Majority of New Home Ownership
Growth is occurring outside the urban core.
30% of All Metro Jobs
located in 4 urban zip
codes – 01,03,04,05
92% of 230k jobs
In urban core live
outside 4 urban
44% of 01 workers
earn less than $20
Housing + Transportation Affordability Index – Austin Metro
Though hard to measure, TOD residents
clearly reduce vehicle trips and use
the rail line.
“Reasons for Living in A Transit-Oriented
Development, and Associated Transit Use.”
by Hollie Lund
Eight train stations to Downtown.
If each TOD could house 2,000
Housing units, the Red Line could
have 16,000 units housing
between 24,000 to 32,000 residents.
Could we guess that around 50% of
the residents would ride the train?
If so, then between 12,000 and
16,000 residents would ride the
As such, between 24,000 and 32,000
auto trips per day will be avoided –
the equivalent of an arterial road.
Other Benefits and Requirements of Living in TODs:
• By living at a TOD, a resident might be able to eliminate a car. Annual Savings
to $8,000 per year.
• Creating a Vision of a “complete” community, TODs often become de facto
town centers for neighborhoods near the transit station. A “complete”
community evolves and includes housing, neighborhood services, public
spaces, a broad variety of uses and activities.
• In addition to the direct benefits of housing located at a TOD, many metro areas
intentionally locate jobs at opposite ends of the transit line to utilize both
directions of the rail line.
Other Ways to Look at Housing Issues
• If we are putting most of our reasonably-
priced housing in the outlying areas of the
Austin SMA, what do we do?
• There are three ways to lower the cost of
– Cheapen the product (can have implications)
– Increase the density
– Make the units smaller
What will Austin look like in 10 years?
• 580,000 new residents . . . At 2.6 people per
housing unit, means 223,077 new housing units
will be needed . . .
Suburban Density of 3 Units/Acre
• At a suburban density of 3 units per acre, we
will need 74,359 acres of land to house just
our population growth over the next 10 years.
• . . . or 116 square miles. . . .
Townhome Density of 10 Units/Acre
• At a townhome density of 10 units per acre,
we will need 22,308 acres of land to house
just our population growth over the next 10
• . . . Or 35 square miles. . . .
Downtown Density of 200 Units/Acre
At a downtown density of 200 units
per acre, we will need 1,115 acres
of land to house just our population
growth over the next 10 years.
. . . Or 1.7 square miles. . . .
How Austin Grows Affects Our City:
– Costs of Long-Term Maintenance of Streets and Utilities
– The Number of Police Stations, Fire Stations, Libraries
– The Types and Alternatives for Transportation
– The Consumption of Our Open Space
– The Use of our Natural Resources
So, just maybe, it is a good idea to add density?
Approximate Lengths of Roads/Utilities Associated with Austin’s Expected
10-Year Growth at Suburban, Townhome and Urban Densities
Consumption of Natural Resources
Tax basis per acre . . . Hurting City Finances