Real estate trend: Dripping Springs community sees need for affordable living options with projects on the way

Dripping Springs home prices are on the rise while the local stock of apartments is limited.

Dripping Springs home prices are on the rise while the local stock of apartments is limited.

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Dripping Springs affordability
In the small city of Dripping Springs, home prices are high, even higher than in parts of neighboring Austin. According to data collected by the Austin Board of Realtors, Dripping Springs’ median home price as of May was over $500,000, compared to a median of $407,400 in Austin as of May 2019.

While Dripping Springs is experiencing a period of significant growth, as evidenced by the ballooning size of the Dripping Springs ISD, the financial resources required of newcomers presents challenges. At Dripping Springs’ State of the City meeting—hosted at the Headwaters development, where home prices begin in the mid- to high $300,000s—DSISD Superintendent Bruce Gearing said it was becoming difficult to hire for “auxiliary” positions such as school bus drivers and janitorial staff because candidates could not afford to live in the area.

At present, Dripping Springs has few affordable housing options. Only Springs Apartments at 289 Springs Lane currently accepts Section 8 Housing Vouchers, according to Ginger Faught, Dripping Springs deputy city administrator.

One housing project with low-income tax credit funding from the Texas Department of Housing and Community Affairs is currently underway: Western Springs Apartments at 603 W. Hwy. 290. Another, Ranch Court Apartments, located north of Dripping Springs Presbyterian Church on RM 12, has been approved by the city, but developer James McDonald is still seeking funding approval from TDHCA.

These developments would offer a mixture of regularly priced units and apartments at reduced price for those with qualifying income rates. However, those rates are determined relative to median income rates in the area, according to TDHCA, meaning they still may not be affordable for all.
By Olivia Aldridge

Multi-Platform Journalist

Olivia hosts and produces Community Impact Newspaper's podcasts, The Austin Breakdown, The Houston Breakdown and The DFW Breakdown. She launched the podcasts after nearly three years as a reporter for the newspaper, covering public health, business, development and Travis County government for the Central Austin edition. Olivia worked as a reporter and producer for South Carolina Public Radio before moving to Texas.