Some Thoughts on Affordability

I'm in favor of a data driven definition and analysis of affordable housing. It's clear we have a serious problem when half the households can't afford an average priced home in Austin. Out of curiosity I did an analysis of home sales 79704. I know that this is oversimplifying the issues, but the only real predictors of lower home prices was the age of the home and its size. And, through CodeNEXT and market forces, we are busily destroying the base of "somewhat affordable" homes.

(By the way, one of the tools I used in this analysis was Watson Analytics, a free data analysis tool from IBM. It takes some knowledge to use the tool but makes analytics more broadly accessible.)

I am not in favor of a strong focus on subsidies. To me this does nothing to change the causes of the issue.

I am in favor of exploring new concepts of a home, the use of new technologies to reduce the cost of building a home, the examination of design rules that disproportionately add more cost that societal value, and the permitting of micro homes.

I am in favor of helping the bottom 50% of our households make more money through education, training, creativity, innovation and entrepreneurship.

I am in favor of incentivising the development of enterprises that create jobs suited to the skills and abilities of the lower 50%.

I am in favor of building communities that understand and practice activities that create community wealth.

Attached are copies of my analysis and my comments on the Code Prescription on affordability.



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