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Moving out of Austin: Rising prices drive some families away

Austin City Council holds housing relief talks on Tuesday

Austin neighborhood, homes_128872

A house in east Austin (KXAN)

AUSTIN (KXAN) – Carissa McAtee, originally from Waco, never imagined that she would return to her hometown.

“I never thought I would go back to Waco,” said Carissa McAtee, who had to move to Waco from Austin.

Now a jewelry creator, she first moved to Austin about a decade ago to pursue her creative dreams.

“I switched to my radio job,” she said.

However, the rise in house prices in the state’s capital city prompted her to head north. She and her growing family could no longer find a suitable space that provided what they needed at a reasonable price. That problem has only worsened with the COVID-19 pandemic.

“When the pandemic hit, (my husband) lost his job and so we only sold handmade goods,” he said. “There’s no way to make it work.”

That’s when she and her family decided to leave, and she’s not the only one. Brian Talbot and his family also had to find a new home.

“It was sad for us to leave Austin, a city where we grew up and had a family, but we had to do what was best for our family,” Talbot said.

Public school teacher moves to Leander.

Thursday, the Austin City Council will review policies and programs that promote the development and preservation of affordable housing. Things like making changes to zoning areas to allow for accessory dwelling units (ADUs) or as a backyard house, a garage apartment or a house with a pool. They are also looking to lift restrictions around ADUs.

“We will have to do 1,000 different things. Adler said. “But keep in mind that Austin is currently generating more housing units per capita than any other city in the country, so we’re doing a lot of things right – which is surprising even with that. It’s still not enough and we have to do better.”

As for her Austin friends, McAtee can only hope for some relief soon.

“There are so many people who are struggling to make ends meet and that makes me very, very sad,” McAtee said.

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https://www.kxan.com/news/local/austin/moving-out-of-austin-rising-prices-driving-some-families-away/ Moving out of Austin: Rising prices drive some families away

DUSTIN JONES

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