Project Timeline

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Fall 2023/ Winter 2024

Needs Assessment and Analysis

Student Outreach: meeting with the College Student Commission and launching a survey to better understand students' current housing needs and conditions.

One-on-one meetings with post-secondary institutions: these meetings will inform potential future partnerships and recommendations based on each institution's housing opportunities, strengths, and needs. 

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Winter 2024

Draft Recommendations

City staff will use student and institution feedback as well as research of student housing strategies to inform recommendations.

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Spring 2024

Final Recommendations to City Council

Project Milestones

Student Housing Kickoff Meeting

On July 26, City staff met with representatives from Austin Community College, Concordia, Huston-Tillotson, University of Texas-Austin, and St. Edwards to identify the unique issues faced by each school and citywide challenges related to student housing.  During this discussion, institutions voiced their concerns with the current student housing conditions as well as their interest in developing partnerships and programs to ensure that all students can access stable housing.

Student Housing Focus Group

In November, City staff invited higher education students to participate in a discussion on student housing as part of a focus group. The participants shared their housing preferences and highlighted the common challenges students encounter when seeking accommodation. Additionally, students suggested ways both their educational institutions and the City could promote the accessibility and affordability of housing.

College Student Commission

At the November College Student Commission meeting, a member of the Housing Department led a discussion on student housing with the representatives. Commissioners shared the housing preferences, needs, and challenges they and students at each of their institutions face. The Commission's November Agenda can be accessed here: CSC Agenda

 

 

Student Housing Poll

To supplement the feedback from the students serving on the College Student Commission, the City developed and launched a Student Housing Poll on PublicInput. The poll was marketed to students at all of Austin’s five higher education institutions who answered questions about their housing challenges, needs, and preferences. Additionally, students were able to leave any comment as well as indicate their interest in participating in the student housing focus group. Though not a formal study, the results offer general insight into students’ current views and experiences with housing. 

Project Overview

Background

Students play a vital role in Austin's community, economy, and character yet often struggle to find affordable and accessible housing. Tuition costs, limited income, and the need for proximity to campus can make traditional housing options financially inaccessible. 

Purpose

By ensuring affordable and accessible housing for students, the city fosters a diverse, and vibrant community that benefits all of Austin. The Student Housing Study will help the city to better understand:

  • The specific challenges that students face in finding housing
  • The partnerships and strategies needed to encourage the creation of student housing near campuses
  • Policies that could support these partnerships and strategies

Engagement

The City will engage with the community in several ways. 

  • Students: The planning process will include collaboration with the College Student Commission and relevant student groups.
  • Higher education institutions: Meetings will be held with leaders of these institutions to develop partnership and strategies that encourage the creation of student housing near campuses. 
    • ‚ÄčAustin Community College
    • Concordia University
    • Huston-Tillotson University
    • University of Texas at Austin
    • St. Edward's University
  • Public: The City will provide the recommendations to Council and the public by the first quarter of 2024. 

Frequently Asked Questions

No, the resolution does not specifically call for changes to existing affordable housing programs. Instead, its primary focus is to formulate policy recommendations and explore opportunities for partnerships that address the unique housing challenges faced by students in Austin.

No, the resolution does not call for any changes to UNO. Its main goal is to provide policy recommendations and explore collaboration opportunities to address student housing needs in Austin.

The City will provide the recommendations to Council and the public by the first quarter of 2024.  Any additional information or engagement opportunities will be posted on this page