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Affordability in Austin - What micro units can do

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Diana Sone

on 12 November 2014

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Transcript of Affordability in Austin - What micro units can do

Affordability in Austin - Micro units
What is a micro unit?
Micro units are multi-family residential units (think apartment complexes and fraternity houses) that are less than 500 square feet. That's a little bigger than a college dorm room.
What's in there?
Micro units are all-inclusive - the rooms include a bathroom, kitchenette and living/bedroom area. Proposed buildings include community spaces like TV rooms, computer labs and fitness areas.
Will they be affordable?
The first building with micro units in Austin, Capital Studios, is at 11th and Trinity. Rent there will be between $400 and $650, all bills paid. Average rent across the city for 2014 was $1,070, according to the Austin Business Journal.
What about my car?
Micro units are usually located on transit corridors. The Austin City Council is discussing parking requirements for micro units. If the council doesn't waive some parking requirements, construction on those buildings will be effectively stalled.
Other problems?
The parking requirement is the biggest hurdle to construction. Council is also worried about the impact on family housing in the central city and whether neighborhoods should be able to opt in or out.
Next steps
The council will resume discussion and possibly vote at the next regular meeting Nov. 20.
Council agenda: http://austintexas.gov/department/city-council/council-meetings
What would they actually look like?
Source: http://www.bizjournals.com/boston/blog/mass_roundup/2013/03/san-francisco-micro-apartments.html?s=image_gallery
Austin's first micro unit building
Austin Multi-Family Trend Report by Austin Investor Interests, LLC. via the Austin Business Journal

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