August 3, 2018

HBA reacts to Mayor Adler’s proposal to rethink CodeNEXT

The HBA of Greater Austin supported CodeNEXT throughout the process, particularly the work done by the Planning Commission, which took into consideration increased density across all residential zones, simplified McMansion rules, and included preservation incentives which would make home building more predictable and less costly in the City of Austin. It is disappointing to see the efforts culminate in an unworkable plan. Countless experts, community members, and city staff invested significant resources towards making CodeNEXT a successful reflection of Austin’s housing goals. However, as Mayor Adler concluded, it is clear the process has been muddled and is no longer achieving its purpose of effectively shaping and managing the city’s growth.

We hope that whatever new process the city manager puts forth will happen quickly, as the current land development code is making housing unaffordable and unattainable for too many Austinites. Since the CodeNEXT process began in 2014, the median price of a home in Austin has risen from $245,000 to $399,000, making the dream of home ownership unattainable for 188,188 families who were priced out of the market.

The city must take a more holistic approach towards the next code revision—one that requires each city department to communicate with one another and takes into consideration the input and testing of the building and development community. While all types of affordable housing are needed, it is the market that will provide the vast majority of homes needed to support Austin’s growth.

As the next code rewrite process moves in a new direction, we hope it will be thoughtfully considered and carried through to completion so that we can move forward as a city.

Since 1953, the Home Builders Association of Greater Austin has served as the leading not-for-profit trade organization dedicated to residential construction and remodeling in Central Texas. Representing nearly 700 residential home builders and suppliers, the mission of the HBA of Greater Austin is to advance the practice and professionalism of the home building industry in our community. We work with government, public, business and community organizations in Bastrop, Caldwell, Hays, Lee, Travis and Williamson Counties.