Using multivariate analysis techniques to locate the market areas for affordable housing in Austin, Texas




Kepford, Ronald William, 1957-

Journal Title

Journal ISSN

Volume Title




This report has discussed and analyzed many of the problems related to affordable housing. This discussion and analysis have opened up and revealed a number of complex issues associated with the cost and availability of housing, problems that are not new. There have been a number of housing crises since World War II, but the problems being experienced currently are the result of a number of major structural flaws in the housing industry and attempts by government to control and regulate development. On the national level, we have seen several major factors affecting the availability and demand for affordable housing. The growth of and change in the money supply and the cost of credit contribute significantly to the purchase price of a new home. The cyclical instability of the housing industry and the consequences of that instability are prime contributors to the current crisis in affordable housing. Trends in local environmental and land use regulation in this country also play a significant role in the rising cost of a home. These three factors, as well as many other issues, are affecting the availability and affordability of the housing stock. On the local level, we have seen that many of the problems associated with affordable housing have not developed overnight. The affordable housing issue is embedded in a number of concerns and policy decisions spawned by Austin's phenomenal growth in the 1970 s and early 1980s. Attempts to control and redirect that growth have generated a number of unanticipated and unexpected reactions from the development community. Many of these responses and reactions have ultimately been reflected in higher housing costs. As a result, a growing concern has arisen for some type of strategy to provide more affordable housing to the people of Austin. Many concepts and ideas have been discussed and analyzed, but few concrete proposals have been generated. The City Manager's "Action Plan for Affordable Housing" is a departure from the general approaches of the past. The plan carefully and succinctly addressed many of the issues affecting housing affordability in this community and presented a set of specific and rational proposals and alternatives that could answer and resolve some existing problems. Yet despite this careful and considerate analysis, there has been little discussion or analysis of what actually constitutes the market for affordable housing in this community. There has been little attention, if any, given to where that market is located. The lack of any clear or definite understanding of this market has prompted the preparation of this report. In this report, a methodology has been presented that can locate and geographically describe a potential market for affordable housing in Austin. That methodology has been proven to be an accurate indicator of that market. With this information, it is hoped that interested groups and individuals will begin to explore and examine more seriously, those areas where Austin might begin to provide affordable development for its people