Finding affordable housing just got a little bit easier in Austin. The City of Austin launched a searchable, interactive map showing income-restricted housing units all over the city with just a few clicks.
The map, unveiled Tuesday, asks for the user's annual income and number of people living in their house, revealing a map of affordable housing. The map includes contact info, listed amenities, schools and acceptance criteria.
The database has 491 buildings with 33,067 units total in the database.
According to the Department of Housing and Urban Development, there are certain median family income requirements that must be met in order to qualify for those developments.
The city had originally intended to create a comprehensive list of those in need of affordable housing, placing them in as units became available, but the idea was abandoned due to needing more data on residents.
The map, which comes in response to a need to effectively connect Austin residents to low-income resources, will be updated continually by a third party.
Unfortunately, the map is not without its shortcomings; the map alerts when there is a waitlist but doesn't let the user add their name to the waitlist and the map does not show vacancies, meaning there is no seamless way to check for available units.
However, HUD is still working its way through the pitfalls. City council member Greg Casar said he is urging fellow staff members to look into how Austin could be more preemptive in connecting those in need to resources that can help.
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Read the full story at The Austin Bulldog.