City Council identifies mobile home parks as a crucial tool in affordability crisis at meeting Thursday

Austin City Hall

Austin City Hall

Mobile home tenants throughout Austin have fallen victim in recent years to gentrification, with rapid redevelopment resulting in rapid displacement; however, Austin City Council on Thursday identified mobile home parks as vital in battling the city’s affordability crisis.

The City Council communicated its focus on mobile home parks through a pair of actions aimed at preservation.

Several mobile home parks, owned by private landowners, are not zoned as such. The council will attempt to rezone all such mobile home parks for mobile home usage to guard tenants against being replaced by single-family homes or commercial parks.

“We want families living in mobile homes to know that they are welcome in our city—this zoning change is an important step to solidify that the City Council wants them to remain in Austin,” said District 4 Council Member Greg Casar, head sponsor of the zoning change. Casar said such changes were due under CodeNEXT—the city’s now-defunct attempt to rewrite its land development code—and “emergency action” is now necessary.

There are currently 37 mobile home parks throughout Austin, but city staff is unsure how many are zoned incorrectly.

The council has recently highlighted purchasing as a way to secure existing, and create new, affordable housing. On Thursday, the council directed city staff to target mobile home parks in order to preserve them as such and maintain their affordability.

The direction, which was brought forward by Mayor Pro Tem Kathie Tovo attempts to take gentrification head-on, by acquiring existing multifamily developments and mobile home parks occupied by households earning 60 percent or lower than the median family income to protect them from private purchase and potential redevelopment.

According to city documents, 35 percent of the city earns 60 percent or lower than the median family income—just over $80,000 for a four-person household—but only 15 percent of the housing is available to them. The actions by the council attempt to address this, along with the city’s housing goals, which in part aim to preserve 10,000 affordable units over the next 10 years.

A major part of the land acquisition will be the $250 million affordable housing bond set to go in front of voters Nov. 6, of which $100 million would go toward purchasing land.


A system to identify at-risk Austin Police Department employees has not been effective. (Maggie Quinlan/Community Impact Newspaper)
Audit finds Austin police system to flag at-risk officers is failing

Austin's city auditor and police chief agree the police department's computer program to identify at-risk officers is not fulfilling its mission.

A rise in COVID-19 cases has Travis County back in stage 4. (Courtesy Adobe Stock)
Austin reverts to Stage 4 guidelines with rising delta variant cases

As delta variant COVID -19 cases are sending more young people to local ICUs, The Austin-Travis County Health Authority has moved the area back to guidelines that require masks indoors.

Opening day at Q2 Stadium
US men’s soccer team to visit Q2 Stadium this fall

The U.S. men's national team will host Jamaica for a FIFA World Cup qualifier game on Oct. 7.

Capital Metro is hosting a series of virtual meetings to hear feedback from the community on the latest Project Connect designs. (Community Impact Newspaper staff)
Capital Metro seeks community input on latest Project Connect design

Want to have your voice heard about Project Connect? Tune in to the upcoming virtual meetings.

Dozens of Austin residents spoke virtually and in person July 22 to share their thoughts on the city's proposed fiscal year 2021-22 budget. (Ben Thompson/Community Impact Newspaper)
Police funding again takes center stage in public hearing on Austin's proposed FY 2021-22 budget

Dozens of city residents calling into or appearing at City Hall on July 22 shared their thoughts about policing and the city's spending plan.

Mortgage purchase applications are down year over year, but the Austin housing market remains hot. (Benton Graham/Community Impact Newspaper)
Austin housing market still hot but showing signs of slowing down

Experts say that a decrease in mortgage purchase applications points to “a reversion back to norm” in the Austin housing market.

Peter Lake (left), chair of the Public Utility Commission of Texas, and Brad Jones, interim president and CEO of the Electric Reliability Council of Texas, provided an update on state regulators' electric grid redesign efforts in Austin on July 22. (Ben Thompson/Community Impact Newspaper)
Regulators: Texas electric grid prepared for potentially record-breaking demand next week; 'once-in-a-generation reforms' underway

The heads of the agencies in charge of the Texas electric grid met in Austin on July 22 to provide updates on their grid reform efforts.

Z'Tejas margarita
Where to celebrate National Tequila Day this year around Austin

From mezcal bars to frozen margarita specials, here is a list of places to celebrate National Tequila Day on July 24.

Photo of men at a restaurant
New American restaurant 1417 launches on South First, plus more openings in South Austin

The bistro comes from the team behind downtown French gastropub Hopfield's.

Project Connect's Orange Line will go beneath Lady Bird Lake in the latest design. (Rendering courtesy Project Connect)
Into the bedrock: Capital Metro plans to go below Lady Bird Lake with Orange Line tunnel

The tunnel presents a few options of where the train could emerge near South Congress.

Photo of a stack of masks
Austin Public Health says to mask up indoors, regardless of vaccination status

The Austin-Travis County community is on the "precipice" of Stage 4 pandemic risk, public health authority Dr. Desmar Walkes said.

Travis County has been discussing the possibility of a new Samsung facility with Samsung since January. (Community Impact Staff)
Travis County begins incentives negotiations with Samsung for possible $17B facility

Samsung is hoping to finalize a performance agreement by mid-August, which would include information about how the potential facility would affect property taxes.