Travis County's population growth could necessitate 70K more affordable housing units than already needed by 2026

Early data shows Travis County could need more than 70,000 affordable housing units to address population growth by 2026. (Courtesy Adobe Stock)
Early data shows Travis County could need more than 70,000 affordable housing units to address population growth by 2026. (Courtesy Adobe Stock)

Early data shows Travis County could need more than 70,000 affordable housing units to address population growth by 2026. (Courtesy Adobe Stock)

Travis County will need roughly 70,000 more affordable housing units within the next five years to address population growth, according to a preliminary recommendation provided by HousingWorks Austin.

The data was presented to the Travis County Commissioners Court on Feb. 24 as part of the county’s process to establish a strategic housing blueprint—an effort to take a comprehensive look at the county’s affordable housing situation, similar to the one the city of Austin uses.

The 70,000-unit figure only includes additional homes that would need to be added to address new population growth but does not include the current unfilled need. It is also a provisional goal, which could be adjusted before the county officially adopts it.

“The numbers I have been looking at are almost double those,” Travis County Commissioner Jeff Travillion said.

Travillion said there is a lot of unmet need currently, including some estimates of upward of 60,000 units needed in the eastern part of the county alone.


Awais Azhar with HousingWorks Austin said it would be difficult to calculate the exact numbers of units needed currently because the housing market and local economy has changed rapidly since that data was last collected.

Travillion said he wants to see the full scope of need, along with a map of local affordable assists, so the county can move forward with affordable housing that is located in parts of the community that have resources, such as grocery stores and libraries.

“What I am trying to define is what needs to be in certain areas. ... If we want different outcomes in our education, if we want to have different outcomes in our justice system, we need to define what we need to have to have opportunities,” Travillion said.

The data was presented as part of a work session for the court, meaning it was not able to vote on any action. However, commissioners asked staff to bring the discussion back to a future meeting.
By Darcy Sprague

Editor, Central and Southwest Austin

Darcy joined Community Impact Newspaper in Aug. 2021. Previously, she has covered local news from San Antonio to Dallas and reported nationally on education. Darcy graduated from Texas State University.