaging and advocacy
- Place – Securing land and building homes in communities with access to amenities families need
- People – Helping people obtain and retain quality housing
In addition to specific recommendations, the report provides real world examples of what these philanthropic opportunities could look like by spotlighting housing efforts underway in Austin and other areas of the country. Examples include establishing endowments, community land trusts and impact investments through cross-sector collaboration.
“The rapid escalation of Austin’s housing costs is overwhelming for those whose income isn’t keeping pace. JPMorgan Chase helped fund this important report knowing successful efforts to produce, protect and preserve affordable housing must be grounded in solid, insightful data and examination of best practices that address this alarming issue,” said Yvette Ruiz, Vice President, Office of Nonprofit Engagement, JPMorgan Chase.
The report was created by csb Philanthropic Solutions, a consulting firm with extensive knowledge of the intersection of housing and philanthropy. Housing experts and leaders in government, business, and philanthropy from Austin and beyond provided insights and data in the development of this report.