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Affordable Housing in Easton Park

The City of Austin offers several different low-income and/or affordability programs for developers. Easton Park developers agreed to leverage these programs to receive developer incentives.

All Easton Park subdivisions and apartments have a minimum of 10% of homes that qualify for Affordable Housing.

In order to fund the Pilot Knob PUD, Carma Easton LLC and City of Austin agreed to redirect up to $81 million from the water and wastewater fees and $25 million from the Development Services Department to the Austin Housing Finance Corporation. The agreement requires Carma Easton LLC to provide 1,000 homes for households learn less than 90% of the Austin median family income (MFI) and 350 rental units for households earning less than 60% MFI[1]Austin Monitor – Water commissioners hear bad news about Pilot Knob – February 11, 2016 – https://www.austinmonitor.com/stories/2016/02/arguments-continue-over-pilot-knob-deal/ [2]Austin Monitor – Pilot Knob deal turmoil continues – February 12, 2016 – https://www.austinmonitor.com/stories/2016/02/water-commissioners-hear-bad-news-pilot-knob/. The affordable homes are apart of Austin’s S.M.A.R.T Housing imitative[3]Austin S.M.A.R.T.

Current City of Austin Affordable Housing Listings

Affordable Housing Summary

  • Minimum percentage required affordable housing of 10%
  • 1,000 homes earmarked for affordable housing for household incomes of 80% MFI
  • 350 rental units earmarked for affordable housingfor household incomes of 60% MFI over 40 years.

City of Austin S.M.A.R.T. Housing

S.M.A.R.T. Housing  is designed to stimulate the production of affordable housing for residents of Austin that is Safe, Mixed-Income, Accessible, Reasonably Priced, and Transit-Oriented (i.e., S.M.A.R.T.) and compliant with the City of Austin’s, Austin Energy Green Building standards. Eligible S.M.A.R.T. Housing projects may receive development fee waivers if the development, at a minimum, meets the following:

  • Provide mixed-income housing by including dwelling units that are affordable for the required affordability period;
  • Provide for accessibility in a development of more than three dwelling units by providing at least 10 percent of the dwelling units that comply with the accessibility requirements of the City’s building code;
  • Provide for visitability (a measure of a place’s ease of access for people with disabilities) in a development with three or fewer dwellings
  • Be located within one-half mile walking distance of a local public transit route at the time of application; and,
  • Achieve at least a one star rating under the Austin Green Building Program.

Developer Density Bonuses

These bonuses allow for developers to build more units that typically allowed by a site’s zoning. Developers must set aside a portion of homes for income-restricted affordable housing or in some cases pay a fee-in-lieu of providing affordable housing.[4]Austin S.M.A.R.T [5]City of Austin Affordable Housing Development Incentive Policy Overview[6]

Affordability Unlocked Development Bonus Program


“[This] program is designed to increase the number of affordable housing units being developed in Austin and fully leverage public resources by allowing housing providers to build more units in their developments when significant amounts of affordable housing are included. In return for setting aside half of a development’s total units as affordable, bonuses include height and density increases, parking and compatibility waivers, and reductions in minimum lot sizes.

[6]Affordability Unlocked Development Bonus Program

Funded by $250 million in Affordable Housing Bonds that voters approved in 2018, this program is designed to meet the City of Austin’s goal of 60,000 affordable housing units by 2027. The program includes two types of affordability.

Waivers and medications are provided to developers in exchange for setting aside at least half to a development’s total units as affordable. Rental units must serve households with incomes averaging up to 60% of the median family income (MFI) with a portion serving households up to 50% MFI for 40 years.

Type 1 – Entry-level


Rental Units:
  • Housing providers must agree to provide tenant protections including “just cause” eviction protections, the right of tenants to organize, and other protections as required in existing city/federal affordable housing agreements. Housing providers cannot discriminate against prospective renters because they have a voucher.
  • 25 percent of the affordable units must include two or more bedrooms, or be used to provide supportive or elderly housing;
  • 20 percent of all rental units must serve households up to 50 percent MFI;
  • At least half of all rental units must be affordable, averaging up to 60 percent of the median family income (MFI). These units must be affordable for 40 years;
Ownership Units:
  • At least half of the total units must be sold at prices affordable to households with incomes averaging up to 80% MFI. These units must be affordable for 99 years;
  • 25 percent of the affordable units must include two or more bedrooms, or be used to provide supportive or elderly housing;

Developer Incentives

  • Waiver of compatibility requirements (height restrictions and setbacks from property line)
  • Waiver of building bulk restrictions (“Floor-to-Area Ratio/FAR”)
  • Waiver of duplex design requirements (including common wall, roof, & front porch regulations)
  • Waiver of dwelling unit occupancy limits (generally limiting homes to 4-6 unrelated individuals)
  • Waiver of site area requirements (density limits that apply in higher density zones)
  • Modified parking requirements (accessible parking still required)
  • Front & rear yard setbacks decreased by 50 percent
  • Minimum lot size & lot width reduced
  • Maximum height allowed by base zoning increased by 1.25 times
  • Up to 6 dwelling units per lot in single family zones

Type 2


  • Developments must meet all of Type 1 requirements (listed above), and one or more of the following:
  • At least 75 percent of units are affordable,
  • 10 percent of the affordable units serve households at 30% MFI or below,
  • 50 percent of affordable units have two or more bedrooms, or
  • Located within ¼-mile of an Imagine Austin Corridor with transit

Developer Incentives

In return for meeting the higher Type 2 requirements, developers using the Type 2 Bonus can receive the following additional modifications to development regulations: 

  • Maximum height allowed by base zoning increased by 1.5 times
  • Up to 8 dwelling units per lot in single family zones
Updated on September 13, 2021

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