The city of Bee Cave is now one step closer to creating affordable housing options for its local workforce.

At a Feb. 27 meeting, City Council unanimously approved a request for proposal to create the city’s first income-restricted multifamily housing project on the 22-acre city-owned tract of land along the south side of Bee Cave Parkway and west of Skaggs Drive.

The request outlines affordability goals for prospective private developers—one being that 50% or more of the units must be restricted to households earning 80% or less of the area median income.

"We're really doing something to alleviate stress on our local businesses, on our first responders, our hospital workers and our teachers," Mayor Kara King said at the meeting.

Other priorities of the request include projects that offer renters potential pathways to ownership and maintain affordable rates for at least 20 years.
The area median income varies by how many occupants are in a home. (Source: Travis County)
The area median income varies by how many occupants are in a home. (Source: Travis County)

By the numbers

More than half of Lake Travis ISD staff live outside the district’s boundaries, with some making 30- to 45-minute commutes to work each day, LTISD Executive Director of Communications Marco Alvarado said.

“We hear all the time that our staff can’t afford to live here,” said Alvarado, who has worked with the district for 17 years.

The median rent for a three-bedroom apartment in Bee Cave is $2,840. To support this rental payment, a household must earn approximately $140,000 annually, according to city documents.

Meanwhile, on average, custodial, retail and service workers in Texas earn less than $42,000 per year, according to March data from Indeed. Austin-Travis County EMS salaries start from about $48,048, and LTISD teacher salaries start from $56,000.

What’s Next?

While housing affordability has been a priority of city leaders for many years, Economic Development Board President Quinn Gormley said he anticipates resident concerns about increased traffic to the area and misconceptions around workforce housing.

“We're extremely sensitive to the community’s concerns. ... What we're talking about doing is creating an income-based qualification, so the tenant isn't receiving any type of rental assistance or relying upon the government,” Gormley said.

Gormley said the board is exploring incentive options for developers, including property tax exemptions.

Project residents cannot be selected based on where they are employed, but the city plans to work with the developer to aim marketing tactics toward Bee Cave workers specifically.

The city will create an internal review committee to select a development plan by the end of June, according to a city spokesperson.