February 29, 2024

How Austin ISD’s property directory helps teachers, staff live closer to work

AUSTIN (KXAN) — Living in the community where they work is the idea behind a partnership between Austin ISD and the Austin Apartment Association, which is where the Austin ISD teacher housing program directory comes in.

The directory is a curated list of multifamily properties with benefits for AISD employees.

Austin Apartment Association Executive Vice President Emily Blair spoke with KXAN’s Jennifer Sanders on the directory.

Read an edited transcript of the conversation below or use the video player above to watch the full discussion.

SANDERS: So, you will have a curated list of multifamily properties with benefits for AISD employees. How is this helping them? And what are they benefiting from taking advantage of this list?

BLAIR: Absolutely. We have a property directory that members of our community and the membership of the Austin Apartment Association have voluntarily offered incentives and great opportunities for teachers and also Austin, other Austin ISD employees to take advantage of some housing incentives.

SANDERS: What are some of those incentives that are available for them to take advantage of?

BLAIR: We have incentives. Properties are offering things such as a waived application fee, a small discount on rent and maybe even one month rent-free for those who are serving Austin ISD through our students and children every single day.

SANDERS: You also launched this directory in 2023. What has the response been? And how are people actually taking advantage of this, especially as we see housing prices rise and we know that many people are being priced out of the area?

BLAIR: Our association was really honored to be invited to partner with Austin ISD. The members have been really eager to participate. We started with a targeted area where a lot of teachers were being hired for the new school year and expanded and now the property directory consists of over 100 properties that are offering these to this community. The members really see the importance and value of having the teachers and those who are serving the students every day to live and be a part of their communities. And so, it’s a really great opportunity for them to connect to those who are giving to the community in that way.

SANDERS: Lastly, your association serves anyone who owns and manages rental property. We’ve seen those prices rise over the past few years. What are your partners saying about that? And will we see things stabilize?

BLAIR: Sure. We’ve seen over the last year a lot of apartment construction, and that is a good thing for the rent prices. And actually, year-over-year rent rates have gone down. So that’s a good thing. It’s those additional apartment communities that are being built and that you’re seeing all around town offer great opportunities for more options for renters to find something that fits in their budget, and also opportunities to seek other incentives and sort of take advantage of maybe those lease options, those new construction properties that might be a really great fit for them a great location for them. So that additional supply has definitely helped stabilize rent prices and actually we’re seeing that impact as rent prices are going down year over year.

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