Housing: Rental

Housing: Rental

Affordability of Local Rental Units

  • Data compiled by Capitol Market Research, Inc. shows average 2 bed/1 bath apartment rents are trending below the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development Fair Market Rent benchmark.
  • The increasing range of rents through 2009, especially those on the high end, reflected the surge in Austin growth following the dot-com bust. The narrowing in range of rents reflects the market stabilizing.

Affordability of Local Rental Units

Perception of Affordable Housing

  • In 2010, as in 2008, a majority of Central Texans believe the community has a responsibility to make sure housing is more affordable for median income workers.
  • The strength of belief in this responsibility varies significantly based on respondents’ income (not shown) and race/ethnicity.
Perception of Affordable Housing

Survey Question: Agreement: Our community has a responsibility to make sure housing is more affordable for the average worker (affordable to teachers, firefighters, etc.)

Affordable Rental Housing

  • Affordable and workforce rental housing is in short supply compared to the needs in Austin and Central Texas. These units are also distributed unevenly, possibly adding transportation costs to reach employment centers.
  • Several areas of Austin have seen shifts in rental units since 2000. A single census block in the East Riverside area lost more than 2,000 rental units in 2009. Meanwhile, the downtown area has added more than 2,000 units, placing more rental housing near a major employment center. However, a very small percentage of these units are affordable.

Affordable Rental Housing


Rent prices are stabilizing; affordable housing is strongly supported but not well distributed.


All Central Texans have access to quality, desirable housing in livable communities throughout the region.


While home ownership has both practical and symbolic significance as a sign of community stability and prosperity, rental units meet the bulk of the region’s need for affordable housing, especially at the lowest income levels. The share of Central Texans who rent rather than own their homes has traditionally been high compared to other urban areas.


Housing by Owner/Renter

Distribution of Rent

Renters with Housing Problems


The Fair Market Rent (FMR) is a percentile measure set at the median so that 50% of rents are below the FMR and 50% are above FMRs are gross rent estimates.

Map data from Neighborhood Housing and Community Development (NHCD), City of Austin.

City of Austin

Capitol Market Research, Inc.

U.S. Census Bureau

U.S. Dept. of Housing and Urban Devt.

CTSIP Community Survey