Fall 2022 - 60675 - PA 680PA - Policy Research Project

PRP (POLICY RESEARCH PROJECT): Local Affordable Housing Challenges & Solutions

Policy Research Project Course Description


Local Affordable Housing Challenges & Solutions

Sherri Greenberg

Fall 2022



The lack of affordable housing is an urgent issue in cities across the United States. The dual challenges of lack of housing stock and high housing cost have grown dramatically. Austin, Texas, is at the center of this dilemma, as a city experiencing dramatic population growth.

The Client for this Policy Research Project is the City of Austin Department of Housing and Planning. We will build on data gathering and analysis that was conducted in Spring 2022. In this Policy Research Project class we will identify local policy options for reducing the cost of producing housing in the City of Austin.

Students will explore “best practices” from peer cities that have made meaningful changes to housing costs. Also, students will analyze various city-related regulatory costs and weigh the public benefit associated with each of the regulations and fees. Students will explore possible recommendations, ranging from land development code changes to process recommendations to taxation levers to financing tools. 

The primary work products will include:

  • Memos
  • Class presentations
  • Briefing papers
  • Students will present their final report and recommendations to the City Manager and/or City Council in December 2022.

Students will learn and use methods such as case study methodology, cost analysis, financial analysis, and policy and regulatory analysis.




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