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San Francisco company expands affordable tiny homes in housing-starved Austin

Villa's first Austin tiny homes will be completed by next summer. (Villa)

Calling all Austin millennials—your fight with Austin's dog-eat-dog real estate market could be coming to a close as San Francisco-based tiny home manufacturer Villa, also known as Natomas Labs Inc., is expanding in Austin.

Drawn in by the city's growing need for affordable housing, Villa began its Austin expansion in July, as the first city the company is building in outside of California. The expansion is already underway—a vendor manager has been hired and the company said it is hiring for sales and other roles.

The company develops accessory dwelling units, which are small but independent residential dwellings on the same lot as a stand-alone home; they are small enough to fit in a backyard. The homes are made in local factories and installed onsite, which officials said help reduce cost.

Villa homes come in one, two and three-bedroom options from 440 to 1,200 square feet. Starting at $159,000 for one-bedroom, $239,000 for two and $289,000 for three, each figure factors in permits, foundation, utility setup and other costs.


Austin was chosen out of 100 total markets, with emphasis on population growth, home appreciation, income, zoning restrictions and housing demand. The company has seen a "profound" need in California—the units have a variety of uses: a home for relatives, a replacement for a retirement home or dorms, or a home office.

The company was searching for markets that need more lodging options—a strong need in a city like Austin, where the median rent is around $1,539.

Austin City Council relaxed regulations for ADUs back in 2015, reducing minimum lot sizes, removing parking requirements and capping unit size. Still, ADU's are not permitted in SF-2 zoned areas, which characterize single-family units.

The company expects the first units to be completed in Austin by next summer.


Tito's releases (not so?) ugly sweater line for the holidays, profits to charity

Tito's Handmade Vodka

Show your love for Tito's and for the community this year with a wide selection of not that ugly, uglyish, ugly, uglier, and ugliest holiday sweaters.

There's lots choose from, and plenty of accessories like scarves and socks, plus gear for your dog, too.

All of the items can be purchased online or at the Love, Tito’s Retail Store in Austin, TX. 100% of all net proceeds from online or in-store purchases go to one of the nonprofits we’ve teamed up with.

Click here to see the entire collection in the Tito's store.

Mac and Cheese Fest and Free Art Exhibit
Waterloo Greenway, Good Vibrations Installation

🗓 All weekend

🎨 Creek Show Art Exhibit

Check out this highly anticipated art exhibition with illuminated art along Waller Creek. Tickets are free and the event includes food vendors, dazzling lights, live music, and hands-on activities

All weekend 6 p.m - 10 p.m | 📍Waterloo Park

✨ Mozart's Light Show

This iconic holiday tradition lights up for the first time this holiday season starting this weekend! Reserve your spot for an enchanting light and sound performance, delicious hot cocoa, sweet treats, and some overall fun with your friends or family. The show runs till January 6th.

6 p.m and 9 p.m | 📍Mozart's Coffee Roasters - 3825 Lake Austin Blvd, Austin, TX 78703

🗓 Saturday

🥊 Kickboxing in the Park

This fitness event is free and open to the public. Get your morning started right with a "Fitness in the park" class for kickboxing! The class will be led by certified instructors and is a great way to get a cardio workout in while also honing your self-defense skills.

10 a.m - 11 a.m | 📍 Metz Park

🛍 The Front Market

Support local LBGTQ+ and female artists at this outdoor market with over 150 vendors. Get your holiday shopping out of the way at this event, with vendors for food trucks, handmade goods, raffles, hands on workshops and activities, and more.

11 a.m - 5 p.m | 📍Ani's Day and Night - 7107 E Riverside Drive, Austin, TX 78741

🗓 Sunday

🧀 Mac and Cheese Fest

Did someone say cheese?! If you're like me and always willing to get your hands on a bowl of mac and cheese, then this event is for you. Check out the Mac and Cheese festival happening this weekend to decide which vendor has. the best mac and cheese for yourself, and enjoy the bar with creative cocktails while you're at it. Tickets start at $45.

11 a.m - 3 p.m | 📍Lantana Place - 7415 Southwest Parkway