VIEWS: 22 PAGES: 119 POSTED ON: 6/27/2011
City of Georgetown 2030 Comprehensive Plan Housing Element Draft November 24, 2008 Housing Element TABLE OF CONTENTS 1. Executive Summary 3 2. Introduction 11 3. Population and Housing Profile 19 4. Housing Profile 33 5. Economic Profile 49 6. Non-Housing Factors that Influence the Housing Market 67 7. The Affordable Housing Market 79 8. Housing Affordability Analysis 83 9. Barriers to Affordable Housing 97 10. Existing and Projected Demand for Affordable Housing 101 11. Policy Recommendations 111 City of Georgetown 2030 Comprehensive Plan (This page left intentionally blank) 2 Housing Element 1. Executive Summary Why Study Affordable Housing Needs in Georgetown? In 2005, the City Council of Georgetown appointed a Task Force to address the issue of affordable housing. The Affordable Housing Task Force recommended three specific actions. These recommendations included the creation of a Housing Advisory Board, hiring a full-time housing coordinator, and the creation of a Housing Master Plan with emphasis on affordable housing. The Housing Element of the City’s 2030 Comprehensive Plan represents the fulfillment of a goal to research and analyze housing needs and to establish a framework for housing policy for the City. Why should the City analyze its housing needs? Housing is a core community value in Georgetown. This value is acknowledged in the City’s 2030 Comprehensive Plan. The vision, as expressed within the plan, is for Georgetown to become a community with “residential developments that are well-connected…planned and designed to compliment the heritage and natural character…which offer a variety of housing types and price ranges.” What Is Affordable Housing? For the purposes of this report, affordable housing is defined as paying no more than 30% of one’s gross household income on shelter. For tenants, this means paying no more than 30% of household income towards rent. For homeowners, this means paying no more than 30% of household income towards the cost of principal, interest, taxes and homeowner’s insurance. This report is aimed primarily at the affordability of housing to households at or below 80% of the median income for the Georgetown area. Using 2007 income data from the census, this translates to households earning $57,500 or less. Three Primary Issues Addressed by this Study Georgetown’s Housing Advisory Board identified three issues to be addressed by this study: • What is the unmet need for affordable housing? • What factors prevent the City from fully meeting the need for affordable housing? • What positive steps can we take to expand the supply of affordable housing for lower income households in Georgetown? 3 City of Georgetown 2030 Comprehensive Plan Four Geographic Areas of Analysis The first geographic area considered in this study is the current municipal boundary of the City of Georgetown. In spatial terms, the City continues to grow. Since 2000, the City of Georgetown annexed 16,000 acres into the municipal corporate limits, doubling the geographic size of the City. The second geographic area considered by this study extends beyond the current municipal boundary and includes Georgetown’s “extra-territorial jurisdiction” or “ETJ”, an area where the City already provides or is expected to provide essential services. A significant amount of newer residential development has taken place within the City’s ETJ during the past decade. For the purposes of this study, this area of analysis is referred to as the Georgetown Housing Market Area. Within the Georgetown Housing Market Area is Sun City Texas, which is the third geographic area of analysis. Sun City is a Del Webb residential community for active adults 55 years and older. Initially developed in 1995, over 6,200 residential units have been constructed in Sun City to date. Because it is an age-restricted neighborhood, the Sun City area is analyzed as a separate housing market in order to avoid skewing the demographic analysis for the remainder of the City. Finally, the fourth geographic area of analysis approximates an 11-mile radius from the Williamson County Courthouse in Georgetown. This level of analysis is included for the purpose of identifying the degree to which the area outside of the City provides affordable housing for households located within a reasonable commuting distance to jobs in Georgetown. Why do so many people want to live in Georgetown? Georgetown has evolved from a sleepy, small town to a rapidly growing city that is the center of county government and an area that provides goods and services to consumers within the region. Many former Austin residents have migrated to Georgetown and its environs to escape the high cost of housing and traffic congestion. In 2008, Georgetown was named the second “Best Place to Live and Launch a Small Business” by Money Magazine. The City’s 2008 Citizen Quality of Life Survey revealed that residents cherish the community spirit, natural environment and small town character found in Georgetown. Sun City Texas has become a retirement destination for over 6,000 older households. A significant portion of Georgetown’s growth in population can be attributed to the popularity of Sun City. Younger households have sought out Georgetown as a living environment because of the lower relative cost of living and the easy commute to work. Both the City and the Georgetown Housing Market Area have experienced surges in their population. Between 1990 and 2000, Georgetown’s population grew by 11,673 while the Georgetown HMA grew by 20,591. From 2000 to 2007, the City’s annual population increase averaged 2,674 persons, more than double the annual increase during the 1990s. The HMA population growth rate has also accelerated to 2,740 persons annually, while the rate in the 11-mile 4 Housing Element radius increased from 5,802 persons annually during the 1990s to 9,372 annually since 2000. However, it was in Williamson County where the highest annual growth rates were observed. There, the annual growth rate exploded from an average annual increase of 11,042 persons in the 1990s to 17,628 since 2000. Population Growth 400,000 350,000 300,000 City of Georgetow n 250,000 Georgetow n HMA 200,000 11-m ile radius 150,000 William son County 100,000 50,000 0 1990 2000 2007 Georgetown’s vibrant economy drives the housing market Fundamentally, the housing market is a reflection of growth in the local economy. New jobs and increases in household income fuel the demand for housing. Williamson County’s economy is expanding and its workforce is increasing significantly. As the third fastest-growing county in Texas, Williamson County experienced a 40% surge in population since 2000. The robust economy tied to the technology industry, as well as the retail and service sectors, added 42,000 jobs in the county between 2003 and 2007. Many of Georgetown’s residents commute to employment destinations outside of the county. Although 56,552 residents both live and work in Williamson County, another 71,087 residents commute to jobs outside of the county. Traveling in the opposite direction, 32,935 people drive to Williamson County from areas outside of the county to work. The daily out-migration of workers characterizes Williamson County as a bedroom community for Austin and Travis County. Residents are willing to travel longer distances to work in exchange for the advantages of home ownership in Williamson County. 5 City of Georgetown 2030 Comprehensive Plan Every household needs a dwelling More so than population growth, housing demand in Georgetown is being generated by household formation. Household growth in Georgetown and its environs is part of a national trend that involves a number of factors such as longer life expectancy, young people remaining single for a longer period of time, couples marrying later in life and an increase in divorces. Each one of these events creates a new household. Demand is created because every household needs a dwelling. During the 1990s, household growth outpaced population growth in Georgetown. The household growth rate of 81% was significantly higher than the population growth rate of 70%. Since 2000, however, this trend has reversed as population growth has surpassed household growth. These trends suggest a pent-up, or future, housing demand as indicated by a lagging household growth rate, a surge in school-age children and an increasing household size. 6 Housing Element The market responds by adding more than 4,000 new homes Favorable economic, demographic and market trends caused the City’s housing supply to expand dramatically. New construction added more than 4,000 units in Georgetown. Sun City accounted for nearly 3,000 of these homes. Almost 7,000 new units were constructed in the Georgetown Housing Market Area while slightly more than 21,000 were built within the 11-mile radius. Overall, Williamson County witnessed the creation of over 37,000 new housing units between 2000 and 2007. Not all Georgetown residents are wealthy Even in the midst of a robust economy and vibrant housing market, however, there remains a significant segment of Georgetown residents that struggle to make ends meet. Nearly one-third of all City households had incomes of less than $50,000 in 2007. Moreover, 27% of all households in 2000 were cost burdened and paying more than 30% of their gross income on housing costs. Many of these individuals are employed in service industries, which provide 73% of the jobs, located in Williamson County. These jobs are typically among the lowest-skill, lowest wage jobs of the employment spectrum, providing employment opportunities in retail, arts and entertainment, and food and accommodations. Forty percent of all new jobs added in the county in the past five years were in the service sector. Williamson County’s rental housing wage was $17.98 in 2008 In Williamson County, the Fair Market Rent (FMR) for a two-bedroom apartment is $935. In order to afford this level of rent and utilities, without paying more than 30% of income on housing, a household must earn a monthly income of $3,117. Assuming a 40-hour work week, 52 weeks per year, this level of income translates into a Housing Wage of $17.98 per hour. In order to afford the FMR for a two-bedroom apartment, a minimum wage earner (making $5.85/hour in 2008) must work 123 hours per week, 52 weeks per year. Or, a household must include 3.1 minimum wage earner(s) working 40 hours per week year-round in order to make the two- bedroom FMR affordable. Many occupations such as waiters, retail clerks and construction laborers are vital to the economic vitality and success of a community. These “vital community occupations” are generally found at the lower and mid-range of the income scale, and, therefore, can find it difficult to affordably rent a decent dwelling unit. Based on the housing wage of $17.98, waiters, cashiers, retail salespersons, and construction laborers could not afford to rent a one-bedroom unit costing $766 per month as single-wage earning households. Firefighters could afford the one-bedroom FMR but not the two-bedroom FMR. Elementary school teachers, accountants and registered nurses could afford a one-bedroom unit or a two-bedroom unit, even as single-wage earning households. 7 City of Georgetown 2030 Comprehensive Plan Georgetown’s Housing Market Real median household income has increased 4.5% since 2000, surpassing the median sales prices of homes. In the Georgetown East market (i.e., east of I-35), the median housing sales price declined 1.7%, after adjusting for inflation. In the Georgetown West market (i.e., west of I-35), the median sales price increased only 3.5%, after adjusting for inflation. This scenario is indicative of a fairly-valued housing market. Georgetown’s Affordable Housing Stock The median household income in the City was $71,967 in 2007. With this income, a household could purchase a home selling for $198,000. In 2007, there were a total of 703 units that sold for $198,000 or less. This was equivalent to 56% of the 1,263 total MLS sales transactions. A relatively affordable housing market is one in which households at the median household income could purchase at least 40% of the homes. The Georgetown market compares favorably to this threshold. Between 2000 and 2007, a total of 3,127 sales transactions involved housing units that sold for $142,000 or less. This price was affordable to a household earning up to 80% of the City’s median household income. These 3,127 units represented 38% of the total 8,335 sales transactions between 2000 and 2007. Hourly Wage Needed to Afford the HUD Two-Bedroom Fair Market Rent, 2008 $30.00 $26.78 $25.16 $25.00 $19.90 $20.00 $17.51 $17.98 $14.73 $15.00 $10.78 $8.24 $8.91 $10.00 $7.62 $6.80 $5.00 $0.00 t r er R R on er an te se er r er re FM FM hi ai ht h rs ur nt rv bo as ac W fig pe ou Se N d d C La Te -b -b re d es cc r/ re r1 r2 Fi ke n l al A oo te io fo fo or lS is ct ch W d d ai eg ru S de de et ep st R y ee ee R ar on Pr N N t C en od e e em ag ag Fo W W El y y rl rl ou ou H H Sales Housing in Georgetown is Reasonably Priced Most households in Georgetown with incomes between 60% and 80% of the median area income can find homes in the marketplace that are affordable. In the case of sales housing, the total affordable housing supply (3,308) is greater than the total affordable housing demand (1,753) for 8 Housing Element the period 2000-2012. The local housing market has addressed the need for affordable sales housing as evidenced by the number of new and existing sales units that sold for $142,000 or less (3,127 units). Georgetown’s Affordable Housing Deficit Consists of Rental Units Georgetown has made good progress in increasing the supply of affordable rental housing in recent years. However, there is still more demand for affordable rental units in Georgetown than supply. This is due to the growth of lower-wage jobs and, subsequently, lower income households. An additional 2,179 units will be needed in Georgetown to sufficiently address the rental housing need for households with incomes at or below 80% of the area’s median income. However, the 766 affordable rental units estimated to be available between 2000 and 2012 will address only a fraction of the affordable housing deficit. An additional 1,413 affordable rental housing units will be needed to meet the unmet demand through 2012. Key Findings Related to Housing Affordability in Georgetown The ability of a household to pay its monthly housing expenses is dependent upon several factors. Generally, these include household income, household expenses (including debt such as car loans and credit cards), and the amount of mortgage or rent for the housing unit. Key findings identified in Georgetown relative to housing affordability included the following: • Housing value slightly outpaced household income in the City of Georgetown between 1990 and 2000. • Income is rising faster than sales prices in the City, indicating a fairly-valued housing market. • The highest median sales price in 2007 was found in Georgetown West, where the market remains vibrant with significantly more sales transactions and higher median sales prices. The median sales price of homes located west of I-35 has increased steadily, and exceeded $200,000 for the first time in 2006. • Overall, the sales market is slowing slightly as evidenced by the increase in the average number of days that a house remains on the market before sale. • A family earning 78% of the median household income in the City in 2007 ($56,061) could afford to purchase the median priced sales home in Georgetown East ($136,200). • There were 70 housing units that sold for less than $100,000 in 2007 compared to nearly 1,200 that sold for $100,000 or more. • Rents outpaced income during the 1990s. • Increasing income did not provide significant relief from cost burden for renters with incomes below 50% of the area median income. • The rental housing wage in Williamson County was $17.98 in 2008. This was the hourly wage that an individual or household needed to earn to afford a two-bedroom unit renting for the HUD Fair Market Rent. Minimum wage was only $5.85/hour in 2008. 9 City of Georgetown 2030 Comprehensive Plan Policy Recommendations There are many steps that the City of Georgetown can take to expand the affordability of housing to its residents. Some of these measures are directly related to housing production while others are aimed at the creation of a social infrastructure in support of affordable housing. Each of these 15 recommendations is described in greater detail in Part 11. They include: 1. Increase the amount of land zoned specifically for multi-family housing development. 2. Identify revitalization areas for concentrated investment 3. Treat nonprofit and for-profit affordable housing developers as a special class of developer. 4. Waive all municipal impact fees and development fees for housing units affordable to 80% of the area median income and below. 5. Continue the Housing Diversity density incentives for new residential construction. 6. Use the City owned and operated electrical utility to finance affordable housing. 7. Capitalize a local Housing Trust Fund with a dedicated revenue stream. 8. Encourage the creation of a local Community Land Trust. 9. Prioritize the use of HUD CDBG funds for affordable housing. 10. Strengthen homebuyer counseling and support services. 11. Strengthen the development skills of local nonprofit housing developers. 12. Seek out County CDBG funds and State HOME funds in support of affordable housing initiatives; subcontract with local nonprofits to implement projects. 13. Adopt universal design standards. 14. Fund the proposed fixed-route transit system. 15. Treat affordable housing as a major policy issue in Georgetown. 10 Housing Element 2. Introduction Purpose of the Study The City of Georgetown is in the process of updating its Comprehensive Plan. This Housing Element of the 2030 Plan is one of the Comprehensive Plan elements required by the City Charter. Furthermore, the City will use this study to prepare the jurisdiction’s Five-Year Consolidated Plan and Analysis of Impediments to Fair Housing Choice for fiscal years 2010-2014 as Georgetown becomes a newly designated federal entitlement community under the U.S. Department of Housing & Urban Development. These are planning documents required by HUD to fulfill the programmatic requirements of the federal Community Development Block Grant entitlement that the City will begin receiving annually, presumably in 2010. More importantly, however, the City will use the information contained in this report to implement feasible and practical strategies that address the increasing need for affordable housing in Georgetown. Background The need for affordable housing in Georgetown was affirmed in 2005 when the City Council of Georgetown appointed the Affordable Housing Task Force to examine the availability of affordable housing and possible strategies that could be implemented. In the spring of 2006, the Task Force recommended three specific actions to begin addressing the local housing situation. These recommendations included the creation of a Housing Advisory Board, hiring a full-time housing coordinator, and the creation of a Housing Master Plan. The City Council adopted all three recommendations. In June 2006, the Housing Advisory Board was established. By March 2007, the Housing Coordinator was employed and the City’s new Housing and Neighborhood Development Department was established. The primary goals of the Housing Coordinator were to (1) oversee the development of the Housing Element of the Comprehensive Plan, (2) coordinate public/private affordable housing initiatives, and (3) secure available financial resources such as CDBG and HOME Partnership funding from HUD. This study is the first step toward achieving these goals and will be used to establish housing policy for the City of Georgetown. To assist with the preparation of this document, the City of Georgetown selected the firm of Mullin & Lonergan Associates, Inc., a housing and community development consulting firm with offices in Pittsburgh and Harrisburg, Pennsylvania. The purposes of the Housing Element are to: • Identify demographic and economic trends that affect the demand for housing • Define the Georgetown housing market area and the supply and demand characteristics of that housing market • Analyze the demand for affordable housing • Determine if there are any barriers to affordable housing • Recommend actions and initiatives aimed at expanding the supply of affordable housing. 11 City of Georgetown 2030 Comprehensive Plan What is Affordable Housing? For this study, lower income households are defined as those with an annual income at or below 80% of the area median household income. Affordable housing is defined as paying no more than 30% of gross household income for housing expenses including mortgage or rent, plus utilities, regardless of income level. One of the goals of this study is to determine whether there is an adequate supply of affordable sales and rental housing to meet the needs of households at or below 80% of median household income in the Georgetown housing market area. Defining the Georgetown Housing Market Area Since 2000, the City of Georgetown has annexed 16,000 acres into the municipal corporate limits, doubling the geographic size of the City. This action was driven primarily by a City policy that advocated municipal control over private development and the desire to control land development more efficiently through zoning. 1 Subsequently, a significant amount of newer residential development has occurred beyond the municipal boundaries of 2000 when the U.S. Census Bureau conducted its decennial survey. In order to more accurately calculate the affordable housing deficit in Georgetown, the Georgetown Housing Market Area (HMA) was defined for the purposes of this study. The HMA was defined as those census tracts and census block groups that were most closely aligned with the Georgetown extra-territorial jurisdictional (ETJ) boundary. Within this study, the distinction is made between the City of Georgetown and the Georgetown Housing Market Area, where appropriate. Within the Georgetown Housing Market Area is Sun City Texas, a Del Webb residential community for active adults 55 years and older. Begun in 1995, over 6,200 residential units have been constructed to date. Build-out is expected to occur between 2012 and 2015 and will include a total of 7,500 units. Currently, the Sun City census area population represents approximately 26% of the total 2007 population of the entire Georgetown Housing Market Area and approximately 32% of its existing housing stock. As such, a residential community of this magnitude has an enormous impact on the demographic profiles of the City of Georgetown and the Georgetown Housing Market Area. Where appropriate in this analysis, the demographic characteristics of the Sun City census area will be reported separately from the City of Georgetown and the Georgetown Housing Market Area to illustrate their impact on such trends as median age, household size and composition, median household income, and housing sales prices. 2 1City of Georgetown 2030 Comprehensive Plan, pages 3-10. 2Sun City Texas lies within two census block groups: census tract 201.01, block group 1 and census tract 202, block group. These two census areas include areas outside of Sun City Texas but Sun City residents comprise the vast majority of residents within these two census blocks. 12 Housing Element Sun City Census Area, City of Georgetown Finally, a fourth geographic area was identified and analyzed. An additional analysis area that approximates an 11-mile radius from the Williamson County Courthouse in Georgetown is included for the purpose of identifying the degree to which the area outside of the City provides affordable housing for households located within a reasonable commuting distance to jobs in Georgetown. Referred to as the 11-mile radius, Census data and other informational sources are presented for this designation where available. 13 City of Georgetown 2030 Comprehensive Plan 14 Housing Element Methodology Data included in this report has been gathered from a variety of statistical sources and interviews. Statistical information from the U.S. Census Bureau, the Bureau of Labor Statistics, Texas State Data Center, the Real Estate Center at Texas A&M University and similar sources has been collected, organized and analyzed. Face-to-face and telephone interviews were conducted with a broad range of housing practitioners in the region to supplement the statistical data. Interviews were conducted with nonprofit affordable housing developers, for-profit builders and land developers, real estate professionals, and human service organizations. In addition, two local surveys were conducted for this report. First, the City conducted an employee housing survey to identify why employees of the City of Georgetown live where they choose to live. More importantly, the survey attempted to identify any barriers that prevented employees and their families from living in Georgetown if they preferred to live in the City. Second, the Georgetown Chamber of Commerce conducted a survey among major employers to the area to identify the degree to which housing and the cost of housing impacted their decision to locate their business or industry to the Georgetown area. The results of these two surveys are included in Part 6. In addition, results from the City’s 2008 Citizen Quality of Life Survey are included. As a point of beginning, this report defines the consumers of affordable housing in terms of household income characteristics. In this report, the target population consists of all households with an annual income up to 80% of the area median household income. This population segment was further categorized into the following subgroups as defined by the U.S. Department of Housing & Urban Development (HUD): • Extremely low income households with incomes up to 30% of the median household income • Very low income households with incomes from 30% up to 50% of the median household income, and • Low income households with incomes from 50% up to 80% of the median household income. There are two components used to identify the affordable housing deficit of a geographic area: demand and supply. The degree to which the housing supply meets the demand will determine the housing deficit. The affordable housing deficit is the target number of housing units that will need to be achieved in order to create a diverse and healthy housing market for a variety of household types and income ranges. The first component, affordable housing demand, can be further categorized into existing demand and projected demand. For this report, existing demand covers the period from 2000 to 2007. The base year of 2000 is used because it is a decennial census year for which reliable and accurate data exists from the U.S. Census Bureau. To determine existing demand for affordable housing, the following households were identified: • Households living in physically deficient housing units (i.e., were overcrowded and lacked complete plumbing or kitchen facilities), and • Households paying more than 30% of gross income for monthly housing costs. 15 City of Georgetown 2030 Comprehensive Plan Projected demand is defined as the net increase in lower income households between 2008 and 2012. This estimate was determined using data projections produced by DemographicsNow, which are based on Census 2000 data and updated with demographic data from many sources, including local governments, consumer databases, postal delivery counts and credit reports. Projected affordable housing demand covers the five-year period of 2008 to 2012. The City’s Comprehensive Plan provides a long-range vision for land use and physical development to 2030. However, affordable housing deficit is more appropriately addressed on a short-range basis for two reasons. First, data projections of any type do not take into account cataclysmic events, such as the current mortgage crisis facing the U.S. housing market. Events such as this may be predicted by economic experts years in advance but specific data projections do not include their impact because the extent of their impact is unknown. For example, the Austin metropolitan statistical area (which includes Georgetown) was recently cited as having escaped from the worst of the current housing crisis. 3 While new and unexpected economic events with far-reaching impacts may occur in the future, limiting the range of this study to five years provides a more realistic time frame during which modifications can be made to the strategic plan. Second, the value of money is not as easily projected as population and housing units. The number of persons who are expected to reside in Georgetown can be estimated based on past trends and current conditions. This same process can estimate the number of households and housing units in a future year. However, the amount of income a household will earn in the future is much more difficult to estimate given the fluid dynamics of the national and world economies and their impact locally. For example, the recent rise in the price of oil (an international event) has caused the price of gasoline to surge to almost $4 a gallon (a national impact), resulting in the dramatic increase in the cost of transportation for goods and services. This event alone has caused some housing policy analysts to modify their methodology of defining the cost of housing to include mortgage or rent, plus utilities, plus transportation. As a result, only five-year income projections are used in this report. Total demand for affordable housing was then calculated as the sum of existing demand plus projected demand. The second component of the local housing market is supply, which can be further categorized into existing supply and projected supply. Existing supply includes housing data from Census 2000. This data source is updated to 2007 with local building permit data, real estate sales data, data from local builders and developers of affordable housing, and projections prepared by DemographicsNow. The projected affordable housing supply is the sum of all housing units (rental and owner) expected to be constructed and occupied between 2008 and 2012 and that are affordable to households earning less than 80% of the median household income. Identifying the projected housing supply reveals the degree to which the local market and current affordable housing initiatives will meet the affordable housing demand. Finally, the unmet demand is the affordable housing deficit. 3Clifford Krauss and Ron Nixon, “Some Cities are Spared the Slide in Housing,” The New York Times, 15 February 2008, online. 16 Housing Element How this Document is Organized In addition to the Executive Summary and this Introduction section, the Housing Element includes nine sections, each with numerous subsections. Part 3 includes the Population and Household Profile of Georgetown. In this chapter, growth in population and households is discussed, as well as racial, age, and educational characteristics. Where appropriate, comparisons are made between the City, Williamson County, the Austin- Round Rock MSA and the State of Texas. In Part 4, the Housing Profile includes detailed characteristics of the physical housing inventory including supply, type, tenure and condition. The Economic Profile in Part 5 provides an overview of the local labor market, including an analysis of the civilian labor force, employment sectors, employment projections, wages and income. Part 6 focuses on the non-housing factors that influence the housing market and consists of a discussion of elements that typically impact a regional housing market. Issues such as land use regulations and real estate taxes are discussed in terms of how they influence residential development. The results of a City employee survey and a major employer survey are presented in this section, in addition to the City’s bi-annual Citizen Quality of Life Survey. The extent to which affordable housing developers are meeting current demand is discussed in Part 7, The Affordable Housing Market. Part 8, Housing Affordability Analysis, is a key section of the report, clearly defining how persons working in vital community occupations can or cannot afford housing in the Georgetown Housing Market Area. Local barriers to affordable housing are identified in Part 9. These include the public policies, market issues, physical characteristics and other elements that impede the production of affordable housing in the Georgetown Housing Market Area. Part 10 includes the step-by-step methodology utilized in determining the total affordable housing deficit in Georgetown. The final section of this report, Part 11, includes a series of specific public policies that are recommended to assist municipal officials in meeting the City of Georgetown’s affordable housing needs over the next five years and beyond. 17 City of Georgetown 2030 Comprehensive Plan (This page left intentionally blank) 18 Housing Element 3. Population and Housing Profile Georgetown, Texas is located in Williamson County, about 30 miles north of Austin. As part of the Austin-Round Rock, TX metropolitan statistical area (MSA), Georgetown’s population growth has been driven by the regional high-tech industry and an increase in retail employment, as well as an influx of new households relocating to the region. New housing starts have risen significantly, resulting in a higher-cost housing market. Many of the newer residents are finding more affordable housing in Georgetown and Williamson County, just a short drive from their jobs in Austin. Nearly one-third of all residents who moved to Williamson County between 1995 and 2000 relocated from Travis County. Population and household growth trends are a driving force of regional housing markets. Variables such as expanding population, decreasing household size, new household formation, and migration determine housing demand. While demographics are not the primary determining factor in future trends of a housing market, they are a key indicator of the size and nature of demand for housing. The following section examines population trends up to the present as well as population projections. Subsequent analysis examines household growth projections to 2012 and the resulting housing demand forecast. Population Growth Williamson County was the third fastest-growing county in Texas between 2000 and 2006. By 2006, the population had increased just over 100,000 persons in six years to 349,982 from 249,967. Only Rockwall County and Collin County (both outside of Dallas) had higher rates of growth. Figure 1. County Population Growth Rates Rate of Population Growth County 2000-2006 Rockwall 61.7% Collin 41.6% Williamson 40.0% Fort Bend 37.4% Hays 37.2% Denton 36.3% Montgomery 36.1% Kaufman 31.5% Comal 30.8% Kendall 28.7% Source: Real Estate Center at Texas A&M University Both the City and the Georgetown Housing Market Area (HMA) have experienced surges in their population. Between 1990 and 2000, Georgetown’s population grew by 11,673 for an average annual increase of 1,167 residents. By comparison, the Georgetown HMA grew by 20,591 or 2,059 persons annually. From 2000 to 2007, the City’s annual population increase averaged 2,674 persons, more than double the annual increase during the 1990s. The HMA population growth rate has also accelerated to 2,740 persons annually, while the rate in the 11-mile radius 19 City of Georgetown 2030 Comprehensive Plan increased from 5,802 persons annually during the 1990s to 9,372 annually since 2000. However, it was in Williamson County where the highest annual growth rates were observed. There, the annual growth rate exploded from an average annual increase of 11,042 persons in the 1990s to 17,628 since 2000. Figure 2. Total Population Trends, 1990-2007 City of Williamson Georgetown Georgetown HMA 11-mile radius County Texas 1990 16,666 24,708 66,848 139,547 16,986,510 2000 28,339 45,299 124,871 249,967 20,851,820 2007 47,056 64,481 190,476 373,363 23,904,380 Change 1990-2007 182% 161% 185% 168% 41% Sources: U.S. Census Bureau for 1990-2000 data; DemographicsNow for 11-mile radius and all 2007 data Since 2000 the City of Georgetown’s annual population has increased at a faster percentage rate than the County and the MSA. All three areas experienced a dramatic decrease between 2001 and 2002, which paralleled the national economic downturn. After stabilizing over the next couple of years, Georgetown rebounded to a greater degree than the County and the MSA and approached near-2001 growth levels by 2007. Figure 3. Annual Rate of Change in Population, 2000-2007 14% 12% 10% City of Georgetown 8% Williamson County 6% Austin-Round Roc k MSA 4% 2% 0% 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 Note: Annual population estimates are available only for the areas included. Sources: U.S. Census Bureau for all 2000 data and for 2001-2006 data for City of Georgetown and Williamson County; Real Estate Center at Texas A&M University for 2001-2006 data for Austin-Round Rock MSA; DemographicsNow for 11-mile radius and all 2007 data New residents are relocating to Williamson County from elsewhere in Texas and across the country. Nearly one-third of all new residents to Williamson County relocated from Travis County between 1995 and 2000. Residents are also relocating from other Texas counties, such as Harris, Dallas, Bexar and Tarrant. In addition, they are relocating from places such as Phoenix, 20 Housing Element Palm Beach and Los Angeles. Most notably, more than twice as many people are moving into Williamson County than are moving out. In 2000, there was a total in-migration of 90,110 persons, which exceeded the out-migration of 42,441 persons, resulting in a net in-migration of 47,669 persons. Figure 4. County-to-County Migration Patterns, 1995-2000 Where Williamson County Residents Where Former Williamson County Residents had were Living In 1995 Moved to by 2000 County, State Number Percent County, State Number Percent Travis County, TX 28,193 31.3% Travis County, TX 14,090 33.2% Harris County, TX 3,866 4.3% Harris County, TX 1,457 3.4% Dallas County, TX 2,630 2.9% Bell County, TX 1,454 3.4% Bexar County, TX 2,562 2.8% Burnet County, TX 1,068 2.5% Tarrant County, TX 1,777 2.0% Bexar County, TX 829 2.0% Bell County, TX 1,697 1.9% Tarrant County, TX 782 1.8% Nueces County, TX 975 1.1% Dallas County, TX 780 1.8% Hays County, TX 973 1.1% Hays County, TX 741 1.7% Brazos County, TX 898 1.0% Brazos County, TX 723 1.7% Maricopa County, AZ 850 0.9% Bastrop County, TX 701 1.7% Palm Beach County, FL 813 0.9% Denton County, TX 588 1.4% Lubbock County, TX 774 0.9% Lubbock County, TX 554 1.3% El Paso County, TX 728 0.8% Milam County, TX 468 1.1% Burnet County, TX 728 0.8% McLennan County, TX 450 1.1% McLennan County, TX 674 0.7% Maricopa County, AZ 377 0.9% Los Angeles County, CA 673 0.7% Fort Bend County, TX 369 0.9% Cameron County, TX 608 0.7% Collin County, TX 327 0.8% All Other Places 40,691 45.2% All Other Places 16,683 39.3% Total Inflow 90,110 100.0% Total Outflow 42,441 100.0% Source: Census 2000 County-to-County Migration Data Almost 98% of the population growth in the Georgetown HMA has occurred within the City of Georgetown. Between 2000 and 2007, the Georgetown HMA increased by 19,182 residents of which 18,717 were City residents. This indicates that nearly all of the population growth within the HMA is occurring within the City limits. Figure 5. Annual Population Trends, 2000-2007 City of Williamson Austin-Round Georgetown Georgetown HMA County Rock MSA 2000 28,339 45,299 249,967 1,249,763 2001 31,940 na 276,661 1,325,305 2002 33,474 na 289,969 1,355,241 2003 35,086 na 302,716 1,385,723 2004 36,607 na 316,508 1,423,161 2005 39,312 na 332,159 1,469,346 2006 42,467 na 350,879 1,532,281 2007 47,056 64,481 373,363 1,598,161 Change 2000-2007 66% 42% 49% 28% Note: Annual population estimates are available only for the areas included. Sources: U.S. Census Bureau for all 2000 data; for 2001-2007 data for City of Georgetown and Williamson County; Real Estate Center at Texas A&M University for 2001-2007 data for Austin-Round Rock MSA; DemographicsNow for 2007 data for Georgetown HMA 21 City of Georgetown 2030 Comprehensive Plan The Sun City census area accounted for more than one-third of all population growth in the Georgetown HMA. In 2000, the population of the Sun City census area was 9,576. By 2007, it had increased to 16,677 residents and accounted for fully 26% of the entire HMA population. Furthermore, the increase in population in the Sun City census area accounted for 37% of all population growth in the HMA since 2000. Figure 6. Population Trends, 2000-2007 City of Sun City census Georgetown Georgetown HMA area* 11-mile radius 2000 28,339 45,299 9,576 124,871 2007 47,056 64,481 16,677 190,476 Change 2000-2007 66% 42% 74% 53% Sources: U.S. Census Bureau for 2000 data; DemographicsNow for the Sun City census area, the 11-mile radius and 2007 data The population of the Georgetown HMA is becoming more racially and ethnically diverse. Between 2000 and 2007, white residents increased in number by 16,494 but decreased slightly as a percent of total population from 87.8% to 87.3%. Blacks increased 69% from 1,253 to 2,091 residents, the largest percent increase among racial minorities. This group increased from 2.8% to 3.2% of the population. Persons of all other minority groups increased 43% from 4,276 to 6,126. Hispanics increased from 6,770 residents in the HMA in 2000 to 11,101 by 2007, when they represented more than 17% of the total population. By 2007, however, the City was more racially and ethnically diverse than the Georgetown HMA. Non-whites, other than Hispanics, accounted for 14.7% of the City’s population compared to only 12.7% of the HMA’s population. Hispanics comprised 20.3% of the City’s population compared to 17.2% of the HMA population. 22 Housing Element Figure 7. Population Trends by Race and Hispanic Origin, 1990-2007 Race Hispanic Total White Black Other Race Population Number Percent Number Percent Number Percent Number Percent 1990 City of Georgetown 14,842 12,882 86.8% 768 5.2% 1,192 8.0% 3,105 20.9% Georgetown HMA na na na na na na na na na 11-mile radius 66,848 58,861 88.1% 2,772 4.1% 5,215 7.8% 10,522 15.7% Williamson County 139,551 121,914 87.4% 6,861 4.9% 10,776 7.7% 20,004 14.3% Austin MSA 781,572 600,023 76.8% 72,254 9.2% 109,295 14.0% 159,942 20.5% Texas 16,986,510 12,774,762 75.2% 2,021,632 11.9% 2,190,116 12.9% 4,339,905 25.5% 2000 City of Georgetown 28,339 24,200 85.4% 960 3.4% 3,179 11.2% 5,121 18.1% Georgetown HMA 45,299 39,770 87.8% 1,253 2.8% 4,276 9.4% 6,770 14.9% 11-mile radius 124,871 103,040 82.5% 6,088 4.9% 15,743 12.6% 22,507 18.0% Williamson County 249,967 205,994 82.4% 12,790 5.1% 31,183 12.5% 42,990 17.2% Austin MSA 1,249,763 905,970 72.5% 99,432 8.0% 244,361 19.6% 327,760 26.2% Texas 20,851,820 14,799,505 71.0% 2,404,566 11.5% 3,647,749 17.5% 6,669,666 32.0% 2007 City of Georgetown 38,580 32,917 85.3% 1,444 3.7% 4,219 10.9% 7,819 20.3% Georgetown HMA 64,481 56,264 87.3% 2,091 3.2% 6,126 9.5% 11,101 17.2% 11-mile radius 190,476 154,858 81.3% 10,564 5.5% 25,054 13.2% 39,866 20.9% Williamson County 365,549 296,276 81.0% 20,734 5.7% 48,539 13.3% 74,597 20.4% Austin MSA 1,521,851 1,130,644 74.3% 99,754 6.6% 291,453 19.2% 456,655 30.0% Texas 23,624,214 17,076,262 72.3% 2,543,514 10.8% 4,004,438 17.0% 8,546,298 36.2% Sources: U.S. Census Bureau (1990 STF1, Census 2000 SF1); DemographicsNow for 11-mile radius and all 2007 data Figure 8. Population by Race and Hispanic Origin, 2007 100% 80% White 60% la B ck 40% Other Ra ce 20% Hispa nic 0% A n SA s s y w iu HM nt xa M to d ou Te ra e ck wn C rg ile Ro to n eo so -m e nd G rg m 11 of ou eo ia ill -R ity G W in C st Au Source: DemographicsNow 23 City of Georgetown 2030 Comprehensive Plan The median age of Georgetown residents has increased rapidly since 1990 as a result of new residents relocating to the Sun City census area. In 1990, the median age of City residents was 30.6; for all County residents it was 30.1 years. Within the Sun City census area, the median age was significantly higher at 34 years. By 2000, the City’s median age had increased to 36.3 while Williamson County’s population had aged only slightly to 32.5 years. In the Sun City census area, the median age had increased 48% to 50.4 in just ten years. This was due to the 55-plus age demographic of the Sun City Texas residential community. The median age of City residents has continued to increase; by 2007, it was 40.7 compared to 33.7 for the County. But in the Sun City census area, the median age continued to rise sharply, reaching 56.1 years. These trends are expected to continue with the median age of Georgetown projected to increase to 45.0 by 2012 and the County’s increasing to only 35.4 years. The median age of residents in the Sun City census area is projected to increase to 59.3 years in 2012. In the following graph, it is evident that the higher median age of the Sun City census area has resulted in a higher median age for the City, but this effect is less notable in the County overall. In fact, the median age trends for Williamson County are closely aligned with the same trends for the MSA and the state. Figure 9. Trends in Median Age, 1990-2007 60 50 un S City census area 40 City of Georgetown 11-mile radius 30 Williamson County 20 Austin-Round Rock MSA Texas 10 0 1990 2000 2007 Sources: U.S. Census Bureau for 1990-2000 data; DemographicsNow for 11-mile radius and all 2007 data For the purposes of calculating housing need, it is important to identify and isolate trends that are abnormal or strikingly distinct from all other trends. For example, the significantly higher median age among Sun City census area residents increases the median age for the City of Georgetown population. By isolating this particular population characteristic, one is able to recognize that it does not characterize the City of Georgetown or the Georgetown HMA, only a portion of it. In 24 Housing Element this way, findings and conclusions can be developed that more accurately reflect the affordable housing needs of the overall population. The impact of the Sun City census area became clearly evident in 2000 when the 55 and older age cohort comprised almost half of that area’s population. Elsewhere in the City and the HMA, the 55 and older age cohort comprised no more than 25% of the total population. By 2007, the older age group had surpassed 50% of the population in the Sun City census area, and further reflected a noticeable increase in the percentage of persons 55 and older in both the City and the HMA. Figure 10. Comparison of Age Cohorts, 1990-2007 100% 90% 80% 70% 60% Under 55 50% 55 & Older 40% 30% 20% 10% 0% 11-mile radius 11-mile radius 11-mile radius HMA A HMA A HMA A City S City County City S City County City S City County MS MS MS un un 1990 2000 un 2007 Sources: U.S. Census Bureau for 1990-2000 data; DemographicsNow for 11-mile radius and all 2007 data Georgetown’s population is aging faster than the HMA and the County. City residents 55 and older represented 18.7% of the population in 1990. By 2007, this segment of the population increased to 31.1%. Throughout the HMA, residents 55 and older comprise only a slightly lower percentage of the population: 17.5% in 1990, increasing to 28.8% by 2007. By comparison, County residents 55 years and older comprised 13.2% of the population in 1990 but only grew to 16.8% by 2007. While the age cohort of 55 years and older is growing as a percentage of the population, all age cohorts are increasing in number. The following three charts illustrate the number of persons by age cohort in the City, the HMA, the 11-mile radius and the County. In all areas, each age cohort has increased in number since 2000. The highest increases in all areas occurred in the school-age population and the 35-64 age cohorts. The school-age population of persons 5-19 years old increased most significantly since 2000 in the City of Georgetown, growing by 3,255 persons in just seven years. The increase in this segment of the population will also be reflected in an increase in household size. City residents ages 35-64, including Sun City census area residents, collectively grew by 4,750 persons in the same span of time. This age cohort includes the baby boomer generation of 25 City of Georgetown 2030 Comprehensive Plan persons born between 1946 and 1964, who would have been 43 to 61 years old in 2007. As the highest-paid and most-educated generation, this segment of the population is a key demographic group that will remain an influential component of the owner-occupied housing market. 4 The demand for market-rate housing that may be attributed to the baby boomer segment in the Georgetown Housing Market Area must be considered in the context of affordable housing as it will impact the availability and cost of land, labor and materials needed for the development of more moderate-priced housing. Figure 11. Number of Persons by Age Cohort City of Georgetown 8,000 7,000 6,000 5,000 1990 4,000 2000 3,000 2007 2,000 1,000 0 Under 5 to 19 20 to 25 to 35 to 45 to 55 to 65 to 75 to 85 & 5 24 34 44 54 64 74 84 older Sources: U.S. Census Bureau for 1990-2000 data; DemographicsNow for all 2007 data The 25 to 44 year age cohort increased but at a slower pace than the 45 to 64 age cohorts. Persons within the age range of 25 to 44 years are typically getting married, starting families and purchasing homes. From 1990 to 2007, this group within the City grew by 3,858 persons. 4 Cynthia Angell and Clare D. Rowley, “The Demographics of Housing Demand,” FDIC Outlook, Spring 2006. 26 Housing Element Figure 12. Number of Persons by Age Cohort Georgetown Housing Market Area 14,000 12,000 10,000 1990 8,000 2000 6,000 2007 4,000 2,000 0 Under 5 to 19 20 to 25 to 35 to 45 to 55 to 65 to 75 to 85 & 5 24 34 44 54 64 74 84 older Sources: U.S. Census Bureau for 1990-2000 data; DemographicsNow for all 2007 data Figure 13. Number of Persons by Age Cohort 11-mile radius 50,000 40,000 30,000 1990 2000 20,000 2007 10,000 0 Under 5 to 19 20 to 25 to 35 to 45 to 55 to 65 to 75 to 85 & 5 24 34 44 54 64 74 84 older Source: DemographicsNow 27 City of Georgetown 2030 Comprehensive Plan Figure 14. Number of Persons by Age Cohort Williamson County 90,000 80,000 70,000 60,000 1990 50,000 2000 40,000 2007 30,000 20,000 10,000 0 Under 5 to 19 20 to 25 to 35 to 45 to 55 to 65 to 75 to 85 & 5 24 34 44 54 64 74 84 older Sources: U.S. Census Bureau for 1990-2000 data; DemographicsNow for all 2007 data The primary labor force age cohort has continued to grow as a result of the regional economy. Persons between the ages of 25 and 54 comprise the majority of a region’s labor force. In Georgetown, this labor force cohort expanded 113% from 6,544 to 13,972 persons since 2000. Within the larger Georgetown HMA, the labor force age cohort increased 144% from 10,289 to 25,055 persons. Within the 11-mile radius, this group increased 46% from 58,363 to 85,490. Overall, Williamson County expanded 62% from 64,729 persons in 1990 to 168,737 in 2007. Household Growth Every household needs a dwelling. The Census Bureau defines “population” as “all people, male and female, child and adult, living in a given geographic area.” The term “household” is defined to include “all the people who occupy a housing unit as their usual place of residence.” When describing housing markets and housing need, focusing the discussion on households is much more relevant and accurate because each household requires a dwelling unit while several people may comprise the same household and live in the same housing unit. In other words, calculating housing need on the basis of the number of households in a geographic area is much more accurate than calculating housing need based on the number of persons. During the 1990s, household growth outpaced population growth. The City’s household growth rate of 81% exceeded the population growth rate of 70%. In the Sun City census area, a phenomenal household growth rate of 328% exceeded a staggering population growth rate of 248%. These local trends paralleled national trends, although at much higher rates, in high growth areas and reflected smaller households. In the Georgetown Housing Market Area (excluding the Sun City census area), the 11-mile radius and Williamson County, household and population growth rates grew in tandem. 28 Housing Element Since 2000, this trend has reversed and population growth has exceeded household growth. The population in all areas has grown at a faster rate than the number of households. In the City of Georgetown, for example, population increased 36% while households increased 32%. In the HMA (excluding the Sun City census area), population increased 34% while households grew 26%. Within the 11-mile radius, population increased 53% compared to a 43% increase in households. Projected growth trends reveal smaller margins between population and household in all areas by 2012. As a result, growth will continue but at a slower pace. Figure 15. Change in Population and Household Growth Rates, 1990-2012 Georgetown HMA City of Sun City census minus Sun City Williamson Georgetown area census area 11-mile radius County Population Growth Rates 1990 to 2000 70% 248% 63% 87% 79% 2000 to 2007 36% 74% 34% 53% 46% 2007 to 2012 (projected) 18% 29% 17% 21% 19% Household Growth Rates 1990 to 2000 81% 328% 63% 89% 78% 2000 to 2007 32% 65% 26% 43% 37% 2007 to 2012 (projected) 16% 26% 14% 18% 16% Sources: U.S. Census Bureau for 1990-2000 data; DemographicsNow for Sun City census area, 11-mile radius, and all 2007 and 2012 data These trends suggest a pent-up, or future, housing demand as indicated by a lagging household growth rate, a surge in the school-age cohort of persons 5-19 years old, and an increasing household size. Between 1990 and 2000, the average household size decreased in the City, the HMA, the Sun City census area, and the 11-mile radius. But these trends appeared to have been reversed by 2007 with average household size increasing in all areas. In the HMA, the 11-mile radius and the County, the average household size exceeded the 1990-levels. By 2012, average household size in these areas is projected to reach or exceed 3.00 persons per household, in contrast to the City, the Sun City census area, the MSA, and the state where it will remain below 3.00 persons. Figure 16. Trends in Average Household Size, 1990-2012 1990 2000 2007 2012 City of Georgetown 2.69 2.53 2.65 2.70 Georgetown HMA 2.78 2.75 2.93 3.00 Sun City census area 3.00 2.44 2.57 2.63 11-mile radius 2.88 2.85 3.07 3.16 Williamson County 2.81 2.82 3.04 3.13 Austin-Round Rock MSA 2.50 2.57 2.62 2.65 Texas 2.73 2.74 2.81 2.84 Sources: U.S. Census Bureau for 1990-2000 data; DemographicsNow for Sun City census area, 11-mile radius, and all 2007 and 2012 data 29 City of Georgetown 2030 Comprehensive Plan In addition to increasing household size, the composition of households is changing from traditional married-couple families to single-parent households and non-family households. Overall, households containing both a husband and wife with children are declining while non- family households (in which the members of a household are not related to each other) and single- parent households are increasing. This trend has important implications for housing, particularly for those headed by a single parent. Single-parent households will have less income than married- couple households, thus impacting their ability to secure housing that is within their economic means. The growth in single-parent family households creates the need for units that are affordable to households with only one income. In addition, different household types have different tenure patterns with married-couple households having the highest rate of home ownership followed by male-headed households. Female-headed households tend to own their units at significantly lower rates. While women have traditionally worked in lower wage occupations than men, the number of women in higher paying managerial and professional specialty occupations is growing. Women earning higher incomes will support increased household formation by single women. Figure 17. Trends in Household Types, 1990-2012 City of Georgetown 40% 35% 30% 1990 25% 2000 20% 2007 15% 10% 2012 5% 0% Married Couple Single Parent w/ Married Couple Non-family w/ Children Children w/o Children Households Sources: U.S. Census Bureau for 1990-2000 data; DemographicsNow for all 2007 and 2012 data 30 Housing Element Figure 18. Trends in Household Types, 1990-2012 Georgetown HMA 40% 35% 30% 1990 25% 2000 20% 2007 15% 2012 10% 5% 0% Married Couple Single Parent w/ Married Couple Non-family w/ Children Children w/o Children Households Sources: U.S. Census Bureau for 1990-2000 data; DemographicsNow for all 2007 and 2012 data Figure 19. Trends in Household Types, 1990-2012 11-mile radius 45% 40% 35% 30% 1990 25% 2000 20% 2007 15% 2012 10% 5% 0% Married Couple Single Parent w/ Married Couple Non-family w/ Children Children w/o Children Households Source: DemographicsNow Households are forecasted to continue to increase through 2012 but only at about half the rate as in the previous five years. Over the next five years it is projected that household growth in the City will increase 16% compared to an increase in population of 18%. In the Sun City census area, population growth will outpace household growth 29% to 26%. Within both the HMA (excluding the Sun City census area) and Williamson County, population growth will exceed household growth by three percentage points. 31 City of Georgetown 2030 Comprehensive Plan Figure 20. Household Growth Trends, 1990-2012 Percent Percent Percent Average Change Average Change Average Change Annual from Annual from Annual from 1990 2000 Change 1990-2000 2007 Change 2000-2007 2012 Change 2007-2012 City of Georgetown 5,730 10,389 466 81% 13,748 480 32% 15,999 450 16% Sun City census area 917 3,922 301 328% 6,481 366 65% 8,142 332 26% Georgetown HMA 8,391 16,102 771 92% 21,860 823 36% 25,695 767 18% 11-mile radius 22,665 42,784 2,012 89% 61,145 2,623 43% 72,006 2,172 18% Williamson County 48,790 86,766 3,798 78% 118,518 4,536 37% 137,283 3,753 16% Austin-Round Rock MSA 325,996 471,855 14,586 45% 565,006 13,307 20% 623,057 11,610 10% Sources: U.S. Census Bureau for 1990-2000 data; DemographicsNow for Sun City census area, 11-mile radius and all 2007 and 2012 data Since 2000, new households have been added to the City and the HMA at higher annual rates than during the 1990s. Between 1990 and 2000, the HMA increased by 7,711 new households for an average annual rate of 771. Since 2000, this rate has increased to 823 new households. In the City of Georgetown, households increased by 4,659 during the 1990s for an average annual rate of 466. This rate also has increased since 2000 to 480 units annually. In Williamson County, the rate of increase has risen from 3,798 households during the 1990s to 4,536. Household projections for 2012 forecast slower rates in all three areas. Still, significant numbers of new households are expected. About 60% of all new household growth since 1990 has occurred in the City of Georgetown. Of the 7,711 households added to the HMA between 1990 and 2000, 4,659 (60%) were located in the City of Georgetown. Of the 5,758 new households added since 2000, 3,359 (58%) were in the City. Forecasts through 2012 anticipate a continuing increase in household growth, adding fuel to the demand for housing. However, the rate of household growth is projected to slow to 16% in the City and 18% in the HMA. 32 Housing Element 4. Housing Profile Housing Inventory The driving force behind the construction industry in the Georgetown HMA is Sun City Texas. New housing construction in the Sun City census area accounted for 70% of all new residential units in the City and 41% of all new units in the Georgetown HMA between 1990 and 2000. Within the City of Georgetown, over 4,500 housing units were added to the total inventory. Of these, 3,159 units were developed in the Sun City census area. The total housing inventory in the Georgetown HMA increased more than 82% between 1990 and 2000 with the creation of over 7,600 units. The Sun City units represented 41% of all new units in the HMA. Within the Georgetown 11-mile radius, a total of 19,324 units were added to the housing stock during the 1990s. This represented an average annual gain of 1,932 units and an increase of more than 77% in the total housing inventory. New construction within the Georgetown HMA represented 40% of all new housing within the 11-mile radius. Estimates for 2007 reveal a regional housing market that has continued to expand. Between 2000 and 2007, more than 4,000 units were added to the City of Georgetown’s housing stock, almost as many as were added during the entire decade of the 1990s. Similar trends were noted in the Georgetown HMA and the Sun City census area. Overall, new housing construction within the 11-mile radius and across Williamson County added more units to the regional inventory than was added during the entire previous decade. This was also the case within the Austin-Round Rock MSA. Figure 21. Growth in Housing Inventory, 1990-2007 Change 1990-2000 Change 2000-2007 Average Average Annual Annual 1990 2000 Number Gain Percent 2007 Number Gain Percent City of Georgetown 6,344 10,878 4,534 453 71.5% 14,931 4,053 579 37.3% Georgetown HMA 9,232 16,870 7,638 764 82.7% 23,745 6,875 982 40.8% Sun City census area 1,016 4,175 3,159 316 310.9% 7,153 2,978 425 71.3% 11-mile radius 25,050 44,374 19,324 1,932 77.1% 65,836 21,462 3,066 48.4% Williamson County 54,466 90,325 35,859 3,586 65.8% 127,934 37,609 5,373 41.6% Austin-Round Rock MSA 370,307 496,004 125,697 12,570 33.9% 625,887 129,883 18,555 26.2% Sources: U.S. Census Bureau for 1990-2000 data for City of Georgetown, Georgetown HMA, Williamson County and Austin-Round Rock MSA; DemographicsNow for all other data The continued demand for new housing has been driven by the expanding economy and new residents relocating to the area. Since 2000, the labor force age cohort consisting of persons between the ages of 25 and 44 more than doubled from 10,289 to 25,055 persons in the Georgetown HMA. As a result, the demand for new housing remained high to accommodate these households. In addition, the demand for new units in Sun City Texas continued to reflect the relocation of new residents 45 years and older from outside the region. The single family detached housing unit remains the predominant housing type available. Detached single family dwellings represented more than three-quarters of the housing inventory in Georgetown, the HMA and within the 11-mile radius. In the City of Georgetown, attached single family homes (duplexes) accounted for only 2.3% of the housing stock while all multi-family units 33 City of Georgetown 2030 Comprehensive Plan represented 17.6% of the inventory. As a percentage of the total housing stock, Georgetown had the most multi-family units. The number of multi-family units in the City (1,901) comprised 79% of the total number of multi-family units in the HMA (2,394). Of the 6,980 multi-family units within the 11-mile radius, 5,014 (72%) are located in Round Rock. Figure 22. Types of Housing Units, 2000 City of Georgetown Williamson Georgetown HMA 11-mile radius County 1-unit, detached 8,590 13,549 34,441 68,604 % of Total 79.0% 80.3% 77.6% 76.0% 1-unit, attached 245 320 1,308 2,187 % of Total 2.3% 1.9% 2.9% 2.4% 2 to 4 units 855 1,022 2,587 4,992 % of Total 7.9% 6.1% 5.8% 5.5% 5 to 9 units 354 474 1,253 2,785 % of Total 3.3% 2.8% 2.8% 3.1% 10 to 19 units 282 384 1,057 2,866 % of Total 2.6% 2.3% 2.4% 3.2% 20 or more units 410 514 2,083 4,222 % of Total 3.8% 3.0% 4.7% 4.7% Mobile home units 123 564 1,579 4,571 % of Total 1.1% 3.3% 3.6% 5.1% Boat, RV, van 19 43 66 98 % of Total 0.2% 0.3% 0.1% 0.1% Total Units 2000 10,878 100.0% 16,870 100.0% 44,374 100.0% 90,325 100.0% Total Units 1990 6,344 9,232 25,050 54,466 % Change 1990-2000 71.5% 82.7% 77.1% 65.8% Source: U.S. Census Bureau Much of the housing need in the Georgetown Housing Market Area has been addressed through the development of new single family residential subdivisions. 34 Housing Element More than two-thirds of all new housing is owner-occupied. Of the 37,609 new housing units constructed across the County between 2000 and 2007, 21,476 were identified as owner- occupied while 10,276 were identified as rental units. This ratio of two owner units to every rental unit was also found in the City of Georgetown, in the Georgetown HMA and within the 11-mile radius. In the Sun City census area, however, owner units accounted for 85% of the net increase in housing. Figure 23. Net Increase in Housing Units by Tenure, 2000-2007 Net Increase Net Increase Net Increase Owner-Occupied Renter-Occupied Housing Units Units Units Total Occupied Total Total City of Georgetown 4,053 3,359 2,310 1,049 Georgetown HMA 6,875 5,758 4,037 1,721 Sun City census area 2,978 2,559 2,178 381 11-mile radius 21,462 18,360 12,821 5,539 Williamson County 37,609 31,752 21,476 10,276 Sources: U.S. Census Bureau for 2000 data for City of Georgetown, Georgetown HMA and Williamson County; DemographicsNow for all other data More than half of the increase in the rental housing inventory is comprised of assisted units developed for lower income family and elderly households. Since 2000, four new multi-family residential communities have been constructed in Georgetown. These include San Gabriel Senior Village (100 age-restricted units), Georgetown Place (106 family units), Mariposa (201 age-restricted units) and Cypress Creek (180 family units). These 587 new rental units account for 56% of the increase in the rental housing inventory over the last seven years. All of these units were developed through the Low Income Housing Tax Credit (LIHTC) program, which provides quality and affordable housing to households earning less than 80% of the area median income. New townhouses have been constructed in Old Town, adjacent to downtown Georgetown. These units reflect an overall design that is compatible with local architecture and a pedestrian scale. 35 City of Georgetown 2030 Comprehensive Plan The vibrant housing market of the 1990s met the demands of an expanding labor force and new residents. As a result, the homeowner vacancy rate decreased from 3.5% to 2.1% in the City of Georgetown. This occurred in spite of an increase in the number of vacant-for-sale units in the City. By comparison, the housing market for Williamson County overall tightened substantially with a decrease in the homeowner vacancy rate from 4.5% to 1.2% during the same period. Conditions during the 1990s, including affordable home prices, a growing economy and higher wage jobs, converged to create more homeowners and eliminate many of the vacant units on the market. 5 Generally, a homeowner vacancy rate between 3% and 5% of the sales housing inventory is preferable because it allows some mobility and flexibility for households that are moving. A low rate of vacant-for-sale-only units impacts the affordability of housing because of a lower number of available units on the market at any given time, which causes a rise in home prices due to demand exceeding a limited supply. Figure 24. Trends in Homeowner Vacancy Rates, 1990-2000 Housing Units Owner-occupied Units Vacant Units For Sale Homeowner Total Occupied Total Percent Only Vacancy Rate 1990 City of Georgetown 6,344 5,730 3,554 62.0% 131 3.5% Sun City census area na na na na na na Georgetown HMA na na na na na na 11-mile radius na na na na na na Williamson County 54,463 48,792 31,210 64.0% 1,499 4.5% 2000 City of Georgetown 10,878 10,389 7,573 72.9% 160 2.1% Sun City census area 4,175 3,922 3,755 95.7% 120 3.1% Georgetown HMA 16,870 16,102 12,474 77.5% 236 1.8% 11-mile radius na na na na na na Williamson County 90,325 86,766 67,939 78.3% 820 1.2% Source: U.S. Census Bureau The rental vacancy rate also decreased, falling more than 50% during the 1990s even with a 30% increase in the rental housing inventory in the City of Georgetown. In other words, renter households absorbed a significant portion of the existing vacant units as well as many of the newly constructed units. This tightening of the rental market occurred as a result of new job growth that stimulated significant in-migration of new households. By 2000, only 121 vacant rental units were identified in Georgetown. A similar trend occurred in the County overall where the rental vacancy rate fell more than 50% while the rental housing inventory increased 27%. Generally, a rental vacancy rate of 5% to 9% is preferred because it allows mobility and greater choice for households that are moving. A lower rental vacancy rate exerts upward pressure on rents, negatively impacting the ability of lower income households to find affordable housing 5U.S. Department of Housing & Urban Development, Analysis of the Austin-Round Rock, Texas Housing Market (Washington, D.C., 2004). 36 Housing Element because of a small number of available units in the marketplace at any given time. By 2000, the rental housing market in all areas of Williamson County had tightened substantially with only 876 units identified as vacant and for rent. Figure 25. Trends in Rental Housing Vacancies, 1990-2000 Housing Units Rental Units Rental Vacancy Total Occupied Total Percent Vacant Units Rate 1990 City of Georgetown 6,344 5,730 2,176 38.0% 225 9.1% Sun City census area na na na na na na Georgetown HMA na na na na na na 11-mile radius na na na na na na Williamson County 54,463 48,792 17,582 36.0% 1,699 8.6% 2000 City of Georgetown 10,878 10,389 2,816 27.1% 121 4.0% Sun City census area 4,175 3,922 167 4.3% 13 6.3% Georgetown HMA 16,870 16,102 3,508 21.8% 132 3.5% 11-mile radius na na na na na na Williamson County 90,325 86,766 22,386 25.8% 876 3.7% Source: U.S. Census Bureau The tight housing market of 2000 and an expanding economy spurred increased housing production that outpaced demand. Amidst such low vacancy rates in the housing market, it is not unexpected that housing construction would increase to produce more units to address pent- up demand. However, 2007 estimates of the overall number of vacant housing units indicate an increasing inventory. The rapidly expanding housing inventory, coupled with a lagging household growth rate, produced vacancy rates that moved towards historic norms in the region. An overall vacancy rate of 4.5% was reported in 2000 in both the City of Georgetown and the Georgetown HMA. The Sun City census area accounted for one-third of all vacant units within the HMA and represented the highest overall vacancy rate in the region at 6.1%. Rates were slightly lower in both the 11-mile radius and Williamson County. However, these overall vacancy rates are approaching the historic norms for 1990, and in some cases, 1980. Furthermore, the local rates remain lower than the overall vacancy rates for the MSA and the state. 37 City of Georgetown 2030 Comprehensive Plan Figure 26. Housing Vacancy Trends, 1980-2007 16% 14% 12% 10% City of Georgetown Williamson County 8% Austin MSA 6% Texas 4% 2% 0% 1980 1990 2000 2007 Sources: U.S. Census Bureau for 1980-2000 data; DemographicsNow for 2007 data Estimates for 2007 indicate a softening housing market with higher overall vacancy rates in all areas. In the City of Georgetown, the total number of vacant units rose 142% from 489 to 1,183 units. In the HMA, vacancies increased 149% from 758 to 1,885 units. In the Sun City census area, where the rate rose 166%, the number of vacant units increased from 253 to 672 units. A similar rate was noted in the County. Within the 11-mile radius, the housing vacancy rate nearly tripled in seven years from 1,589 to 4,691 units. 38 Housing Element Figure 27. Overall Housing Vacancies, 2000-2007 Total Vacant Units Total Housing Units # % 2000 City of Georgetown 10,878 489 4.5% Georgetown HMA 16,860 758 4.5% Sun City census area 4,175 253 6.1% Georgetown 11-mile Radius 44,374 1,589 3.6% Williamson County 90,325 3,559 3.9% Austin-Round Rock MSA 496,004 24,149 4.9% Texas 8,157,575 764,221 9.4% 2007 City of Georgetown 14,931 1,183 7.9% Georgetown HMA 23,745 1,885 7.9% Sun City census area 7,153 672 9.4% Georgetown 11-mile Radius 65,836 4,691 7.1% Williamson County 127,934 9,416 7.4% Austin-Round Rock MSA 625,887 60,881 9.7% Texas 9,357,245 1,156,392 12.4% Notes: 1. Vacancy status of units (owner versus renter) is not available with 2007 data estimates. 2. Total vacancy rate is calculated as the total number of vacant units divided by total housing units. 3. Total vacancy rates, while calculated differently than rental or homeowner vacancy rates, can provide an indication of the increase or decrease in the total number of vacant housing units in a market. Sources: U.S. Census Bureau for 2000 data for City of Georgetown, Georgetown HMA and Williamson County; DemographicsNow for all other data A softening housing market is further indicated by a decrease in new single family building permits. Between 2000 and 2003, the annual number of residential building permits issued by the City of Georgetown (within the City limits) decreased from a high of 892 to 568. Beginning in 2004, the market picked up as indicated by a rapid increase in permits, issued primarily in Sun City. This level of activity peaked in 2006 with the issuance of 1,177 permits. Activity fell sharply in 2007 when a total of 874 permits were issued. Preliminary data for 2008 reveal a continuing decline with only 275 permits issued during the first five months of the year. This is significantly lower than the number of permits issued for the first five months in 2007 (411) and 2006 (561). 39 City of Georgetown 2030 Comprehensive Plan Figure 28. Single Family Residential Permits Issued City of Georgetown, 1990-2007 1,400 1,200 1,000 800 600 400 200 0 97 99 00 01 02 03 04 05 06 07 96 90 91 92 93 94 95 98 20 20 19 19 19 19 19 20 20 20 20 20 20 19 19 19 19 19 Source: City of Georgetown High vacancy rates will exert more downward pressure on home prices. Rising vacancy rates are also evidence of a potential slowing in the home-building industry as developers try to sell their stock of vacant units. For homebuyers, particularly those of more modest means, an oversupply of sales homes can translate into more affordable housing opportunities. Renters can also benefit from this situation as some for-sale units may be placed on the rental market, thereby exerting more downward pressure on rents in the region as the rental inventory increases. Detailed analysis of the affordability of housing units is included in Part 8. The situation in Georgetown is mirroring national trends. On a national level, builders constructed far more homes between 2002 and 2006 than could possibly be absorbed by the normal growth in households. Now, with tightening credit standards, most homebuilders do not want to get caught with too much product on the market. As a result, housing construction activity has slowed significantly. This, according to some analysts, is the beginning of a housing market ripe for first-time homebuyers. As first-time homebuyers enter the market, they purchase not only new homes but existing homes, which, in turn, enable the sellers to move up to bigger homes. And many of those bigger homes have lower sales prices than a year ago. As sales begin to exceed new production, homebuilding activity will pick up. 6 6 Shawn Tully, "On the Path to a Housing Rebound," CNNMoney.com, 2 July 2008. 40 Housing Element Housing Tenure Home ownership rates have fallen across the region in spite of an increase in the number of home owners. Without exception, the home ownership rates have simultaneously declined in all areas while the number of home owners has increased between 2000 and 2007. This trend is further evidence of increasing vacancies, as well as increasing rental inventories, in the housing market. For example, the total housing inventory in the City of Georgetown increased by 4,053 units. Of these, 2,310 were owner units and 1,049 were rental units. The remaining 694 units (17% of the increase) were identified as vacant units in 2007. The number of total vacant housing units has more than doubled since 2000. The expanding housing market has produced higher numbers of vacant housing units in all areas. In the Sun City census area and the Georgetown 11-mile radius, the total number of vacant housing units has nearly tripled since 2000. Figure 29. Tenure, 2000-2007 Housing Units Owner-Occupied Units Renter-Occupied Units Vacant Units Total Occupied Number Percent* Number Percent* Number Percent** 2000 City of Georgetown 10,878 10,389 7,573 72.9% 2,816 27.1% 489 4.5% Georgetown HMA 16,870 15,982 12,474 78.1% 3,508 21.9% 758 4.5% Sun City census area 4,175 3,922 3,755 95.7% 167 4.3% 253 6.1% 11-mile radius 44,374 42,784 32,134 75.1% 10,650 24.9% 1,589 3.6% Williamson County 90,325 86,766 64,380 74.2% 22,386 25.8% 3,559 3.9% 2007 City of Georgetown 14,931 13,748 9,883 71.9% 3,865 28.1% 1,183 7.9% Georgetown HMA 23,745 21,860 16,511 75.5% 5,349 24.5% 1,885 7.9% Sun City census area 7,153 6,481 5,933 91.5% 548 8.5% 672 9.4% 11-mile radius 65,836 61,145 44,956 73.5% 16,189 26.5% 4,691 7.1% Williamson County 127,934 118,518 85,856 72.4% 32,662 27.6% 9,416 7.4% *Calculated as a percent of total occupied units. **Calculated as a percent of total units. Sources: U.S. Census Bureau for 2000 data for City of Georgetown, Georgetown HMA and Williamson County; DemographicsNow for all other data Rental occupancy rates are highest in the City of Georgetown while home ownership rates are highest in the Sun City census area. Characteristics of home owners and renters by age of the householders include the following: • The youngest households are predominantly renters. • Typically, as householders complete their education, obtain full-time employment and age into their 30s, the rate of homeownership begins to rise. This is the trend in all areas except the City of Georgetown where more renters than owners are found among the 25- 34 age cohort. • By age 35, homeownership rates are higher than renter rates in all areas. • By age 45, renter rates begin to fall significantly and continue decreasing as householders age. 41 City of Georgetown 2030 Comprehensive Plan • Homeownership rates are highest in the Sun City census area. More notably, homeownership among householders 55 to 84 is higher than among older age cohorts elsewhere. This can be attributed to the age-restricted concept of the Sun City development. • Rental rates are highest in the City of Georgetown and are most notably higher among householders age 45 to 74 within the City than the other geographic areas. This could be attributed to the assisted rental housing available in the City for persons 55 and older. Figure 30. Tenure by Age of Householder, 2000 City of Georgetown Georgetown HMA Sun City census area Williamson County Age of Householder % Own % Rent % Own % Rent % Own % Rent % Own % Rent 15 to 24 0.5% 4.8% 0.6% 3.2% 0.3% 0.1% 1.1% 3.4% 25 to 34 6.8% 8.9% 9.0% 6.4% 5.7% 0.9% 14.2% 8.5% 35 to 44 12.5% 7.3% 17.6% 5.3% 15.1% 0.8% 22.8% 6.6% 45 to 54 12.6% 4.4% 16.9% 3.3% 14.8% 0.9% 16.7% 3.7% 55 to 64 12.5% 2.1% 13.4% 1.6% 20.6% 0.7% 9.2% 1.5% 65 to 74 13.8% 1.7% 11.9% 1.2% 25.4% 0.5% 6.0% 0.9% 75 to 84 8.8% 1.6% 6.9% 1.1% 12.9% 0.3% 3.4% 0.8% 85 and older 1.3% 0.6% 1.0% 0.4% 0.9% 0.1% 0.7% 0.4% All Households 72.9% 27.1% 78.1% 21.9% 95.7% 4.3% 74.2% 25.8% Source: U.S. Census Bureau Many older residential structures in Georgetown have been rehabilitated, thereby preserving local historical architecture and structurally-sound housing units. White households were more likely to be home owners than minority households. Hispanic households had the highest rates of home ownership among all minorities in all areas, with higher rates in the City of Georgetown. The lowest minority home ownership rate was found in the Sun City census area. 42 Housing Element Figure 31. Tenure by Race and Ethnicity, 2000 City of Georgetown Georgetown HMA Sun City census area Williamson County Race of Householder % Own % Rent % Own % Rent % Own % Rent % Own % Rent White 64.5% 24.5% 72.5% 18.1% 93.4% 4.0% 65.2% 20.5% Black 1.2% 1.2% 1.3% 1.2% 0.4% 0.0% 2.9% 1.9% American Indian/Alaskan Native 0.1% 0.1% 0.3% 0.1% 0.2% 0.0% 0.3% 0.1% Asian 0.2% 0.4% 0.3% 0.2% 0.2% 0.0% 1.5% 0.5% Native Hawaiian 0.0% 0.1% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% Some Other Race Alone 2.6% 3.3% 2.3% 2.5% 0.8% 0.1% 3.3% 2.2% Two or More Races 0.9% 0.9% 0.7% 0.4% 0.6% 0.1% 0.9% 0.5% Hispanic 5.9% 6.7% 5.5% 4.7% 3.2% 0.3% 7.9% 5.0% Note: Totals may not equal 100% due to rounding. Source: U.S. Census Bureau Assisted Housing Inventory In addition to the private housing market, there is a substantial privately assisted housing inventory in the Georgetown HMA. Privately assisted housing is privately-owned but affordable due to the funding source used to develop the housing units. (This type of subsidized housing differs from public housing that is owned by a government entity.) Eligible resident households typically include those who are elderly (either 55 or 62 years of age or older), low income (80% of median income or less), or disabled. Financing for these affordable units typically comes from state and federal sources such as the Low Income Housing Tax Credit Program (LIHTC); the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Section 515 Program; HUD’s Section 202 (elderly), Section 811 (disabled), and Section 236 and Section 221(d) (family) Programs. As previously stated, there are 587 units of privately assisted housing for family and elderly households in the Georgetown HMA. Public housing is also available in Georgetown through the Georgetown Housing Authority. The Authority administers and manages 158 units of public housing, 60 units of Section 8-funded units, and 87 vouchers through the Housing Choice Voucher Program (formerly the Section 8 Rental Assistance Program). Stonehaven Apartments, the only public housing community in Georgetown, is comprised of 158 units on 25 acres located in the heart of the City. The complex provides both family and elderly units in an attractive and quiet neighborhood environment. The unique stone exteriors of the buildings were designed by a professor at Southwestern University and feature locally quarried stone. The complex is very well-maintained. There is a waiting list of approximately 190 households for Stonehaven. Shady Oaks Apartments was acquired by the Authority in 1970 and was originally developed under the former Section 8 New Construction Program. There are 60 units of family housing with a waiting list of approximately 80 families. Currently, the Authority is renewing the rental assistance contract with HUD to operate and manage the units for another 20 years, thereby preserving 60 units of affordable housing in the City. The Authority is also preparing for the major rehabilitation of all 60 units. This project will be financed from tax equity at a cost of approximately $60,000 per unit. Each unit will be completely renovated and updated with the project occurring in five phases of 12 units each. 43 City of Georgetown 2030 Comprehensive Plan Stonehaven Apartments is a 158- unit public housing community in Georgetown located in a quiet neighborhood. Locally quarried stone is a distinguishing feature of the family and elderly units. (Photo provided by Georgetown Housing Authority) The Housing Choice Voucher Program administered by the Housing Authority provides rental assistance vouchers to 87 low income households. The vouchers enable the households to find rental apartments throughout the area and pay no more than 30% of their monthly income for rent. Currently, there are 30 participating landlords and the Authority is trying to increase this number. The demand for this housing assistance program is demonstrated by its lengthy waiting list of approximately 190 households and its low annual turnover of about 9 households. As a result, the Authority accepts applications from new households only every two years. Nearly one-third of the rental housing inventory in the City of Georgetown is privately assisted housing. There are 3,418 privately assisted rental housing units throughout Williamson County. Of these, 1,164 units are located in the City of Georgetown and the remaining 2,254 are located within the 11-mile radius and across the County. These units comprise 30% of the City’s total rental inventory and 10% of the County’s total rental inventory, respectively. 44 Housing Element Figure 32. Privately assisted Housing Inventory in Williamson County Affordable Total Units Units** Program City of Georgetown Georgetown Place Apartments 176 106 Low Income Housing Tax Credit Georgetown Square Apartments 55 55 Section 8; Section 236 Hill Country Apartments, Georgetown 60 10 Farmers Home Administration Northwest Apartments, Georgetown 24 24 Low Income Housing Tax Credit; Farmers Home Administration The Oaks at Georgetown 192 192 Low Income Housing Tax Credit Parkview Place 176 176 HOME San Gabriel Senior Village 100 100 Low Income Housing Tax Credit; Farmers Home Administration Mariposa 201 201 Low Income Housing Tax Credit Cypress Creek 180 180 Low Income Housing Tax Credit Totals 1,164 1,044 Williamson County * Apple Creek, Round Rock 176 62 Resolution Trust Corporation Burnett Place Apartments, Taylor 72 54 Low Income Housing Tax Credit Poetzsch Street, Bartlett 6 6 Farmers Home Administration Cedar Park Townhomes, Cedar Park 220 132 Low Income Housing Tax Credit Cedar Ridge Apartments, Leander 80 80 HOME Chisolm Trail, Round Rock 50 50 Section 8; Section 221 (d)(3) Crystal Falls Village, Leander 36 36 Low Income Housing Tax Credit; Farmers Home Administration Cypress Creek at Lakeline Apts, Cedar Park 236 236 Low Income Housing Tax Credit Florence Hearthstone, Florence 10 7 Farmers Home Administration Grace Place Apartments, Taylor 40 40 Farmers Home Administration Harmon Oaks, Leander 24 24 Texas Low Income Housing Trust Fund Henna Townhomes, Round Rock 161 160 Low Income Housing Tax Credit Main Street Square Apts, Round Rock 100 35 Resolution Trust Corporation Mallard Run Apartments, Round Rock 40 14 Resolution Trust Corporation Meadow Ridge Apts, Round Rock 232 95 Low Income Housing Tax Credit Pecos Street Apartments, Granger 14 14 Farmers Home Administration The Ranch at Cedar Park 180 180 Low Income Housing Tax Credit Red Hills Villas, Round Rock 168 168 Low Income Housing Tax Credit Rock Terrace Apartments, Jarrell 12 3 Farmers Home Administration Round Rock Oak Grove Apts. 24 24 Low Income Housing Tax Credit; Farmers Home Administration Stepping Stone Apartments, Taylor 44 44 Low Income Housing Tax Credit; Farmers Home Administration Tamaric Apartments, Cedar Park 24 24 Low Income Housing Tax Credit; Farmers Home Administration Taylor Square Apartments 52 52 Farmers Home Administration Trinity Place, Round Rock 68 68 Section 8; Section 202 Village Oak Apartments, Round Rock 23 23 Low Income Housing Tax Credit Volente Villas, Cedar Park 90 90 Low Income Housing Tax Credit Whitestone Apartments, Cedar Park 40 40 Low Income Housing Tax Credit; Farmers Home Administration Sunrise Road, Round Rock 32 32 HOME Totals 2,254 1,793 *Includes all assisted housing units located in Williamson County outside the City of Georgetown; this area approximates the 11-mile radius. **Rent paid by tenant is equal to or less than 30% of income. Source: Guide to Affordable Housing in the Greater Austin Area (2007); U.S. Department of Housing & Urban Development Low Income Housing Tax Credit Database (2008) Physical Condition of Housing Census data provides certain indicators relative to the condition of the local housing stock. Three factors can be evaluated: age of the structure, degree of overcrowding and lack of complete plumbing facilities. The age of a residential structure demonstrates the time the unit has been in the inventory and the duration of time over which substantial maintenance is necessary. The age threshold commonly used to signal a potential deficiency is represented by the year built with units that are 50 years old or over (i.e. built prior to 1960) used as the threshold. However, the age of the structure alone cannot be used exclusively to determine the condition of housing. Many older units are well- maintained. Older units, however, have a greater need for maintenance, including replacement of 45 City of Georgetown 2030 Comprehensive Plan expensive building systems. Newer housing units that have bigger rooms and modern amenities generally have higher sales values reflecting a preference for newer units. Geographic locations with a variety of new housing types are more attractive to new households, but generally less affordable to lower income households. Another variable used to identify housing condition is overcrowding, which is directly related to the wear and tear sustained by the residential structure. Occupancy at levels greater than one person per room (1.01) is used by the Census Bureau as the threshold for defining living conditions as substandard. Finally, a lack of complete plumbing facilities is identified as a variable with the sharing of facilities between households used as an index of deficient housing conditions. The housing inventory of Georgetown is relatively new. Only 10.5% of the housing stock in the City of Georgetown was built prior to 1960. In the Georgetown HMA and the Sun City census area, recent new housing developments are reflected in lower rates of units built before 1960. Figure 33. Housing Units Built Prior to 1960 City of Georgetown Sun City Williamson Georgetown HMA census area County Total Occupied Units 10,430 16,113 3,898 86,766 Owner Occupied Units 7,241 12,474 3,721 64,391 Built Prior to 1960 682 791 52 4,280 Renter Occupied Units 3,189 3,639 177 22,375 Built Prior to 1960 410 495 51 2,159 Total Occupied Units Built Prior to 1960 1,092 1,286 103 6,439 % of Total Occupied Units 10.5% 8.0% 2.6% 7.4% Source: U.S. Census Bureau More rental units than owner units are overcrowded. Across the Georgetown HMA, 636 units were identified as overcrowded, accounting for 3.9% of the occupied housing stock. Renter- occupied units were almost twice as likely as owner-occupied units to be overcrowded. The City of Georgetown had the highest rate of overcrowded units at 5%; overcrowded rental units outnumbered overcrowded owner units by almost three to one. Lower rates of overcrowding occurred in the same areas with newer housing units. In the Sun City census area, where only 2.6% of the units were built prior to 1960, only 1.3% of the units were overcrowded. 46 Housing Element Figure 34. Overcrowded Housing Units, 2000 City of Georgetown Sun City Williamson Georgetown HMA census area County Total Occupied Units 10,430 16,113 3,898 86,766 Owner Occupied Units 7,241 12,474 3,721 64,391 Overcrowded Units 134 219 29 1,651 Renter Occupied Units 3,189 3,639 177 22,375 Overcrowded Units 383 417 20 2,053 Total Overcrowded Units 517 636 49 3,704 % of Total Occupied Units 5.0% 3.9% 1.3% 4.3% Note: Overcrowded units are occupied housing units with 1.01 or more persons per room. Source: U.S. Census Bureau Only a handful of housing units lacked complete plumbing facilities. Only 0.1% of the occupied housing stock within the Georgetown HMA was identified as lacking complete plumbing facilities. Most notably, only owner-occupied units were identified as deficient within the entire HMA. Across Williamson County, only 0.3% of all occupied units were deficient, and within this category, owner-occupied units outnumbered renter-occupied units by more than two to one. Figure 35. Occupied Units Lacking Complete Plumbing Facilities, 2000 City of Georgetown Sun City Williamson Georgetown HMA census area County Total Occupied Units 10,430 16,113 3,898 86,766 Owner Occupied Units 7,241 12,474 3,721 64,391 Lacking Complete Plumbing Facilities 5 18 7 175 Renter Occupied Units 3,189 3,639 177 22,375 Lacking Complete Plumbing Facilities 0 0 0 83 Total Units Lacking Complete Plumbing Facilities 5 18 7 258 % of Total Occupied Units 0.0% 0.1% 0.2% 0.3% Note: Complete plumbing facilities include (a) hot and cold piped water; (b) a flush toilet; and (c) a bathtub or shower. All three facilities must be located in the housing unit. Source: U.S. Census Bureau The following chart summarizes the housing conditions in 2000 (i.e. units built prior to 1960, overcrowded units, and units lacking complete plumbing facilities) for owner- and renter-occupied housing units within the Georgetown HMA. 47 City of Georgetown 2030 Comprehensive Plan Figure 36. Summary of Housing Conditions, 2000 City of Georgetown Sun City Williamson Georgetown HMA census area County Total Occupied Units 10,430 16,113 3,898 86,766 Units Built Prior to 1960 Owner Occupied Units 682 791 52 4,280 Renter Occupied Units 410 495 51 2,159 Overcrowded Units Owner Occupied Units 134 219 29 1,651 Renter Occupied Units 383 417 20 2,053 Units Lacking Complete Plumbing Facilities Owner Occupied Units 5 18 7 175 Renter Occupied Units 0 0 0 83 Total 1,614 1,940 159 10,401 % of Total Occupied Units 15.5% 12.0% 4.1% 12.0% Source: U.S. Census Bureau Locally, the City of Georgetown enforces a property maintenance code and a dangerous structure ordinance. As a matter of enforcement, the City issues a written notice of violation to a property owner which describes the deficiency and establishes a date when the deficiency must be corrected. If the deficiency is not corrected by the deadline, the City issues a citation and the complaint is heard in municipal court. The City’s emphasis is on customer service and keeping neighborhoods safe, therefore, citations are rarely issued. It is more often a matter of owners not being able to afford to make the code corrections than a matter of resisting compliance. The process is complaint-driven but code officers will look for additional code violations in the immediate neighborhood when following through on a complaint. Frequently, locating an absentee landlord to serve notice of a violation can be an obstacle to timely resolution of complaints. The City now provides bilingual notices in English and Spanish. Code violations are typically concentrated in several neighborhoods: San Jose, from 15th Street south to 20th Street in the south end, the area of Hart Street/Forest Street/Timber Street (exclusive of public housing), Creekside/Katy Lane, Hedgewood/Algerita Drive and Scenic Drive. Code enforcement staff has observed steady decline in these neighborhoods as more absentee landlords acquire investment properties but are not interested in quality long-term investment in the neighborhoods. 48 Housing Element 5. Economic Profile Economic trends are important to the understanding of the housing market because of the relationship between jobs, income and housing. An area that is adding jobs attracts new households. Conversely, an area that is declining as an employment center might lose population and households over time. Trends in employment and wages impact housing demand and supply. The following discussion of the Georgetown area’s current economic trends and projections for future employment and income growth provides the basis for later discussion of housing affordability. Labor Force and Unemployment The regional economy of Williamson County is stronger than the state and national economies. For the past decade, the County’s annual unemployment rate has been lower than the national rate and significantly lower than the state rate. However, nearly three-fourths of the jobs in Williamson County are in the service sector industries that pay the lowest wages. Moreover, projections indicate future job growth will occur in the sectors that have experienced minimal increases or actual decline in wages over the last five years. Growth in lower-skill, lower-wage jobs will continue to exert demand for lower cost housing to support the area’s predominantly service industry workforce. Williamson County’s labor force has expanded to accommodate a growing economy, but the number of unemployed persons has also increased. Between 1998 and 2007, Williamson County’s civilian labor force increased 42% from 136,000 to 194,200. The number of employed persons increased 40% from 134,000 to 187,000. However, the number of unemployed persons more than doubled, increasing 177% from 2,600 to 7,200. Beginning in 2000, the number of unemployed persons began increasing annually until peaking at 9,600 in 2003. Since that time, unemployment has fallen to 7,200. Similarly, the unemployment rate peaked at 5.7% in 2003 and has since fallen to 3.7% in 2007. Figure 37. Williamson County Civilian Labor Force, 1998-2007 Civilian Labor Force Total Employed Total Unemployed Unemployment Rate 1998 136,600 134,000 2,600 1.9% 1999 148,500 146,000 2,500 1.6% 2000 144,800 140,800 4,000 2.8% 2001 153,600 147,300 6,300 4.1% 2002 160,500 151,400 9,100 5.6% 2003 165,600 156,000 9,600 5.7% 2004 172,000 164,000 8,000 4.7% 2005 180,700 172,500 8,200 4.6% 2006 189,400 181,400 8,000 4.2% 2007 194,200 187,000 7,200 3.7% Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics 49 City of Georgetown 2030 Comprehensive Plan While Williamson County’s unemployment rate has paralleled trends in the U.S. and Texas since 2001, the County’s rates have consistently been lower than national and state rates. The margin below the national rate has been as high as 2.6% in 1999. After peaking at 5.7% in 2003, the County’s unemployment rate has slowly been receding once again, falling to 3.7% in 2007. This recent downward trend also paralleled national and state trends. Figure 38. Unemployment Trends, 1999 to 2007 8.0% 7.0% Percent Unemployment 6.0% 5.0% Williamson County 4.0% Texas 3.0% U.S. 2.0% 1.0% 0.0% 1999 2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics Regionally, Williamson County had one of the lowest unemployment rates in 2007. With the exception of Bell and Caldwell counties, the counties adjacent to Williamson County as well as those included in the Austin-Round Rock MSA had lower unemployment rates than the state rate of 4.3% and the national rate of 4.6% in 2007. 50 Housing Element Figure 39. Comparison of County Unemployment Rates, 2007 5.0% 4.5% 4.2% 4.3% 4.1% Percent Unemployment 4.0% 3.6% 3.7% 3.7% 3.5% 3.5% 3.0% 2.0% 1.0% 0.0% is ys t n p m l e ll e el av so ro Be Le rn Ha ila dw st m Tr Bu M Ba al ia ill C W Surrounding Counties Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics Employment by Industry Georgetown’s largest major employers include county and local governments, education services (Georgetown Independent School District and Southwestern University), health care (St. David’s Hospital and Wesleyan Homes), manufacturing (Airborn, Inc.) and construction (Del Webb’s Sun City). Total employment in Williamson County increased 42.5% between 2003 and 2007. Over 42,000 jobs were added during that period, bringing total employment up to 141,219. Almost three-quarters of all employment involves service-providing jobs. In Williamson County, 73% of all employment is found in the service-providing sectors of private business. Within the private sector, which provides 87% of all jobs, service-providing industries account for 84% of employment compared to goods-producing industries which account for 16%. Retail Trade employs the highest number of persons (17,251) and accounts for 14% of all private sector jobs. The Arts/Entertainment/Recreation sector employs 12,437 persons and accounts for 10.2% of all private sector jobs, while Wholesale Trade employs 12,142 persons and accounts for another 10% of private sector jobs. Local, state and federal government employ nearly 19,000 persons in the County. 51 City of Georgetown 2030 Comprehensive Plan Figure 40. Total Employment by Industry for Williamson County, 2003-2007 Change from 2003-2007 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 Number Percent Total Employment: All Industries 99,102 103,179 120,192 127,216 141,219 42,117 42.5% PRIVATE BUSINESS 84,578 88,020 104,243 110,506 122,338 37,760 44.6% Goods-Producing Industries 14,678 14,560 16,966 18,040 18,985 4,307 29.3% Agriculture, Forestry, Fishing, Hunting 542 608 725 806 893 351 64.8% Mining, Quarrying, Oil/Gas Extraction 509 461 621 708 794 285 56.0% Construction 7,177 7,063 8,399 9,400 10,176 2,999 41.8% Manufacturing 6,450 6,428 7,221 7,126 7,122 672 10.4% Service-Providing Industries 69,900 73,460 87,277 92,466 103,353 33,453 47.9% Wholesale Trade 11,267 11,146 11,509 10,871 12,142 875 7.8% Retail Trade 10,213 10,776 14,822 15,895 17,251 7,038 68.9% Transportation, Warehousing 474 511 581 801 841 367 77.4% Utilities 271 275 272 268 279 8 3.0% Information 747 689 794 852 1,070 323 43.2% Finance, Insurance 3,546 3,681 6,064 6,310 6,885 3,339 94.2% Real Estate, Rental, Leasing 870 987 1,275 1,175 1,514 644 74.0% Professional, Scientific & Technical Services 7,115 7,825 8,849 10,367 11,901 4,786 67.3% Management of Companies, Enterprises 1,292 645 128 145 624 -668 -51.7% Admin., Support, Waste Mgmt, Remediation 3,602 4,414 4,650 5,126 5,595 1,993 55.3% Education Services 7,455 7,332 8,591 8,835 9,269 1,814 24.3% Health Care, Social Assistance 6,713 6,502 7,622 7,815 8,246 1,533 22.8% Arts, Entertainment, Recreation 7,081 8,093 9,514 10,455 12,437 5,356 75.6% Accommodation & Food Services 6,484 7,351 8,739 9,598 11,149 4,665 71.9% Other Services (except Public Admin.) 2,770 3,233 3,867 3,953 4,150 1,380 49.8% GOVERNMENT 14,524 15,159 15,949 16,710 18,881 4,357 30.0% State 636 487 470 431 498 -138 -21.7% Local 13,888 14,239 15,035 15,792 16,775 2,887 20.8% Federal* na 433 444 487 1,608 1,175 271.4% Note: Total employment is the average annual employment for the first quarter in each year. *The percent change is calculated between 2004 and 2007. Source: Texas Workforce Commission The highest job growth has occurred in the lowest-skill sectors of Retail Trade, Arts/Entertainment/Recreation, and Accommodation & Food Services. Together, these three service industries added over 17,000 jobs between 2003 and 2007. This represented 40% of all new jobs added in the past five years. Other high-growth industries included Professional/Scientific/Technical Services (4,786) and Finance/Insurance Services (3,339). Within the goods-producing industries, the Construction sector added nearly 3,000 jobs. This level of growth in lower-skill, lower-wage jobs contributes to the demand for lower cost housing to support the area’s workforce. Job losses numbered only 806 and occurred in the Management of Companies & Enterprises sector (668) and state government (138). However, these losses were more than offset by the impressive gains in all other industries. Service-providing industries are the largest employers in the Georgetown area. The Georgetown Independent School District and Williamson County government are the two largest employers in the Georgetown area, providing jobs for a total of 3,125 persons. 52 Housing Element Figure 41. Major Employers in the Georgetown Area – 2007 Employer Product or Service # of Employees Georgetown Independent School District Educational Services 1,575 Williamson County Government County Government 1,550 St. David's Georgetown Hospital Health Care 600 Southwestern University Educational Services 450 City of Georgetown Local Government 370 Airborn, Inc. Manufacturing 300 Sun City (Del Webb) Construction 260 Wesleyan Homes Health Care 233 Source: City of Georgetown The Georgetown Chamber of Commerce conducted a survey among major employers to the area to determine if housing, and specifically the cost and availability of housing, impacted their decision to locate to the Georgetown area. The results of this survey are included in Part 6. Employment Projections The Education Service sector is projected to expand by the largest number of jobs by 2014. Employment projections by industry are produced for the entire nine-county Rural Capital Workforce Investment Area. Other significant employment gains in the nine-county region are projected for Retail Trade, Accommodation & Food Service, Health Care/Social Assistance, Construction and Wholesale Trade. All of these sectors are among the sectors with minimal increases or actual declines in real wages over the past five years. 53 City of Georgetown 2030 Comprehensive Plan Figure 42. Employment Projections by Industry for the Rural Capital Workforce Investment Area, 2004-2014 2004 2014 Change from 2004-2014 Estimated Projected Employment Employment Number Percent Total: All Industries 212,200 273,350 61,150 29% PRIVATE BUSINESS Goods-Producing Industries Agriculture, Forestry, Fishing, Hunting 1,150 1,200 50 4% Mining, Quarrying, Oil/Gas Extraction 1,750 2,500 750 43% Construction 14,050 19,400 5,350 38% Manufacturing 14,350 15,800 1,450 10% Service-Providing Industries Wholesale Trade 13,850 17,650 3,800 27% Retail Trade 26,450 34,700 8,250 31% Transportation, Warehousing 3,150 4,050 900 29% Utilities 1,350 1,750 400 30% Information 2,050 2,400 350 17% Finance, Insurance 7,950 9,700 1,750 22% Real Estate, Rental, Leasing 2,100 2,500 400 19% Professional, Scientific & Technical Services 5,500 8,650 3,150 57% Management of Companies, Enterprises 400 450 50 13% Admin., Support, Waste Mgmt, Remediation 6,850 9,600 2,750 40% Education Services 26,950 38,200 11,250 42% Health Care, Social Assistance 17,650 23,550 5,900 33% Arts, Entertainment, Recreation 1,900 2,600 700 37% Accommodation & Food Services 17,000 23,050 6,050 36% Other Services (except Public Admin.) 7,600 10,000 2,400 32% GOVERNMENT State 500 500 0 0% Local 1,850 2,100 250 14% Federal* 8,800 10,500 1,700 19% *The Rural Capital Workforce Investment Area (WIA) includes Bastrop, Blanco, Burnet, Caldwell, Fayette, Hays, Lee, Llano, and Williamson Counties. Source: Texas Workforce Commission 54 Housing Element Figure 43. Employment Projections by Industry, 2004-2014 Rural Capital Workforce Investment Area 45,000 40,000 35,000 30,000 25,000 2004 20,000 2014 15,000 10,000 5,000 0 Ac ts, a re c a po se s ub erv n ist s Ut g t le ing ho ufa tion om & T l, L ce M ., Sc ta te c e ma s m ta i c ia Se r a l M nstr a l in t a l t Ad nie Se ng ., nte es Ad e s nt Re Insu on e .) vt ec ce ., ta il de e h de ca ov ov S tio n rv da me Ass ic e fo ilitie St min de G o f C ific nta ra n si th om ter So on e t i Ar h C Edu up rpri t r m s, E rvic ti lic ic n t, R a n pa ec e a s Lo G lG Re Tra a r Tra C ge le ctu ep ood re a M ee a n uc ou v rt l ra r at r tu in sa h ul o a l Fin In , W Fe ric l ti S tio n F tP Ag Es a n & sp in W , an n , xc Tr (e g m ie es c En o to Re t ic al of He Pr Se er O *The Rural Capital Workforce Investment Area (WIA) includes Bastrop, Blanco, Burnet, Caldwell, Fayette, Hays, Lee, Llano, and Williamson Counties. Source: Texas Workforce Commission Commuter Trends Most workers travel outside of Williamson County to reach their place of employment. A total of 32,935 residents of outlying counties made the daily commute in 2000 to Williamson County to their place of employment. Meanwhile, 71,087 residents of Williamson County commuted out to other counties to reach their jobs. This cross-commutation resulted in a net worker outflow of 38,152 workers. Residents of Williamson County are very dependent upon jobs in Travis County. Of the 71,087 commuters who worked outside of the County, 66,756 (94%) traveled to Travis County. On the reverse commute, of the 32,935 persons who drove in to Williamson County for work, 24,646 (75%) came from Travis County. In other words, Travis County provides almost three times as many jobs for Williamson County residents as Williamson County provides for Travis County residents. Residents who lived and worked in Williamson County totaled 56,552. They comprised 63% of the total number of persons who worked at jobs in the County. 55 City of Georgetown 2030 Comprehensive Plan Figure 44. Commuter Trends – 2000 LOCAL RESIDENT WORKERS (People who live and work in Williamson County) Williamson County 56,552 IN-COMMUTERS OUT-COMMUTERS (People who live elsewhere and commute (People who live in Williamson County but to Williamson County for work) commute elsewhere for work) Travis County, TX 24,646 Travis County, TX 66,756 Bell County, TX 2,198 Bell County, TX 1,201 Burnet County, TX 974 Bastrop County, TX 349 Milam County, TX 919 Milam County, TX 318 Bastrop County, TX 851 Hays County, TX 317 Hays County, TX 711 Harris County, TX 237 Coryell County, TX 323 Bexar County, TX 199 Bexar County, TX 240 Dallas County, TX 166 Lee County, TX 235 Burnet County, TX 163 Caldwell County, TX 168 Tarrant County, TX 115 All Other Places 1,670 All Other Places 1,266 Total In-Commuters 32,935 Total Out-Commuters 71,087 Source: Census 2000 County-to-County Worker Flow Files Wages Wages are the sum of income received regularly by people 16 years and older before deductions for personal income taxes, social security, union dues, and Medicare deductions. The term “real wages” refers to wages that have been adjusted for inflation. Despite a rapidly expanding economy, real wages for all industries fell 8.2% over the past five years. Between 2003 and 2007, real wages declined from $47,346 to $43,472. The decrease was even greater within the private sector, which employs 87% of all persons. Real wages fell more than 10% among private industry sectors. The highest declines were in the Agriculture/Forestry and Wholesale Trade sectors. Other sectors with falling wages included Retail Trade, Administration/Support and state government. Real wage increases were highest in the high-growth sectors of Mining/Quarrying, Transportation/Warehousing, and Other Services. 56 Housing Element Figure 45. Trends in Real Wages by Industry for Williamson County, 2003-2007 % Change 2003 2007 2003-2007 Total: All Industries $47,346 $43,472 -8.2% PRIVATE BUSINESS $50,217 $44,980 -10.4% Goods-Producing Industries Agriculture, Forestry, Fishing, Hunting $34,689 $19,188 -44.7% Mining, Quarrying, Oil/Gas Extraction $37,560 $52,780 40.5% Construction $38,908 $41,236 6.0% Manufacturing $46,877 $52,052 11.0% Service-Providing Industries Wholesale Trade $79,105 $59,072 -25.3% Retail Trade $27,365 $26,728 -2.3% Transportation, Warehousing $30,939 $48,880 58.0% Utilities $50,335 $56,628 12.5% Information $48,284 $52,468 8.7% Finance, Insurance $57,953 $59,124 2.0% Real Estate, Rental, Leasing $31,466 $40,144 27.6% Professional, Scientific & Technical Services $37,209 $43,732 17.5% Management of Companies, Enterprises $34,572 $46,332 34.0% Admin., Support, Waste Mgmt, Remediation $31,466 $30,368 -3.5% Education Services $31,701 $33,072 4.3% Health Care, Social Assistance $31,349 $33,072 5.5% Arts, Entertainment, Recreation $14,063 $14,196 0.9% Accommodation & Food Services $13,770 $13,988 1.6% Other Services (except Public Admin.) $25,724 $34,268 33.2% GOVERNMENT State $44,240 $42,276 -4.4% Local $33,869 $34,372 1.5% Federal* $25,372 $83,616 229.6% Note: Average annual wages calculated by multiplying the average weekly wage for the first quarter in each year by 52. *The percent change is calculated between 2004 and 2007. Source: Texas Workforce Commission 57 City of Georgetown 2030 Comprehensive Plan Figure 46. Trends in Real Wages, 2003-2007 Williamson County $90,000 $80,000 $70,000 $60,000 $50,000 2003 $40,000 2007 $30,000 $20,000 $10,000 $0 s Se ion e n ssis e s es Fe a l G t le ing ng n Le ce Es a n form ie s Se a l M stru a l t l Ad nie Se r g es Ad s gm cie e, R , In ion a t n .) t ec ce sp e ta a de e v ise ov in e t a ov W nuf tio n lic vice Lo Go a r ra d ul stri si n c o nt , So ion e t nm l A rvic ep ood e a t pa ec h a si t r m s, E vic i es ion t, R ta n ilit at Ed Sup rpr lG m C ge le ctu c ou t o ntif e n ura Tr T ric du Ut rt e r re r ., nte ra eh a uc a po s il in ho a tu Ag l In c de on l, St sa ta n In M Al W R ce ub a t a om T F ci tP ., & & in f C ic an Fi t er mm ta i Ac s, E re ta xc Tr t er rv da (e C Pr a l o th S Re ic al ., of t He Ar Se M th O Source: Texas Workforce Commission At least 20% of all employed persons work in industries with the lowest median level wages. At least 20% of workers in the nine-county WIA region were employed in industries with median level wages of less than $21,600 annually. This wage is approximately equivalent to 30% of the median household income of $71,967. 7 These employees included waiters, cashiers, child care workers, retail salespersons and bank tellers, among others. Moving up the income range to $21,600 and $36,000 (or between 30% and 50% of the median household income), positions such as construction laborer, school bus driver, carpenter and machinist can be found. Higher-skilled jobs pay wages equivalent to between 50% and 80% of the median household income. Positions requiring a high skill level and/or education degree such as elementary school teacher, librarian, loan officer, accountant, judge/magistrate and registered nurse earn median wages of less than $57,600 annually. Persons employed within these higher- skilled jobs and earning the median wages would be categorized as lower income persons. 8 Workers earning below area median household income are essential to the continued expansion of Georgetown’s economy. Those who work in lower paying but faster growing job sectors create demand for affordable sales and rental housing. In later sections of the Housing Element, the relationship between income and housing costs is discussed and housing affordability issues are explored in greater depth. 7 For the purposes of this calculation, the 2007 median household income for the City of Georgetown was used (Source: DemographicsNow). 8 The U.S. Department of Housing & Urban Development (HUD) considers a person or household as lower income if their total household income is less than 80% of the area median household income. 58 Housing Element The following chart illustrates that at least one-third of all employed persons work for wages that are equal to less than 80% of the Georgetown median household income of $71,967 in 2007. Figure 47. Annual Median Wages for Selected Occupations in the Rural Capital Workforce Investment Area (WIA), 2007 Total Persons Employed Entry Median Experienced Occupation Categories Wage Wage Wage Number Percent MEDIAN WAGES LESS THAN $21,600 (up to 30% of median household income) Waiter / Waitress $13,299 $14,142 $16,908 4,230 1.8% Food Prep / Server $13,324 $15,842 $19,853 21,360 9.1% Maid / Housekeeper $13,315 $16,331 $17,848 1,120 0.5% Cashier $13,526 $17,145 $19,286 6,830 2.9% Home Health Aide $15,380 $17,586 $18,982 990 0.4% Child Care Worker $15,028 $18,483 $20,857 1,120 0.5% Retail Salesperson $14,273 $18,542 $26,757 9,070 3.8% Teacher's Assistant $14,597 $20,198 $23,843 2,640 1.1% Bank Teller $17,232 $21,272 $23,571 1,150 0.5% Sub-total 48,510 20.6% MEDIAN WAGES BETWEEN $21,600 AND $36,000 (between 30% and up to 50% of median household income) Construction Laborer $18,462 $22,419 $25,706 4,580 1.9% School Bus Driver $17,427 $25,316 $27,806 1,220 0.5% Carpenter $23,621 $29,713 $33,799 1,000 0.4% Machinist $22,639 $33,300 $39,319 860 0.4% Sub-total 7,660 3.3% MEDIAN WAGES BETWEEN $36,001 AND $57,600 (between 50% and up to 80% of median household income) Firefighter $23,123 $36,426 $44,704 570 0.2% Paralegal / Legal Assistant $29,701 $37,188 $46,772 280 0.1% Food Service Manager $29,108 $40,246 $49,185 320 0.1% Elementary School Teacher $36,160 $41,399 $45,651 4,800 2.0% Postal Carrier $34,864 $43,961 $49,425 630 0.3% Librarian $37,969 $49,142 $54,266 370 0.2% Loan Officer $35,081 $50,696 $69,964 220 0.1% Accountant / Auditor $32,033 $52,326 $65,772 3,850 1.6% Judge / Magistrate $18,745 $55,226 $64,926 90 0.0% Registered Nurse $44,668 $55,702 $61,248 1,850 0.8% Sub-total 12,980 5.5% TOTAL 69,150 29.4% *The Rural Capital Workforce Investment Area (WIA) includes Bastrop, Blanco, Burnet, Caldwell, Fayette, Hays, Lee, Llano, and Williamson Counties. Source: Texas Workforce Commission 59 City of Georgetown 2030 Comprehensive Plan Income Income is broader than wages and represents the total funds available to a household. The Census defines income as the sum of the amounts reported separately for wage plus interest, dividends, or net rental or royalty income or income from estates and trusts; social security or railroad retirement income; Supplemental Security Income; public assistance or welfare payments; retirement, survivor, or disability pensions; and, all other income. The term “real income” refers to income that has been adjusted for inflation. Income trends can reveal the financial capacity of a region to support new housing construction, modernization of older housing units, and regular maintenance of existing units. Lower income households will have greater difficulty meeting the most basic of needs such as food and clothing, and generally have less disposable income to save toward a down payment to rent or purchase a home, or to make necessary repairs on an older housing unit. Median household income is often the benchmark against which housing affordability is measured. The median household income is the middle of the income range: one-half of all households in an area have an income higher than the median and the other half have an income lower than the median. The median household income in Georgetown in 2000 was $57,183. This represented a significant increase in real median household income of 44% from 1990. Increases in all other areas were at lower rates. Household income growth since 2000 has been very sluggish. The income gains achieved since 2000 are only a fraction of what they were in the previous decade. Real median household income increased 5% or less in all areas. Figure 48. Change in Real Median Household Income, 1990-2007 City of Sun City Williamson Austin-Round Georgetown census area 11-mile radius County Rock MSA Texas 1990-2000 1990 Real Median Household Income* $39,714 $53,697 $45,269 $44,590 $36,930 $35,623 2000 Median Household Income $57,183 $68,188 $62,778 $60,775 $49,025 $39,933 % Change 1990-2000 44% 27% 39% 36% 33% 12% 2000-2007 2000 Real Median Household Income** $68,853 $82,104 $75,590 $73,178 $59,030 $48,082 2007 Median Household Income $71,967 $83,759 $79,184 $75,924 $61,456 $49,476 % Change 2000-2007 5% 2% 5% 4% 4% 3% *Adjusted to 2000 dollars **Adjusted to 2007 dollars Sources: U.S. Census Bureau for 1990-2000 data; DemographicsNow for the Sun City census area, the 11-mile radius and all 2007 data; U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics for inflation calculations The following two charts illustrate the change in real median household income between 1990- 2000 and 2000-2007. 60 Housing Element Figure 49. Change in Real Median Household Income, 1990-2000 (in 2000 dollars) $80,000 $70,000 $60,000 $50,000 1990 $40,000 2000 $30,000 $20,000 $10,000 $0 City of un S City census 11-mile radius Williamson Austin-Round Texas Georgetown area County Rock MS A Sources: U.S. Census Bureau for 1990-2000 data; DemographicsNow for 11-mile radius and 2007 data; U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics for inflation calculations Figure 50. Change in Real Median Household Income, 2000-2007 (in 2007 dollars) $90,000 $80,000 $70,000 $60,000 $50,000 2000 $40,000 2007 $30,000 $20,000 $10,000 $0 City of un S City census 11-mile radius Williamson Austin-Round Texas Georgetown area County Rock MS A Sources: U.S. Census Bureau for 1990-2000 data; DemographicsNow for 11-mile radius and 2007 data; U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics for inflation calculations The distribution of households by income was fairly equal in the City of Georgetown. The distribution was about one-third of all households with incomes below $50,000, between $50,000 and $99,999, and $100,000 and higher. Elsewhere, there were slightly larger segments with incomes between $50,000 and $99,999 and $100,000 and higher.Figure 51. Distribution of Households by Income in 2007 61 City of Georgetown 2030 Comprehensive Plan City of Sun City Georgetown Williamson Georgetown census area HMA 11-mile radius County Less than $50,000 31% 22% 29% 26% 28% $50,000 to $99,999 37% 40% 37% 40% 41% $100,000 and higher 31% 38% 34% 35% 32% Source: DemographicsNow Household projections indicate a net increase of 3,835 new households in the Georgetown HMA by 2012. The vast majority (87%) of these gains are expected to occur among households with incomes of $100,000 and higher. In the City of Georgetown, households below $50,000 are projected to decrease slightly and gains are expected in the higher income categories. The most significant increases in households are projected to occur in the larger areas of the 11-mile radius and Williamson County. Projected high employment growth in the lower-skill, lower-wage sectors of Retail Trade and Accommodation & Food Services is reflected in the projected number of households with incomes below $50,000. Although the number of households with incomes below $50,000 is expected to decrease slightly by 2012, approximately one-fourth of all households in the City and the HMA will remain below $50,000. The increasing number of retail and related service jobs expected to be created over the next several years, and the lower wages associated with these jobs, will keep the income level of many households below $50,000. This seemingly contradictory situation – growth in lower-wage jobs coupled with an increase in higher income households – is indicative of increasing affluence in the community. The higher income households drive the demand for more retail and personal service establishments, most of which create the bulk of lower-wage jobs. 62 Housing Element Figure 52. Projected Number of Households by Income, 2007-2012 City of Georgetown Sun City census area Georgetown HMA 11-mile radius Williamson County 2007 2012 2007 2012 2007 2012 2007 2012 2007 2012 Less than $15,000 984 995 183 193 1,286 1,316 2,519 2,549 5,162 5,138 $15,000 to $24,999 862 873 252 272 1,228 1,248 2,854 2,843 6,035 5,994 $25,000 to $34,999 997 927 345 373 1,456 1,409 3,488 3,268 7,410 6,713 $35,000 to $49,999 1,464 1,486 614 620 2,301 2,284 6,768 6,464 13,994 13,521 Projected Number of Households below 4,307 4,281 1,394 1,458 6,271 6,257 15,629 15,124 32,601 31,366 $50,000 $50,000 to $74,999 2,881 3,029 1,407 1,544 4,397 4,665 12,799 13,442 25,716 26,674 $75,000 to $99,999 2,249 2,451 1,210 1,399 3,703 3,961 11,580 12,493 22,408 24,146 Projected Number of Households between 5,130 5,480 2,617 2,943 8,100 8,626 24,379 25,935 48,124 50,820 $50,000 and $100,000 $100,000 to $149,999 2,531 3,445 1,267 1,897 4,518 6,000 12,808 17,619 23,754 32,626 $150,000 & higher 1,780 2,791 1,203 1,844 2,971 4,812 8,329 13,327 14,039 22,471 Projected Number of Households above 4,311 6,236 2,470 3,741 7,489 10,812 21,137 30,946 37,793 55,097 $100,000 Total Households 13,748 15,997 6,481 8,142 21,860 25,695 61,145 72,005 118,518 137,283 Source: DemographicsNow Additional income data and analysis, as they relate to housing affordability, are provided in Part 8, Housing Affordability Analysis. Educational Attainment An educated workforce supports economic development. Decisions by employers regarding where to locate are based in part on the availability of a qualified workforce. The availability of a qualified workforce will support the location of jobs that require higher skills that are likely to pay higher wages. A higher-skilled, higher-wage workforce will have more housing options. National statistics reveal that there is lower unemployment and higher earning capacity among higher-educated individuals. For example, the median weekly earnings for a person with a Master’s degree were $1,165 in 2007; the unemployment rate among all persons with this level of education was only 1.8%. On the bottom end of the scale, unemployment among persons without a high school diploma was exceptionally high at 7.1% and median weekly earnings were only slightly above $400. 63 City of Georgetown 2030 Comprehensive Plan Figure 53. Education Pays in the U.S. Unemployment Rate in 2007: Median Weekly Earnings in 2007 Dollars: 1.4% Doctoral degree $1,497 1.3% Professional degree $1,427 1.8% Master's degree $1,165 2.2% Bachelor's degree $987 3.0% Associate degree $740 3.8% Some college, no degree $683 4.4% High-school graduate $604 7.1% Less than a high school diploma $428 Note: Data are 2007 annual averages for persons age 25 and over in the U.S. Earnings are for full-time wage and salary workers. Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Current Population Survey The following three graphs illustrate the educational attainment levels of the population for 1990 through 2007. Figure 54. Educational Attainment, 1990 35% 30% 25% City of Georgetown 20% Sun City census a rea Georgetown HMA 15% 11-mile ra dius 10% Willia mson County 5% 0% Less than a High school Some Associate Bachelor's Graduate high school graduate college, no degree degree degree & diploma degree higher Source: DemographicsNow 64 Housing Element Figure 55. Educational Attainment, 2000 35% 30% 25% City of Georgetown un S City census area 20% Georgetown HMA 15% 11-mile radius 10% Williamson County 5% 0% Less than a High school Some Associate Bachelor's Graduate high school graduate college, no degree degree degree & diploma degree higher Source: DemographicsNow Figure 56. Educational Attainment, 2007 35% 30% 25% City of Georgetown un S City census area 20% Georgetown HMA 15% 11-mile radius 10% Williamson County 5% 0% Less than a High school Some college, Associate Bachelor's Graduate high school graduate no degree degree degree degree & diploma higher Source: DemographicsNow Persons who are moving to the Georgetown area tend to be higher-educated. In 1990, nearly one in four Georgetown residents (25 years and older) did not have a high school diploma and almost one in three had a college degree. By 2007, only one in ten did not have a high school diploma and one in two had a college degree. Within the Georgetown HMA, the trends are similar. Notwithstanding the quality of local schools, this significant gain in the level of educational attainment in only 17 years is indicative of an influx of well-educated persons who are relocating to the Georgetown area. 65 City of Georgetown 2030 Comprehensive Plan Poverty The rate of poverty in Williamson County is less than half the poverty rate for Texas. Between 1997 and 2004, the poverty rate in Williamson County paralleled the state and national trends but at a significantly lower rate. In 1997, the poverty rate in the County was 6.7% compared to 16.7% for the state and 13.3% for the U.S. This trend continued through 2004. In 2005, however, a decrease in the County poverty rate to 6.0% was a noticeable dip when the state and national rates were beginning to increase after a two-year period of stability. Figure 57. Trends in Poverty Rates, 1997-2005 20.0% 18.0% 16.0% 14.0% 12.0% Williamson County 10.0% Texas 8.0% U.S. 6.0% 4.0% 2.0% 0.0% 1997 1998 1999 2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 Source: U.S. Census Bureau, Small Area Income & Poverty Estimates 66 Housing Element 6. Non-Housing Factors that Influence the Housing Market There are several non-housing factors that influence the local housing market. Some of these include local planning policy, land use and development regulations, and real estate taxes to name a few. Each of these issues is discussed below as it relates to the Georgetown Housing Market Area. In addition, the results of three surveys were incorporated into the Housing Element because of their potential impact on local housing policy. The first survey was the Citizen Quality of Life Survey which was completed in February 2008. This bi-annual initiative assists Georgetown City Council in identifying community needs and assessing how well the City manages community resources. The second survey was conducted in June 2008 specifically for the Housing Element to determine where City employees resided and their housing preferences. The third survey was a joint effort between the City and the Georgetown Chamber of Commerce to explore the relationship between the cost of housing and the labor needs of local employers. Summaries of all three surveys are included in this section. Citizen Quality of Life Survey In February 2008, the City of Georgetown released the results of its Citizen Quality of Life Survey. The survey is undertaken every two years in an effort to assess how the City manages community resources and to identify community needs. The results assist City Council in allocating public resources. Of the 400 respondents, more than half were older than 55 years of age, 70% had no children living with them, 33% had lived in Georgetown less than 5 years, and 44% stated they were unemployed or retired. Highlights from the survey included: • Growth management, traffic and education continue to be the top issues as they were in 2006 • When asked what would make Georgetown a better place to live, respondents replied (in descending order of importance): o improve traffic o manage growth o provide public transportation o improve employment opportunities o affordable housing o improve entertainment opportunities o expand retail selection • When asked to prioritize a list of transit options, responses included: o Commuter rail service (34.5%) o HOV lanes to Austin (26.3%) 67 City of Georgetown 2030 Comprehensive Plan o Fixed route bus system within Georgetown (16.3%) o Bus service to Austin (16.3%) • To finance transportation improvements, a majority of respondents stated they would support increased taxes or fees of $25 annually for public transportation (58.5%) and the expansion of sidewalks and bike paths (55.1%) • When asked about their willingness to pay $5 each month to fund specific initiatives, a majority of respondents indicated they would support such an initiative for new and improved roads (86.3%), new city parks and recreational opportunities (70.8%), more green and open spaces (65.1), added public safety personnel and equipment (79.8%), and affordable housing (65%) • About 8% of survey respondents indicated that affordable housing would make Georgetown a more desirable place to live. Resident concern about affordable housing has been on the rise since 2002. Growth management and its associated issues such as increased traffic and rising housing prices were identified as the primary concern of survey respondents. For respondents to indicate a willingness to increase taxes or fees to finance solutions to these challenges demonstrates a high level of public interest in those elements that contribute to the overall quality of life in Georgetown. This public interest, in and of itself, is a desirable community asset—to make sure that one’s neighbors are adequately housed and have adequate transportation resources. City of Georgetown Employee Survey The second survey was conducted in June 2008 for the purpose of determining how many City employees reside in Georgetown and, for those who live outside of the City, what were their reasons for living where they did. Responses were received from 212 current employees, representing 46% of the full-time and part-time City workforce. Of the 212 respondents: • 79% have lived at their current residence for 10 years or less • 77% own their home • 58% spend less than 15 minutes commuting to their City job each day; 33% spend 15-30 minutes commuting, and 9% drive longer than 30 minutes. Respondents were asked to indicate the most important factor for choosing to live at their present location. Listed factors included lifestyle, location, schools, safety, convenience, appearance, friendliness, cost of housing and increased value of housing. Of the 212 respondents: • 29% stated that the cost of housing was the most important factor • 11% reported lifestyle and 9% reported location as the determining factors • 8% of respondents said schools were their primary concern while 7% said the convenience of where they lived drove their decision. 68 Housing Element One of the survey questions asked “If cost were not a factor, would you want to live in the Georgetown area?” Of the 166 employees who responded to this question, 58% responded “yes” and added the following comments: • Housing/land is too expensive • Housing is not affordable for households earning less than $50,000; very few options for single parents, young couples, and young families; no affordable townhomes • Rent in Georgetown is more than my mortgage payment outside of the City • Value disparity is growing with lower cost homes found in lower quality neighborhoods with decreasing values • There are quality schools, parks, shopping, City employees • I was able to buy in the City only because we purchased a foreclosed home • There is not enough housing choice east of I-35 selling for more than $200,000 • The City should consider more affordable single family homes; recommended a downpayment assistance program for City employees who move into Georgetown • Maintain the architectural style of Old Towne • I would love to be able to afford to live in the same City where I work. Of the 20% who responded “no” to this question, the following reasons were given: • Houses are too expensive in Georgetown; there is no housing available for middle income households or young professional households • There is a need for nice affordable housing in existing neighborhoods • Prefer a country setting with fewer land restrictions than in Georgetown • Prefer a greater diversity in each development/subdivision • The City is growing too fast • Taxes are too high and prices too inflated in Georgetown • There are too many multi-family units in the City • Yards are too small and houses are too close to one another • Working spouses need to live about midway between employment. Major Employers Survey In May 2008, the City of Georgetown and the Georgetown Chamber of Commerce conducted a survey among major employers in an effort to explore the relationship between the cost of housing and the labor needs of local employers. Five responses were received and represented a total of 2,439 employees. Of these 2,439 employees, 984 had annual incomes of less than $31,000. Two of the responding employers (representing 1,624 employees) reported problems among 69 City of Georgetown 2030 Comprehensive Plan employees securing decent and affordable housing in Georgetown and offered the following comments: • Rental houses (as opposed to apartments) are generally not available • There are very limited apartments available, most of which have restrictions (i.e., age or income) • Many employees with only one income drive from surrounding areas to their jobs in Georgetown • Sales housing is often unaffordable for new employees with 1 to 5 years of experience and support staff • Employees would like to live in Georgetown but housing costs too much • Employees cannot afford to rent in Georgetown • “Affordable” housing in Georgetown is in places they wouldn’t want to live in at any price • Younger employees find it difficult to find affordable starter homes; many employees must rent first, but outside of Georgetown. The results from these surveys demonstrate that decent and affordable housing (both rental and sales housing) is an important issue to many individuals who work in the Georgetown area. For low and moderate income households, the options are very limited and may often involve a lengthy commute from home to work. Real Estate Taxes Real estate taxes are levied on land and buildings and provide primary revenue streams for counties, municipalities, and school districts throughout Texas. These are local taxes based on the value of a property that help to pay for public schools, streets, police, fire protection, and other services. The Williamson Central Appraisal District (CAD) decides what property is to be taxed and its appraised value, grants exemptions, and identifies what taxing jurisdictions can tax a property. The Williamson CAD is a separate local agency and is not part of County government or the Williamson County Tax Assessor’s Office. 9 The Williamson CAD determines the January 1 market value of all taxable property, and the property is appraised at that value unless it is a primary residence subject to a cap. Once a property’s appraised and market values are equal, further increases (or decreases) in value will depend on the market in that neighborhood. The appraisal process allocates the tax burden to ensure that no one property pays more or less than its fair share. The governing bodies of the various local government jurisdictions (county, school districts, cities, municipal utility districts, college districts, hospital districts, etc.) set an annual tax rate which, when applied to the total appraised value of all taxable property within that unit, generates the amount of money needed to fund that governmental unit’s operations for the year. 9 Williamson County Tax Assessor’s Office website. 70 Housing Element There are several types of exemptions available to eligible property owners. These include the following: • School taxes: All residential home owners may qualify to receive a $15,000 homestead exemption from their home's value for school taxes. • County taxes: If a county collects a special tax for farm-to-market roads or flood control, a residential home owner may qualify to receive a $3,000 exemption for this tax. • Age 65 or older and disabled exemptions: Individuals 65 and older and/or disabled residential home owners may qualify for a $10,000 homestead exemption for school taxes, in addition to the $15,000 exemption for all homeowners. If the owner qualifies for both the $10,000 exemption for 65 and older homeowners and the $10,000 exemption for disabled homeowners, the owner must choose one or the other for school taxes. • Optional percentage exemptions: Any taxing unit, including a city, county, school, or special district, may offer an exemption of up to 20% of a home's value or a property tax freeze for homeowners who are 65 or older or disabled. Some restrictions apply. • Optional 65 or older or disabled exemptions: Any taxing unit may offer an additional exemption amount of at least $3,000 for taxpayers age 65 or older and/or disabled. The amount of property taxes that a residential home owner must pay to each taxing body is calculated by multiplying the assessed value of the property by the millage rate set by each taxing body. A millage rate of 1 mill translates to a payment of $1.00 in taxes for every $1,000 of assessed value. For example, if a home has an assessed value of $100,000 and a taxing body has established a millage rate of 5 mills, the property tax payment would be $500. To illustrate the financial impact that property taxes have on housing affordability in the Georgetown area, the annual real estate tax payment for a hypothetical house selling for $150,000 was calculated as shown below. Figure 58. Real Estate Property Taxes in the Georgetown Area, 2007 2007 Taxing District and Tax Rates Estimated Taxes on a $150,000 Municipality City ISD ESD Total Taxes Home Georgetown (Georgetown ISD) 0.356590 1.290000 na 1.646590 $2,470 Leander (Leander ISD) 0.607591 1.333400 0.098511 2.039502 $3,059 Cedar Park (Leander ISD) 0.508070 1.333400 na 1.841470 $2,762 Round Rock (Round Rock ISD) 0.365220 1.323805 0.100000 1.789025 $2,684 Weir (Georgetown ISD) 0.260187 1.290000 0.100000 1.650187 $2,475 Source: Williamson County Tax Assessor's Office Planning and Land Use Regulations In February 2008, the City of Georgetown adopted a new comprehensive plan which includes public policies for future land use and development. Stated goals and adopted policies included within the plan advocate for “sustainable and compact development,” a variety of housing choices,” “improved development standards,” and “a wider array of affordable housing choice.” One of the primary implementation tools of the 2030 Comprehensive Plan will be the City’s Unified Development Code (UDC). 71 City of Georgetown 2030 Comprehensive Plan The UDC was adopted by the City Council in March 2003 and is the primary guide to development within the City of Georgetown. The UDC incorporates procedures, standards and regulations for zoning as well as subdivision applications. Amendments to the UDC have been adopted through March 2008. All development, including residential development, in the City of Georgetown must comply with the land use and development standards adopted in the UDC. Zoning regulations in the UDC regulate where and how different land uses can be developed. To varying degrees, these types of regulations increase the cost of development. For example, lot sizes and setbacks contribute directly to the cost of a dwelling unit because the price of the lot is a major component of housing cost. There is a relative absence of developable land currently zoned for multi-family housing within the City of Georgetown. According to the Land Use Element in the 2030 Comprehensive Plan, only 1.6% of the total acreage within the City of Georgetown is zoned for two-family, multi-family, townhouse and mobile homes. This represents 421 of the 27,392 total acres. However, only 294 acres are currently used for such land uses, equivalent to 1.1% of the total City acreage. By comparison, single family residential land uses occupy 13.2% or 3,618 acres. In terms of the number of parcels, single family detached homes occupy 12,558 parcels of land compared to only 467 parcels with multi-family units. Over 39% of the City’s acreage is zoned for single family residential use. While multi-family housing is a permitted use in the City’s commercial districts, and more than half of the multi-family housing developments have been constructed in commercial or commercial planned unit development (PUD) zoning districts, this circumstance places a high financial burden on nonprofit housing developers. Land located within these commercial zoning districts typically carries a higher cost per acre, particularly if it is located at an intersection of a major thoroughfare. In addition, a nonprofit housing developer would need to partner with a commercial developer if a commercial component was required as part of the overall development. Nonprofit housing developers generally do not have the experience or the financial capacity to develop commercial space. A wide range of lot sizes and housing types are permitted. Minimum lot sizes for single family residential development range from 4,500 square feet up to 1 acre. Housing types permitted range from the traditional single family unit to townhouses and two-family units in addition to multi-family units. Accessory residential structures are permitted in any residential district as a special use. With only one exception, these units cannot be rental units. Georgetown also allows apartments above ground floor commercial uses in several commercial zones. 72 Housing Element Figure 59. Residential Development Standards, City of Georgetown, 2008 Residential Dwelling Units Permitted Total Acres Minimum Minimum Area per Maximum Uses Permitted Residential Zoning District Zoned Lot Size DU Density per Acre by Right Limited Uses Agriculture (AG) 1 acre 1 acre 1 du SFD Residential Estate (RE) 13,196 1 acre 1 acre 1 du SFD SFA Residential Single Family Limited (RL) 10,000 sf 10,000 sf 4 du SFD SFA Residential Single Family (RS) 10,756 4,500-5,500 sf 4,500-5,500 sf 8-9 du SFD SFA Two-Family (TF) 60 4,500-7,000 sf 3,500-4,500 sf 9-12 du SFD, SFA, TF Townhouse (TH) 17 7,000-12,000 sf 2,000 sf 21 du SFA, TF, TH Multi-family (MF) 266 10,000-12,000 sf 2,000 sf 21 du SFD, SFA, TF, TH, MF Residential Dwelling Units Permitted Total Acres Minimum Minimum Area per Maximum Uses Permitted Non-Residential Zoning District Zoned Lot Size DU Density per Acre by Right Limited Uses Neighborhood Commercial (CN) na 10,000 sf Upper-story residential Local Commercial (C-1) 567 none TH, MF Upper-story residential Mixed Use Downtown (MU-DT) 60 none SFD, SFA, TH, MF Upper-story residential General Commercial (C-3) 1,175 none TH, MF Upper-story residential Notes: SFD: single family detached dwelling unit MH: manufactured house SFA: single family attached dwelling unit MHP: manufactured housing park TF: two-family dwelling unit sf: square feet TH: townhouse du: dwelling unit/s MF: multi-family dwelling unit Source: City of Georgetown 2030 Comprehensive Plan; City of Georgetown Unified Development Code Recently, the City amended its UDC to incorporate “residential housing diversity” development standards. These new regulations provide incentives for the development of a greater variety of housing types and a minimum level of “attainable housing” that is affordable and made available to households at 80% of the area median income. In order to benefit from the incentives, a developer must propose designating at least 10% of the housing units as attainable housing. A seven-year period of affordability is required and recorded with the deed. In exchange for developing affordable units, the City will waive the parkland dedication, impact and utility connection fees associated with the attainable housing units. To date, no developments have utilized these standards. The City of Georgetown has taken a proactive approach to encouraging the development of affordable housing in the private market. In growth areas such as Georgetown, market rate developments offer higher profit margins to builders and developers, thereby reducing the supply of labor and number of firms interested in affordable housing. Furthermore, market rate transactions offer fewer challenges to builders and developers and higher commissions to Realtors than do affordable housing developments. The incentives offered to develop affordable housing, including the fee waivers, demonstrate the City’s commitment to addressing affordable housing demand. Public Transit The movement of people and goods throughout the Georgetown area is key to the economic vitality of the area. More than 92% of all employed persons in Texas drove to work in 2000, either alone or in a carpool. In the Georgetown HMA, the rate was comparable, but increased at the 11-mile radius and for all of Williamson County. Households without a vehicle, which in most cases are primarily low and moderate income households, are at a disadvantage in accessing jobs and services in this type of environment. Access to public transit is critical to these households. Without convenient access, employment is potentially at risk and their ability to remain housed is greatly impacted. 73 City of Georgetown 2030 Comprehensive Plan Public transportation is very limited in Georgetown, exclusively providing on-demand service. Less than 1% of all employed persons used public transportation in 2000 to travel to their jobs. Figure 60. Method of Transportation to Work, 2000 Austin- City of Georgetown 11-mile Williamson Round Rock Georgetown HMA radius County MSA Texas Carpooled 11.8% 12.5% 11.5% 11.8% 13.7% 14.5% Drove alone 78.7% 80.2% 82.4% 82.2% 76.5% 77.7% Public transit 0.1% 0.1% 0.2% 0.3% 2.5% 1.7% Walked or biked 3.9% 2.0% 1.5% 1.2% 2.7% 2.1% Worked from home 4.4% 4.8% 3.8% 3.7% 3.6% 2.8% Other means 1.1% 0.4% 0.6% 0.8% 1.0% 1.2% Total 100.0% 100.0% 100.0% 100.0% 100.0% 100.0% Source: DemographicsNow Workers in the Georgetown HMA and beyond spent more time commuting to work than their counterparts in the City, the MSA and the state. The greater the distance from the City increased the travel time to work. Within Georgetown, the median travel time was 22 minutes compared to 27 for the county. Figure 61. Travel Time to Work, 2000 Austin- City of Georgetown 11-mile Williamson Round Rock Georgetown HMA radius County MSA Texas Less than 10 minutes 16.6% 11.7% 10.7% 10.3% 10.5% 13.3% 10 to 19 minutes 27.1% 25.0% 24.0% 21.9% 28.9% 30.4% 20 to 29 minutes 12.1% 14.6% 18.4% 19.7% 21.4% 19.2% 30 to 39 minutes 16.6% 16.9% 19.7% 20.7% 18.1% 16.7% 40 to 59 minutes 15.9% 18.4% 16.7% 17.0% 11.6% 10.7% 60 to 89 minutes 5.6% 7.4% 5.0% 5.0% 4.2% 4.6% 90 minutes or more 1.7% 1.3% 1.6% 1.6% 1.7% 2.4% Worked at home 4.4% 4.8% 3.8% 3.7% 3.6% 2.8% Median 22 26 26 27 23 22 Source: DemographicsNow The need for public transportation was identified in the 2008 Quality of Life Survey where traffic was listed as one of the top three issues. Since 2002, the percentage of respondents indicating that public transportation would make Georgetown a better place to live has increased from less than 5% to almost 20% in 2008. And, 16.3% of respondents stated that a fixed bus route within Georgetown would improve transportation. In February 2008, the City completed its Public Transportation Implementation Plan. Prepared in conjunction with the Capital Area Rural Transportation System (CARTS) and the Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT), the plan includes a fixed route action plan for the City. 74 Housing Element Transit-dependent riders, including households without vehicles, low income persons, persons with disabilities, seniors over age 65 and youth between the ages of 12 and 17, comprise the vast majority of riders necessary to make public transit feasible and viable. The City’s Public Transportation Implementation Plan includes the recommendation that a proposed bus service be initiated, operating four buses on six routes. Proposed schedules would include a 6:30 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. range for Monday through Friday routes and an 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. range for Saturday routes. Four fully-accessible vehicles would be utilized, operating on one-half hour and one-hour frequencies. Bus stops would be located approximately every quarter of a mile with benches, bicycle racks and shelters as appropriate. Proposed fares will be $1.00 with half fares for seniors, persons with disabilities and students. The proposed routes include most neighborhoods, businesses, schools, medical facilities, shopping, human service agencies and recreational amenities. A fixed-route transit system in Georgetown could significantly improve employment opportunities for lower income persons who typically rely on public transit to access jobs, thus increasing their potential success for better housing, including home ownership. Current research indicates a strong connection between housing and transportation costs. A recent study conducted by The Center for Housing Policy found that there is a clear trade-off between affordable housing and transportation expenses among working families. 10 The research revealed that families who spend more than 50% of their income on housing spend only 7.5% on transportation, while families who spend 30% or less of their income on housing spend almost 25% on transportation. This equates to more than three times the amount spent than those in less affordable housing. The rationale behind this seemingly reverse equation is that many working families are moving further out into the suburbs where they may be able to afford housing, but then must spend much more of their income commuting to and from their jobs. Others may live in urban neighborhoods but are forced to cross-commute out to jobs in the suburbs. In both cases, the study found that in their attempt to save money on housing, these families spent disproportionately higher amounts on transportation. The study concluded that at about 12 to 15 miles in commuting distance, the increase in transportation costs outweighs the savings on housing. 10Center for Housing Policy, “A Heavy Load: The Combined Housing and Transportation Burden of Working Families,” October 2006 <http://www.nhc.org/index/heavyload>. 75 City of Georgetown 2030 Comprehensive Plan 76 Housing Element 77 City of Georgetown 2030 Comprehensive Plan (This page left intentionally blank) 78 Housing Element 7. The Affordable Housing Market Affordable Housing Developers In addition to collecting hard data (household projections, housing inventories, etc.) for this report, local housing developers were interviewed. These organizations (both nonprofit and for- profit) were identified as playing critical roles in the planning, financing and development measures associated with creating new affordable housing units for low and moderate income households in the Georgetown area. A total of three affordable housing developers in the area were identified and interviewed. The information provided below summarizes the responses from these entities. • Georgetown Housing Authority owns and manages two affordable housing developments in the City: Stonehaven, a 158-unit public housing community, and Shady Oaks Apartments, a 60-unit Section 8 community. The Authority also manages the Housing Choice Voucher Program (formerly the Section 8 Rental Assistance Program) through which 87 low income households are assisted. The Authority is also actively engaged in creating new affordable housing opportunities for lower income households. The Authority has proposed the development of Sierra Ridge, a 188-unit family rental community at the corner of Northwest Drive and Washam Drive off Interstate 35. Of the 188 units, 179 will be rent-restricted for households earning less than 60% of median income. • Habitat for Humanity of Williamson County is a nonprofit organization that provides home ownership opportunities for lower income households. In July 2007, the Habitat chapter of Georgetown merged with the Round Rock chapter to create Habitat for Humanity of Williamson County (HFHWC). In addition to providing home ownership opportunities, the chapter also operates ReStore which sells building supplies to the public in order to raise funds for new homes and to provide discounted building supplies to low income families. Habitat also prepares eligible applicants, called partner families, for home ownership. This involves working with the partner family to help insure long-term success in their new home and neighborhood. Habitat’s focus is on households with incomes in the 30% to 50% range of median income. Currently, a three-bedroom house sells for $60,000 and a four-bedroom unit sells for $70,000. Eligible home buyers receive 20-year interest-free mortgages and pay no more than 30% of their income toward monthly housing costs. The local chapter estimated about 25% of persons who attend the initial meeting will express interest in submitting an application. Of those, about 50% typically apply, and only 50% of the applicants are accepted as home buyers. The two most common reasons for denying an application are insufficient income and poor credit history. Habitat’s primary project is the build-out of Old Mill Village, a 20-lot development located on land owned by the organization. Construction is currently underway on lots 13 and 14, and full build-out is anticipated within two years. Since 2000, Habitat has completed 15 single family owner units in Georgetown; another 14 are projected for completion by 2012. 79 City of Georgetown 2030 Comprehensive Plan Habitat also owns six additional lots in the Smith Branch Park area. According to the local chapter, this is a transitional neighborhood and multi-family housing is more predominant in the area. Habitat would prefer to sell the parcels to another entity or swap the 6 parcels for a comparable amount of developable land in a location better suited for single family owner units. Habitat offers financial management classes that are open to the general public. The organization partners with the Georgetown Housing Authority, local churches and other groups who identify persons in need of financial management skills. The greatest challenge facing Habitat is the rising prices of lumber and concrete, which may force the chapter to raise the sales prices of their homes. In addition, Habitat is required to pay all municipal impact fees that are associated with the development of each single family housing unit. The approximate cost of the fees is $5,500 to $5,700 per unit. • Gavurnik Builders, LP is a family-owned for-profit development company that has constructed many affordable market units in Georgetown. Several of the residential communities developed by Gavurnik are affordable to moderate income households. The developer is able to keep overall costs down by minimizing land costs and installing modest interior finishes while offering many upgrades. Affordable communities developed by Gavurnik Builders include: o Windridge Village—42 single family units ranging from 1,027 to 1,265 square feet with one- and two-car garages. These units are priced from $120,000 to $130,000 each. o Townhomes at Katy Crossing—40 townhomes (single family attached units) ranging from 905 to 1,440 square feet. These units are priced between $106,000 to $132,000 each. o Holly Street Village—44 units of detached and attached single family homes priced between $127,000 and $161,000. To date, two units have been constructed and sold in this development begun in 2007. The single family homes in Holly Street Village, developed by Gavurnik Builders, LP, are affordable and well-designed. (Photo by Gavurnik Builders, LP) 80 Housing Element Additionally, there are several affordable housing communities that have been constructed and occupied since 2000 in the Georgetown area. These include: • Georgetown Place Apartments (106 of the 176 family units are low income housing tax credit units) • San Gabriel Senior Village (100 age-restricted units) • Mariposa (201 age-restricted units) • Cypress Creek (180 family units). In addition to the three nonprofit and for-profit organizations, the City of Georgetown also impacts the local affordable housing market through its housing rehabilitation program. Through the Housing & Neighborhood Development Department, the City has established a public policy of guiding long-term housing goals “to ensure that a variety of housing is available and provides a safe and quality place to live for those that live and work in Georgetown.” The department was created in 2007 and given several directives, one of which is to administer the Home Repair Program for low income households. The program activities are financed by the City general fund with some contributions by the applicants. The City participates in the Williamson County Consolidated Plan, making it eligible to compete for Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) funds. To date, the City has financed street and infrastructure improvements with its CDBG dollars. Pipeline Projects In an effort to identify new affordable housing units that are expected to be made available to lower income households for occupancy over the coming years, housing providers were asked to identify projects that are in the development pipeline. The “pipeline” refers to proposed affordable housing projects that are in various stages of pre-development or construction. It is important to note that the pipeline projects list is a fluid one, constantly changing as housing units are completed and occupied, and as new projects are planned, financed and initiated. The following chart summarizes the pipeline projects that are expected to be developed identified in Georgetown. This information was compiled during the second quarter of 2008. Figure 62. Pipeline Projects, 2008-2012 2008 2009 2010 2011 2011 Total Development 1Q 2Q 3Q 4Q 1Q 2Q 3Q 4Q 1Q 2Q 3Q 4Q 1Q 2Q 3Q 4Q 1Q 2Q 3Q 4Q Units OWNER UNITS Habitat for Humanity 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 8 Gavurnik Builders 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 20 RENTAL UNITS Sierra Ridge 179 179 TOTAL UNITS 0 3 1 3 1 3 1 3 180 2 0 2 0 2 0 2 0 2 0 2 207 Sources: Habitat for Humanity of Williamson County, Gavurnik Builders, LLC and Georgetown Housing Authority 81 City of Georgetown 2030 Comprehensive Plan While a significant number of family and elderly affordable rental units have been developed in Georgetown, there remains demand for additional units. A total of 207 new units of affordable housing were identified. All but 20 of these units are being developed by nonprofit organizations that operate on shoe-string budgets with limited staff. These units will be used to calculate the affordable housing need for the study area in Part 10, Existing and Projected Demand for Affordable Housing. The projected affordable housing need creates a simultaneous need for local affordable housing developers in Georgetown. To address the projected increase in household growth, more housing units will have to be constructed. 82 Housing Element 8. Housing Affordability Analysis Introduction Affordable housing means paying no more than 30% of gross household income for housing expenses including mortgage or rent, utilities, insurance and taxes, regardless of income level. When a household pays more than 30%, the household is considered cost burdened. This section of the report analyzes the cost of housing for owners and renters in the Georgetown HMA and the degree to which owners and renters are cost burdened. For this study, lower income households are defined as those with an annual income at or below 80% of the area median household income. Affordable housing for renters is defined as paying no more than 30% of gross household income for housing expenses including rent and utilities, regardless of income level. Affordable housing for home owners is defined as paying no more than 30% of gross household income for housing expenses including mortgage, utilities, insurance and taxes, regardless of income level. The primary goal of this study is to determine whether there is an adequate supply of affordable sales and rental housing to meet the needs of households at or below 80% of median household income in the Georgetown HMA. When households pay higher proportions of their incomes for housing, they are forced to sacrifice other basic necessities such as food, clothing and health care. Additionally, households that are cost burdened may have trouble maintaining their dwelling, which generally results in deferred maintenance and repair. Eventually, cost burdened households may be living in deficient dwelling units. Cost burden is of particular concern among lower income households who have fewer housing choices. Figure 63. Cost Burdened Hom eow ners in U.S., 2006 Less than $20,000 97% Household Income $20,000 to $34,999 79% $35,000 to $49,999 56% $50,000 to $74,999 35% $75,000 or more 15% All Homeowners 37% 0% 20% 40% 60% 80% 100% 120% Percent of U.S. Hom eow ners w ith Mortgages Paying m ore than 30% of Incom e on Housing Source: USA Today (September 12, 2007) 83 City of Georgetown 2030 Comprehensive Plan Nationally, one in three home owners was cost burdened in 2006. While housing costs have risen over the past two decades, the situation has significantly worsened since 2000. Nationally, 27% of all home owners with mortgages in 2000 were paying 30% or more of their before-tax income on housing. By 2006, this rate increased to 37% of all home owners. Understandably, home owners with the lowest incomes have been impacted the most. For example, 97% of all home owners with mortgages earning $20,000 or less spent at least 30% of their income on housing. As income rose, cost burden steadily decreased. Seventy-nine percent of home owners with mortgages earning between $20,000 and $34,999 spent at least 30% of income on housing while the rate fell to 56% for those earning between $35,000 and $49,999.11 Nationally, the percentage of home owners paying more than 50% of their total household income on housing is also increasing. In 2000, only 10% of all home owners with mortgages were paying more than 50%; by 2006, the rate increased to 14%. The increasing disparity between the cost of housing and income is indicative of an increase in lower-wage and part-time employment, the increasing costs to operate and maintain a home, and the pressure on construction costs created by local land use and development regulations. 12 The number of cost burdened households (both owners and renters) residing in the Georgetown HMA can be identified using HUD-formulated data based on Census 2000. Although this information is slightly dated, it is the only available source of reliable data that describes the degree to which households are cost burdened by income group. Housing Values, Sales Prices and Gross Rents Housing value slightly outpaced household income in the City of Georgetown between 1990 and 2000. The median housing value in 2000 in the City of Georgetown was $141,413, an increase of 46% since 1990, after adjusting for inflation. Real median household income increased 44% during the same period. Outside of the City, however, income far outpaced housing value. Within the 11-mile radius, for example, median household income increased 49% while median housing value increased 31%. Income also rose faster in the County and the MSA. 11 Noelle Knox and Barbara Hansen, "Paying for a Roof Over Your Head—But Not Much Else," Money Section, USA Today, September 12, 2007. 12 Joint Center for Housing Studies at Harvard University, “The State of the Nation’s Housing 2008,” page 4. 84 Housing Element Figure 64. Change in Median Housing Value, 1990-2000 (in 2000 dollars) Change 1990 2000 1990-2000 City of Georgetown $97,053 $141,413 46% Sun City census area $124,058 $183,922 48% 11-mile radius $99,678 $130,751 31% Williamson County $95,150 $120,685 27% Austin-Round Rock MSA $98,489 $122,866 25% Texas $78,544 $82,449 5% US $103,270 $115,194 12% Note: Median values not available for Georgetown HMA. Sources: U.S. Census Bureau; DemographicsNow Figure 65. Change in Median Housing Value and Median Household Income, 1990-2000 (in 2000 dollars) City of Sun City Georgetown Williamson Austin-Round Georgetown census area 11-mile radius HMA County Rock MSA Median Housing Value 1990 to 2000 46% 48% 31% na 27% 25% Median Household Income 1990 to 2000 44% 27% 49% na 36% 33% Sources: U.S. Census Bureau; DemographicsNow A more accurate method of determining whether a particular housing market is over-valued or under-valued is to compare median sales price to median household income. 13 Recent housing price data was obtained from the Williamson County Board of Realtors Multi-List Service (MLS). Interstate 35 divides the local market into two distinct areas: Georgetown East and Georgetown West. The MLS represents approximately 80% of all housing units sold in Williamson County. Many builders sell directly to homebuyers and do not list their properties with the MLS. However, the MLS remains a credible and reliable source of data with which to evaluate the current housing market. Income is rising faster than sales prices in the City of Georgetown, indicating a fairly- valued housing market. In the Georgetown East area, the median sales price declined 1.6% between 2000 and 2007, after adjusting for inflation, while prices in the Georgetown West area increased 3.5%. Both of these rates were less than the increase in median household income of 4.5% during the same period. This scenario is indicative of a fairly-valued housing market. Conversely, when market prices rise significantly faster than incomes, the market is overvalued and a downturn in the real estate market is likely. In either situation, the affordability of the housing market for households at various income levels is not addressed. 13 Brad Reagan, “After the Bust,” SmartMoney December 2007: 82-88. 85 City of Georgetown 2030 Comprehensive Plan Figure 66. Change in Median Sales Price and Median Household Income, 2000-2007 (in 2007 dollars) Georgetown East Georgetown West Change in Median Sales Price 2000 to 2007 -1.6% 3.5% Change in Median Household Income* 2000 to 2007 4.5% *Calculated for the City of Georgetown Source: DemographicsNow A second method used to determine the inherent affordability of a housing market is to calculate the percentage of homes that could be purchased by households at the median income level. 14 The median household income in the City of Georgetown was $71,967 in 2007. With this income, a household could purchase a home selling for $198,000. In 2007, there were a total of 703 units that sold for $198,000 or less. This was equivalent to 56% of the 1,263 total sales transactions in Georgetown reported by the Williamson County Board of Realtors. A relatively affordable housing market is one in which at least 40% of the homes could be purchased by households at the median household income. The Georgetown HMA compares favorably to this threshold. The highest median sales price in 2007 was found in Georgetown West, which was 20% higher than in Sun City. Homes in the Georgetown East market were much more affordable with a median sales price of $136,200 and sold more quickly. The market appeared to be fairly priced as the median sales prices were no less than 97% of the median list prices in any one area. Figure 67. Overview of Georgetown Sales Housing Data, 2007 Median Sales Median List Price Price Average DOM Transactions Georgetown East $138,000 $136,200 75 401 Georgetown West minus Sun City $240,000 $238,500 93 592 Sun City $205,250 $199,250 95 270 Total Georgetown Market $189,777 $185,000 88 1,263 Source: Williamson County Board of Realtors Multi-List Service 14 Joe Light, “Last of the Red-Hot Markets,” Money Magazine December 2007: 53-56. 86 Housing Element Figure 68. Trends in Median Sales Prices, 2000-2007 $300,000 $250,000 Georgetown East $200,000 Georgetown West $150,000 un (excluding S City) $100,000 un S City $50,000 $0 2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 Source: Williamson County Board of Realtors Multi-List Service Overall, the sales market is slowing slightly as evidenced by the increase in the average number of days that a house remains on the market before sale. In 2000, a house remained on the market for an average of 40 days in Georgetown East and 48 days in Georgetown West. By 2007, the length of time had increased to 62 days and 73 days, respectively. However, since 2000, the difference between the median list price (what the buyer is asking) and the median sales price (what the house actually sells for) has been less than 2% in Georgetown East and less than 3.5% in Georgetown West. This indicates a housing market in which homes are retaining their value. According to the local Board of Realtors, 2008 is expected to be similar to 2003 in terms of the number of sales transactions, average days on the market and sales pricing. 87 City of Georgetown 2030 Comprehensive Plan Figure 69. Trends in Average Number of Days on the Market, 2000-2007 160 140 120 Georgetown East 100 Georgetown West 80 un (excluding S City) 60 un S City 40 20 0 2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 Source: Williamson County Board of Realtors Multi-List Service The Georgetown West market remains vibrant with significantly more sales transactions and higher median sales prices. In Georgetown East, the soil content is poorly suited for development. As a result, this situation has created conditions that make residential development west of I-35 much more convenient and profitable. Figure 70. Trends in Housing Sales Transactions, 2000-2007 800 700 600 Georgetown East 500 Georgetown West 400 un (excluding S City) 300 un S City 200 100 0 2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 Source: Williamson County Board of Realtors Multi-List Service 88 Housing Element The median sales price of homes located west of I-35 has increased steadily, and exceeded $200,000 for the first time in 2006. Overall, MLS data indicate a relatively healthy sales housing market in the Georgetown HMA where sales transactions have risen since 2002. After peaking in 2006, sales have dipped slightly in Georgetown East and Georgetown West excluding Sun City, where sales were slightly higher. Figure 71. Trends in Median Sales Prices, 2000-2007 $300,000 $250,000 Georgetown East $200,000 Georgetown West $150,000 un (excluding S City) $100,000 un S City $50,000 $0 2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 Source: Williamson County Board of Realtors Multi-List Service In addition to sales housing, the rental housing market is a significant part of the Georgetown HMA. Since 2000, the rental housing inventory has increased 52%, gaining more than 1,800 units. With the exception of the Sun City census area, rents outpaced income during the 1990s. The median gross rent in the Sun City census area in 2000 was $727, an increase of 14% from 1990, after adjusting for inflation. During the same period, real median household income increased 27%. Although this area experienced the lowest increase in median gross rent, the Sun City census area continued to have the highest rents in the region. Elsewhere, rents rose faster than income in the City of Georgetown, the 11-mile radius, Williamson County and the MSA. Generally, when rents outpace income, it is an indication of a growing demand for rental units accompanied by a lack of inventory. This demand was addressed with the development of more than 1,800 new rental units in the Georgetown HMA during the period 2000 to 2007. 89 City of Georgetown 2030 Comprehensive Plan Figure 72. Median Gross Rent, 1990-2000 (in 2000 dollars) Change 1990 2000 1990-2000 City of Georgetown $373 $582 56% Sun City census area $640 $727 14% 11-mile radius $432 $660 53% Williamson County $461 $680 48% Austin-Round Rock MSA $456 $633 39% Note: Median values not available for Georgetown HMA. Sources: U.S. Census Bureau; DemographicsNow Figure 73. Change in Median Gross Rent and Median Household Income, 1990-2000 (in 2000 dollars) City of Sun City Williamson Austin-Round Georgetown census area 11-mile radius County Rock MSA Median Gross Rent 1990 to 2000 56% 14% 53% 48% 39% Median Household Income 1990 to 2000 44% 27% 49% 36% 33% Note: Median values not available for Georgetown HMA. Sources: U.S. Census Bureau; DemographicsNow Cost Burdened Home Owners Two-thirds of all extremely low income home owners were cost burdened in 2000. Of the 390 home owners with incomes up to 30% of median and residing in the City of Georgetown, 262 (67%) were paying more than 30% of gross income on monthly housing costs. The rate was 68% for all of Williamson County. The degree of cost burden among home owners decreased only slightly as income increased. As income rose, the degree of cost burden for home owners with incomes between 30% and 50% of median declined to 64% in the City and 55% in the County. Greater declines were more noticeable among owners in the 50% to 80% income bracket; however, 46% of low income home owners in the City and 49% in the County were still paying more than 30% of their income on housing costs. For home owners above 80% of median, only 7% were cost burdened in the City compared to 8% in the County. It is highly likely that the rates of cost burden in the City of Georgetown and Williamson County have risen since 2000 as a result of the rising costs of housing, gasoline and food prices. 90 Housing Element Figure 74. Cost Burdened Home Owners, 2000 Above 80% MHI 50% to 80% MHI Williamson County City of Georgetown 30% to 50% MHI 0% to 30% MHI 0% 10% 20% 30% 40% 50% 60% 70% 80% Source: U.S. Dept. of Housing & Urban Development, State of the Cities Data System Purchasing a Home Who are the households unable to purchase a home in the Georgetown Housing Market Area? Many of them are members of the regional workforce such as teachers, police officers, nurses, and residents who work in retail jobs. They are employed at the corner market, the local auto body shop and own the small business down the block. They are the folks we rely on everyday to keep our community thriving. They fill vital community occupations. A family earning 78% of the median household income in the City of Georgetown could afford to purchase the median priced sales home in Georgetown East. In 2007, the median sales price of housing ranged from $136,200 in the Georgetown East market up to $239,450 in the Georgetown West market. Based on these prices, a household would require a minimum income of $56,061 in order to afford a home selling for the median sales price in Georgetown East. This income amount is equivalent to 78% of the median household income for the City of Georgetown in 2007 ($71,967). In the Georgetown West area, a minimum income of $82,571 would be required to purchase the median priced home, equivalent to 115% of the City median household income. The following chart lists the median annual wages paid in 2007 for several job classifications in Williamson County. Of the nine occupations listed, none of the employees in these positions could afford to purchase a home selling for the median sales price in Georgetown East or Georgetown West as a single-wage earning household. 91 City of Georgetown 2030 Comprehensive Plan Figure 75. Annual Income Needed to Afford Median Sales Priced Home, 2007 $90,000 $82,571 $80,000 $70,000 $56,061 $60,000 $55,702 $52,326 $50,000 $41,399 $36,426 $40,000 $30,000 $22,419 $15,842 $17,145 $18,542 $20,000 $14,142 $10,000 $0 er er r r er nt se t n er st es ve te rso or hi ur Ea ht ta ch ai er W as b un N fig W e r/S n a La n sp C w ed Te co w re ke to le n to Fi er Ac ol io or e Sa e ist ho ct rg W rg il g ru eo Sc eo ta ep Re st G Re G ry Pr on in ta in d C en o d d de Fo de em e e Ne El Ne e e m m co co In In Sources: Williamson County Board of Realtors Multi-List Service; Texas Workforce Commission; Calculations by Mullin & Lonergan Associates, Inc. To calculate the price range in which these households could look for sales housing, one must first calculate the maximum amount of house each household could afford to purchase. The following chart lists the maximum sales price that each of these households could afford based on the following assumptions: • A 30-year fixed rate mortgage at 6.5% • A down payment of 5% of the purchase price plus 5% for closing costs for a total down payment equal to 10% of the sales price • Home owners insurance of $600 per year ($50 per month) • Mortgage insurance of $360 per year ($30 per month) • Calculation of property taxes based on the sales price of the house and the total millage assessed for a property in the City of Georgetown (1.64659 mills in 2007) • Household consumer debt of $500 in total monthly payments (e.g., car loan, school loan, and/or credit card payments) • Total amount of principal, interest, taxes and insurance (PITI) equal to no more than 30% of gross monthly household income, and • Total amount of all household debt (PITI plus consumer debt) equal to no more than 33% of gross monthly household income. 92 Housing Element Figure 76. Maximum Sales Prices Affordable to Vital Community Occupations, 2008 Maximum Income as a % of Mortgage Number of Units City Median Amount Amount Sold at this Sales Annual Household Available for (90% of sales Maximum Price or Lower Occupation Salary/Income Income (2007) PITI price) Sales Price (2007) Waiter $14,142 20% $354 -- -- -- Food Prep Worker $15,842 22% $396 -- -- -- Cashier $17,145 24% $429 -- -- -- Retail Salesperson $18,542 26% $464 -- -- -- Construction Laborer $22,419 31% $560 -- -- -- Firefighter $36,426 51% $911 $54,000 $60,000 14 Elementary School Teacher $41,399 58% $1,035 $71,100 $79,000 33 Accountant $52,326 73% $1,308 $108,900 $121,000 144 Registered Nurse $55,702 77% $1,393 $121,500 $135,000 264 Sources: Williamson County Board of Realtors Multi-List Service; Texas Workforce Commission; Calculations by Mullin & Lonergan Associates, Inc. Based on the assumptions listed above, five of the nine occupations listed (waiter, food prep worker, cashier, retail salesperson and construction laborer) could not afford to purchase a home in Georgetown in 2007. According to the Williamson County MLS, the least expensive house sold for $25,100, which would have required an income of at least $27,535 based on the stated assumptions. These five occupations did not earn sufficient income to qualify for a mortgage to purchase such a home. A firefighter and an elementary school teacher would appear to have very limited options with the ability to purchase homes in the $60,000 to $79,000 range. Even at these prices, only 47 houses were sold within this price range in 2007. For accountants and registered nurses, the options would be much greater with possible sales prices in the $121,000 to $135,000 range. While the argument is made here using single-wage earning households, total household income would be used to compute the maximum purchase price that a household could afford. Of the nine occupations listed in the chart above, all occupations listed were paid salaries less than 80% of the City of Georgetown median household income. In other words, even the accountant and registered nurse (i.e. full-time employed persons with professional degrees) were defined as lower income households with incomes less than 80% of the City median household income of $71,967 in 2007. There were 70 housing units that sold for less than $100,000 in 2007. Only 3 units sold for less than $40,000; another 10 units sold in the $40,000 to $59,999 price range. As sales price increased, the options improved only minimally. A total of 21 units sold for between $60,000 and $79,999; another 36 units sold for $80,000 to $99,999. These 70 units were equivalent to only 5.5% of all units sold in 2007. By comparison, there were nearly 1,200 units that sold for $100,000 or more. 93 City of Georgetown 2030 Comprehensive Plan Figure 77. Residential Home Sales Transactions in Georgetown, 2007 Price Range Single Family Units Condominiums Total % of Units Sold Under $40,000 3 0 3 0.2% $40,000 to $59,999 10 0 10 0.8% $60,000 to $79,999 19 2 21 1.7% $80,000 to $99,999 36 0 36 2.9% $100,000 to $119,999 56 11 67 5.3% $120,000 to $139,999 161 2 163 12.9% $140,000 to $159,999 158 0 158 12.5% $160,000 to $179,999 133 2 135 10.7% $180,000 to $199,999 114 4 118 9.3% $200,000 to $249,999 175 7 182 14.4% $250,000 & over 370 0 370 29.3% Total 1,235 28 1,263 100.0% Source: Williamson County Board of Realtors Multi-List Service Two factors that impact significantly the ability to purchase a home is a household’s long-term debt and monthly living expenses. Lenders typically underwrite home mortgage applications on the basis of a household income ratio of 30% in addition to a total debt-to-household income ratio of 33% to 36%. Many households are encumbered with consumer debt (such as car loans, school loans, credit cards, etc.) and monthly living expenses that cause them to exceed permitted total debt-to-income ratios even if their annual household income is within an acceptable housing payment to household income ratio of 30%. For example, a typical expense for many working families is child care, which can be a considerable amount of household monthly income. Households without health insurance may pay as much per month for health insurance as they pay for their housing. And, the recent spike in gasoline and grocery prices is impacting lower income households at a disproportionately higher rate than middle and higher income households. As a result, while the Georgetown Housing Market Area is demonstrated to be a fairly-valued and affordable market, there remain many lower income households who cannot afford to purchase a home. Cost Burdened Renters Increasing income did not provide significant relief from cost burden for renters with incomes below 50% of median. All renters below 50% of median income experienced the highest rate of cost burden. In Georgetown, 66% of extremely low income and 66% of very low income renters were paying more than 30% of their income on housing. The rates fell significantly for renters in the 50% to 80% income category, decreasing to 28% in the City and 41% in the County. Only 3% renters above 80% of median income in both the City and County were cost burdened. 94 Housing Element Figure 78. Cost Burdened Renters, 2000 Above 80% MHI 50% to 80% MHI Williamson County City of Georgetown 30% to 50% MHI 0% to 30% MHI 0% 20% 40% 60% 80% Source: U.S. Dept. of Housing & Urban Development, State of the Cities Data System Renting a Dwelling Unit One of the most credible and widely used sources of information about rental housing cost and affordability is the National Low Income Housing Coalition’s (NLIHC) annual publication Out of Reach. The Out of Reach publication provides housing cost data for counties, metropolitan areas, non-metropolitan areas and states. 15 The 2008 Housing Wage in Williamson County is $17.98. In Williamson County, the Fair Market Rent (FMR) for a two-bedroom apartment is $935. In order to afford this level of rent and utilities, without paying more than 30% of income on housing, a household must earn $3,117 monthly or $37,400 annually. Assuming a 40-hour work week, 52 weeks per year, this level of income translates into a Housing Wage of $17.98 per hour. In order to afford the FMR for a two- bedroom apartment, a minimum wage earner (making $5.85/hour in 2008) must work 123 hours per week, 52 weeks per year. Or, a household must include 3.1 minimum wage earner(s) working 40 hours per week year-round in order to make the two-bedroom FMR affordable. Using the same annual salaries calculated to determine home ownership affordability, the financial ability to afford a rental unit was also calculated for the same occupations. Based on this analysis, waiters, cashiers, retail salespersons, and construction laborers could not afford even a one- bedroom unit renting for the HUD FMR of $766 per month as single-wage earning households. Firefighters could afford the one-bedroom FMR but not the two-bedroom FMR. Elementary school teachers, accountants and registered nurses could afford a one-bedroom unit or a two- bedroom unit, even as single-wage earning households. 15 Accessed at http://www.nlihc.org/oor/oor2006/?CFID=17649154&CFTOKEN=99855577. 95 City of Georgetown 2030 Comprehensive Plan Figure 79. Hourly Wage Needed to Afford the HUD Two-Bedroom Fair Market Rent, 2008 $30.00 $26.78 $25.16 $25.00 $19.90 $20.00 $17.51 $17.98 $14.73 $15.00 $10.78 $8.24 $8.91 $10.00 $7.62 $6.80 $5.00 $0.00 t r er R R on er an te se er r er re FM FM hi ai ht h rs ur nt rv bo as ac W fig pe ou Se N d d C La Te -b -b re d es cc r/ re r1 r2 Fi ke n l al A oo te io fo fo or lS is ct ch W d d ai eg ru S de de et ep st R y ee ee R ar on Pr N N t C en od e e em ag ag Fo W W El y y rl rl ou ou H H Sources: National Low Income Housing Coalition; Texas Workforce Commission; Calculations by Mullin & Lonergan Associates, Inc. The Georgetown area needs people who need affordable housing. Communities need police officers to keep their towns and cities safe. They need teachers to educate their children. They need people to work the counters at municipal offices, the local grocery store, coffee shop and dry cleaners. They need janitors to clean local businesses, schools and libraries. The human infrastructure of our communities is vital to the economic sustainability of communities, yet many of these workers cannot afford to live where they work. In order to find affordable housing, they are forced to move further away from employment centers, enduring longer commutes and contributing to increased traffic congestion and pollution. Rising transportation costs are making commuting less feasible for all income groups. In the case of lower-wage workers, these costs can easily lead to a shortage of employees for Georgetown if there are insufficient local affordable housing options. 96 Housing Element 9. Barriers to Affordable Housing Barriers to affordable housing are obstacles that impede the development of affordable housing units. Some barriers to affordable housing, such as local public policies, can be modified or eliminated. Regulatory policies, such as zoning regulations that limit or prohibit multi-family housing or the development of single family units on smaller lots, can be changed by local government officials. Physical constraints, such as the condition of soils or severe topography, are barriers that cannot be reasonably modified. There also are barriers that are driven by local market conditions such as rising construction costs or a demand for housing that outpaces the available supply. This type of barrier typically requires public incentives to ameliorate its impact on affordable housing. In the Georgetown HMA, the following barriers to affordable housing were identified. Many of these barriers were identified through interviews and focus group meetings, while others were revealed through primary research. Public Policy Barriers • Zoning There is a relative absence of developable land zoned for residential options other than single family housing. Only 1.6% of the total acreage within the City is zoned for two- family, multi-family, townhouse and mobile homes. However, only 294 acres are currently used for such land uses, equivalent to 1.1% of the total City acreage. Consequently, if a developer wishes to build multi-family units, he or she would be required to apply for a rezoning and endure the public hearing process, where NIMBYism (Not in My Back Yard) may defeat such a project. While multi-family housing is a permitted use in the City’s commercial districts, and more than half of the multi-family housing developments have been constructed in commercial or commercial planned unit development (PUD) zoning districts, this circumstance places a high financial burden on nonprofit housing developers. Land located within these commercial zoning districts typically carries a higher cost per acre, particularly if it is located at an intersection of a major thoroughfare. In addition, a nonprofit housing developer would need to partner with a commercial developer if a commercial component was required as part of the overall development. Nonprofit housing developers generally do not have the experience or the financial capacity to develop commercial space. • Impact Fees Impact fees are one-time fees paid to off-set the cost of infrastructure or public facilities associated with new residential development. These fees are usually paid when a building permit is issued and are dedicated to financing the costs of new roads, water lines, sewer lines, schools, parks, and playgrounds made necessary by new residents. In Georgetown, an impact fee is assessed on every residential unit constructed in the City, regardless of the cost to construct the unit or the sales price of the unit. On a $250,000 home, impact and development fees totaling $5,000 equal 2% of the sales price. However, on a $75,000 home, the fees would represent 7% of the sales price. For a nonprofit housing developer with a 100-unit development proposal, the total amount of impact and development fees could exceed $500,000. The amount of this development budget line item could make the 97 City of Georgetown 2030 Comprehensive Plan difference between going forward with the project, significantly scaling back the number of units to reduce the budget, or canceling the project altogether. • Other State and federal funding resources have continuously declined over the past several years with fewer resources made available to finance affordable housing projects. Market Barriers • The rising cost of land and construction places new housing development beyond the reach of most affordable housing developers. • In growth areas such as the Georgetown HMA, market rate developments offer higher profit margins to builders and developers, thereby reducing the supply of labor and number of firms interested in affordable housing. • Market rate transactions offer fewer challenges (to builders and developers) and higher commissions (to Realtors) than do affordable housing developments. • There is a relative lack of available vacant housing units that are affordable and available for purchase and/or rehabilitation for lower income households. This situation places more pressure on affordable housing developers to construct new units, a more costly alternative. • There is a relative lack of vacant non-residential structures available for purchase and conversion into rental housing. • The vibrant housing market in the Georgetown HMA has caused property values to increase and housing units to be highly marketable. As a result, there are relatively few areas that are suitable for redevelopment initiatives, which could help to create new affordable housing opportunities. Physical Barriers • The area east of I-35 is generally poorly suited for development. According to the City’s Land Use Element, the soil in this are “can present difficulties for excavation for utilities, foundations, or traffic ways, having a high potential for shrink-swell and corrodibility of underground steel pipelines and may add to development costs.” • The Land Use Element also cited the City’s location in the designated protection zone of the Edwards Aquifer as “perhaps the most important long-term consideration for the management of future growth” as the aquifer is the sole drinking-water supply for the population of San Antonio and the surrounding areas. • The Land Use Element also identified the following factors as physical limitations for future development: the quarries to the north and southwest of the City, the runway protection zones over and around the Georgetown Municipal Airport, and the Courthouse View Protection Overlay District, which protects view sheds toward the Georgetown landmark. Other Barriers 98 Housing Element • There is a need for increased capacity within nonprofit organizations that develop affordable housing. Nonprofit organizations typically operate on limited budgets. Without ready access to pre-development assistance, nonprofit developers are very limited in their ability to explore the feasibility of a project. The number of experienced staff dedicated exclusively to housing development indicates how much time and effort a developer can devote to creating new housing. • The ability to successfully make the transition from renting to home ownership can be daunting. Learning how to budget, allowing for home maintenance, keeping a credit history in good shape—all of these elements are key components of home ownership counseling which must be available to first time homebuyers to help them achieve long- term stability and avoid default or foreclosure. Identification of these barriers establishes the foundation upon which a reasonable set of strategic actions can be recommended to increase the supply of affordable housing in the Georgetown HMA. 99 City of Georgetown 2030 Comprehensive Plan (This page left intentionally blank) 100 Housing Element 10. Existing and Projected Demand for Affordable Housing The demand for affordable housing is comprised of both existing demand and projected demand. Existing demand for affordable housing is based on the number of households in the study area who are living in inadequate housing. Projected demand is based on the net increase in the number of lower income households expected to reside in the study area. The combination of existing demand plus projected demand provides an estimate of the overall demand for affordable housing units in the Georgetown Housing Market Area for 2008 to 2012. The time frame selected for projecting affordable housing need for this study is 2008 to 2012. Population and household projection data were obtained for this five-year period from DemographicsNow, Inc. In determining the extent of affordable housing need, it is important to identify the type of need in order to develop an appropriate strategy to address the need. For example, cost burdened renter households would benefit from rental subsidies while renter households living in substandard physical conditions would benefit from new construction activities. Cost burdened owner households, particularly those residing in older dwelling units, may benefit from rehabilitation that includes weatherization improvements to lower monthly utility bills, thereby decreasing total monthly housing costs. Existing Affordable Housing Demand, 2000 To quantify existing housing demand, households with housing problems were identified utilizing HUD’s State of the Cities Data System. Housing problems included the following two characteristics: (1) households who were cost burdened and paying more than 30% of income on monthly housing costs, and (2) households who were living in dwelling units with physical deficiencies (overcrowded conditions and/or without complete plumbing or kitchen facilities). The HUD data used for this report is based on Census 2000 and includes cost burdened households and households living in physically-deficient units. While this data source may seem dated, it is the only available data from a reliable source that identifies the degree to which households are impacted by these two primary housing problems. This particular dataset also identifies the households by income level. Furthermore, using 2000 data establishes a firm baseline from which to project future household growth. This report focuses on households with incomes equal to 80% or less of median household income, collectively referred to as lower income households, as defined by HUD. In 2000, the median household income (MHI) ranged from $57,183 in the City of Georgetown to $60,775 in Williamson County. Affordable housing demand was calculated according to the following income groups within each area: • Extremely low income households (0% up to 30% MHI) • Very low income households (30% up to 50% MHI) • Low income households (50% up to 80% MHI). While median household income is used throughout this document, the following table describes households with housing problems that are based on the HUD median family income. The HUD median family income was $58,900 in 2000 for Williamson County. While this income amount is 101 City of Georgetown 2030 Comprehensive Plan different than the median household income, the HUD data is the only source describing cost burden households and households residing in physically-deficient units. The existing affordable housing demand in the City of Georgetown is 2,219 housing units. This number is comprised of 236 lower income households (179 renters and 57 owners) residing in physically-deficient housing units. In addition, another 1,983 households (998 renters and 985 owners) were identified as cost burdened and paying more than 30% of their income on monthly housing costs. In the remainder of Williamson County, there were 985 lower income households (599 renters and 386 owners) living in physically-deficient housing units. Cost burden was identified for another 12,068 households (5,697 renters and 6,371 owners). Figure 80. Households with Housing Problems, 2000 Renter Households Owner Households All Households Remainder of Remainder of Remainder of City of Williamson City of Williamson City of Williamson Georgetown County Georgetown County Georgetown County All Households 3,182 19,206 7,250 57,136 10,432 76,342 Extremely Low Income Households (0% up to 30% of MHI) 638 2,326 390 1,879 1,028 4,205 Physical deficiencies to unit 25 34 8 47 33 81 Cost burdened (paying more than 30%) 418 1,749 262 1,285 680 3,034 Very Low Income Households (31% up to 50% of MHI) 583 2,678 396 2,933 979 5,611 Physical deficiencies to unit 39 199 14 115 53 314 Cost burdened (paying more than 30%) 387 1,954 253 1,575 640 3,529 Low Income Households (51% up to 80% of MHI) 702 4,633 1,015 7,092 1,717 11,725 Physical deficiencies to unit 115 366 35 224 150 590 Cost burdened (paying more than 30%) 193 1,994 470 3,511 663 5,505 Other Income Households (above 80% of MHI) 1,259 9,569 5,449 45,232 6,708 54,801 Physical deficiencies to unit 124 634 81 932 205 1,566 Cost burdened (paying more than 30%) 35 279 360 3,492 395 3,771 Note: Data is available only for the City of Georgetown and Williamson County. Source: U.S. Dept. of Housing & Urban Development, State of the Cities Data System Projected Demand for Affordable Housing, 2000 to 2012 Household projections by income group were obtained from DemographicsNow and clustered into the same three categories used for existing affordable housing demand. The following figure lists the projected change in the total number of households by income group between 2000 and 2012. The largest increases are projected to occur among higher income households. In the City of Georgetown, new higher income households will outnumber new lower income households by more than 2 to 1. The number of new households above 80% of median is projected to increase by 3,898 while the number of new lower income households is projected to increase by 1,713. In Williamson County outside of Georgetown, the number of new higher income households is projected to increase by 28,273 compared to 16,603 new lower income households. And in the 11-mile radius, new higher income households will number approximately 16,362 compared to 12,858 new lower income households. New lower income households will comprise more than one-third of all new households in Williamson County by 2012. Of the 50,487 total new households projected by 2012 in the County, 18,316 are projected to be lower income. This is equivalent to 36% of the total new households to be created. 102 Housing Element Figure 81. Projected Change in Households by Income Category, 2000-2012 2000 2007 2012 Change from 2000 to 2012 Census Estimate Projection Number Percent Extremely Low Income Households (0% to 30% of MHI) City of Georgetown 993 1,386 1,868 875 88.1% Georgetown HMA 1,315 1,927 2,653 1,338 101.7% 11-mile radius 3,785 5,373 5,392 1,607 42.5% Williamson County 8,233 11,197 11,132 2,899 35.2% Very Low Income Households (30% to 50% of MHI) City of Georgetown 1,371 1,457 1,464 93 6.8% Georgetown HMA 1,928 2,134 2,442 514 26.7% 11-mile radius 3,220 5,413 5,225 2,005 62.3% Williamson County 7,019 11,554 15,107 8,088 115.2% Low Income Households (50% to 80% of MHI) City of Georgetown 2,093 2,747 2,838 745 35.6% Georgetown HMA 3,157 4,398 5,307 2,150 68.1% 11-mile radius 8,703 10,305 17,949 9,246 106.2% Williamson County 18,194 20,766 25,523 7,329 40.3% All Households up to 80% of MHI City of Georgetown 4,457 5,590 6,170 1,713 38.4% Georgetown HMA 6,400 8,459 10,402 4,002 62.5% 11-mile radius 15,708 21,091 28,566 12,858 81.9% Williamson County 33,446 43,517 51,762 18,316 54.8% All Households above 80% of MHI City of Georgetown 5,932 8,160 9,830 3,898 65.7% Georgetown HMA 10,149 14,509 16,820 6,671 65.7% 11-mile radius 27,077 40,054 43,439 16,362 60.4% Williamson County 53,320 75,001 85,491 32,171 60.3% Source: DemographicsNow; Calculations by Mullin & Lonergan Associates, Inc. The net increase of 1,713 new lower income households in the City of Georgetown represents the projected affordable housing demand. This number is comprised of 875 extremely low income households, plus 93 very low income households, plus 745 low income households. The increase in total households will occur as a result of new household formation within the existing population and the migration of new households to Georgetown from elsewhere. Household changes in income groups may occur for similar reasons. Additionally, resident households may shift between income categories as a result of changes in individual financial situations. The projected demand for 1,713 units of affordable housing can be further refined to estimate the demand for renter units and owner units. Trends in the ratio of renters to owners from 1990 and 2000 Census data offer reasonable assumptions for future projections. The following methodology was utilized to estimate the tenure ratios for Georgetown: • Among extremely low income households, the ratio of renters to owners was 65% to 35% in 1990; by 2000, the ratio was 62% to 38%. Given the increase in housing costs and the 103 City of Georgetown 2030 Comprehensive Plan potential for stricter mortgage underwriting standards, it is reasonable to assume that most of the new households in this income category will be renters. As a result, a ratio of 65% renters to 35% owners is estimated for 2012. Of the 875 households, 569 are projected to be renters and 306 are projected to be owners. • Among very low income households, the ratio of renters to owners was 65% to 35% in 1990; by 2000, the ratio was 60% to 40%. For the same reasons stated above, it is reasonable to assume that the ratio of renters to owners in 2012 could be 65% to 35%. As a result, the 93 households would be comprised of 60 renters and 33 owners. • Among low income households, the ratio of renters to owners was 50% to 50% in 1990; by 2000 the ratio was 41% to 59%. For the same reasons listed above, it is reasonable to assume a ratio similar to the 1990 rates of 50% renters to 50% owners. As a result, the 745 households would be comprised of 373 renters and 372 owners. Based on these assumptions, it is estimated that the 1,713 households can be further classified as 1,002 renter units and 711 owner units. Figure 82. Projected Affordable Housing Demand by Tenure in the City of Georgetown, 2000- 2012 Renter Units Owner Units Total Units Extremely Low Income Households (0% up to 30% of MHI) 569 306 875 Very Low Income Households (31% up to 50% of MHI) 60 33 93 Low Income Households (51% up to 80% of MHI) 373 372 745 Total Demand for Affordable Units 1,002 711 1,713 Sources: U.S. Census Bureau; DemographicsNow, Inc.; Calculations by Mullin & Lonergan Associates, Inc. Summary of Existing and Projected Affordable Housing Demand, 2000 to 2012 The total demand for affordable housing in the City of Georgetown is estimated to be 3,932 units. A combination of existing demand and projected demand results in total affordable housing demand for the year 2012. Existing demand is defined as the number of households that have housing problems (cost burden greater than 30% of income, and/or overcrowding, and/or without complete kitchen or plumbing facilities). The existing affordable housing demand in the City is 2,219 units. Projected demand for affordable housing is determined by the anticipated increase in the number of lower income households regardless of housing problems. The projected demand for affordable housing is 1,713 units. Note that existing demand exceeds projected demand by 23%. The following table provides a summary of total affordable housing demand in the City of Georgetown. 104 Housing Element Figure 83. Summary of Existing and Projected Affordable Housing Demand, 2000-2012 Projected Demand, Existing Demand, 2000 2000 to 2012 Renters Owners Renters Owners Total Extremely Low Income Households (0% to 30% of MHI) 443 270 569 306 1,588 Very Low Income Households (31% to 50% of MHI) 426 267 60 33 786 Low Income Households (51% to 80% of MHI) 308 505 373 372 1,558 Total Affordable Housing Demand 1,177 1,042 1,002 711 3,932 Sources: U.S. Census Bureau; DemographicsNow, Inc.; Calculations by Mullin & Lonergan Associates, Inc. Affordable Housing Supply, 2000-2012 The second step in estimating affordable housing need is to determine the extent to which housing demand is likely to be met through the existing housing inventory and any projected new housing development. This can be achieved by identifying the extent to which the current housing delivery system is already providing housing for lower income households. The existing housing inventory, current building activity, and housing programs already in place must be evaluated. Recent Housing Activity, 2000-2007 Since 2000, a total of 4,053 new units have been added to the City of Georgetown housing inventory. The increase represents 59% of all residential development in the Georgetown HMA between 2000 and 2007. In the Georgetown East market, the median housing sales price decreased 1.6% between 2000 and 2007, after adjusting for inflation. The average number of days that a house remained on the market increased 39% from 54 to 75 days. A total of 2,965 sales transactions have been completed during the period. The Georgetown West market has been more active as indicated by a higher number of transactions (5,370) and an increase (3.5%) in the median housing sales price between 2000 and 2007, after adjusting for inflation. The average number of days that a house remained on the market, however, has increased 58% from 59 to 93 days and remains higher than in the Georgetown East market. All of these indicators suggest that demand will remain relatively strong and the cost of purchasing a new home in Georgetown will continue to rise. In addition, higher material and transportation costs translate to continued increases in the cost of construction. Continued household growth and higher median incomes will fuel the demand for new housing. Despite increases in housing construction costs, 320 MLS sales transactions in 2007 were units that sold for $142,000 or less—a price affordable to households earning $57,600, equivalent to 80% of the 2007 median household income of $71,967. These 320 units represented 25% of the 1,263 housing units sold in 2007. More than one-third of all MLS sales transactions between 2000 and 2007 were affordable to households up to 80% of the area median income. A total of 3,127 MLS sales transactions were housing units that sold for $142,000 or less. This number represented 38% of the 8,335 MLS sales transactions during this eight-year period. This included new units as well as existing units. Projected Housing Growth, 2008-2012 105 City of Georgetown 2030 Comprehensive Plan Projecting net change in the future housing supply can be difficult given the uncertainty of interest rates, construction costs, mortgage availability, developer behavior, etc. Today, one of the greatest concerns is the impact of unconventional mortgages. Increases in foreclosures could trigger a temporary increase in housing supply, but tighter lending standards may make it more difficult for potential home buyers to acquire their home. However, recent trends as well as projections of housing demand based on household formation rates provide reasonable benchmarks for likely estimates of net change in the housing supply. The following projections are based on the assumption that no changes are made to local policies and no new policies impacting affordable housing are adopted. It is projected that an additional 1,520 housing units will be created between 2008 through 2012. The net change in the existing housing stock in the City of Georgetown between 2000 and 2007 was 4,053 housing units at an average annual production rate of 507 units. A lower annual production rate is projected for 2008 through 2012 as a result of the current mortgage industry situation and the overall economy. While lending institutions may tighten their mortgage standards, this may be off-set by the influx of well-educated and higher income households moving into the area. However, tighter mortgage standards will more than likely impact lower income households more severely than higher income households. Based on these trends and assumptions, it is projected that an additional 1,520 housing units (approximately 304 units annually over the next five years) will be created between 2008 through 2012. Of these, it is estimated that approximately 1,140 units (75%) will be single family owner- occupied units and 380 units (25%) will be multi-family renter-occupied units. Furthermore, it is projected that the private housing market will continue to favor higher income households over lower income households and owners over renters. Figure 84. Projected Housing Inventory, 2012 60% of Average Average Annual Annual Production Projected Net Production Rate Rate Increase in Projected 2000 Housing 2007 Housing 2000 to 2007 2000 to 2007 Housing Units 2012 Housing Inventory Inventory (units) (units) 2008 to 2012 Inventory City of Georgetown 10,878 14,931 507 304 1,520 16,451 Georgetown HMA 16,870 23,745 859 516 2,578 26,323 11-mile radius 44,374 65,836 2,683 1,610 8,048 73,884 Source: U.S. Census Bureau; Calculations by Mullin & Lonergan Associates, Inc. It is estimated that approximately 10% of the projected 1,520 market-rate housing units will be affordable to households with incomes up to 80% of the median household income. This estimate of 152 units is a more conservative number than the previous eight years. However, given the current housing crisis and recent building permit trends, a more conservative approach is warranted. City of Georgetown Affordable Housing Deficit, 2008-2012 Affordable housing need is determined by identifying the unmet affordable housing demand (i.e., the deficit). The following chart illustrates the number and type of affordable housing units 106 Housing Element identified in Georgetown. The affordable housing supply created between 2000 and 2007 included: • 3,127 residential units that sold for $142,000 or less in the Georgetown MLS market • Habitat for Humanity of Williamson County constructed 15 single family housing units in Georgetown • The construction and occupancy of 587 new affordable rental units including: o San Gabriel Senior Village – 100 units o Georgetown Place—106 units o Mariposa—201 units o Cypress Creek—180 units. The affordable housing supply in the “pipeline” or planned for development and occupancy between 2008 and 2012 was based on the following assumptions as well as information obtained from local affordable housing providers: • A total of 152 market-rate new construction single family and/or condominium units projected to be available for sale up to $142,000 (includes 20 units at Holly Street Village developed by Gavurnik Builders, LP) • Habitat for Humanity in Williamson County will construct another 14 single family housing units • The Georgetown Housing Authority will develop 179 units of affordable rental housing at Sierra Ridge. 107 City of Georgetown 2030 Comprehensive Plan Figure 85. Affordable Housing Need in the City of Georgetown, 2012 AFFORDABLE HOUSING DEMAND Owners Renters Total Existing Demand for Affordable Housing (2000) Households living in physically-deficient units 57 179 236 Households that are cost burdened: 0 Extremely low income households (up to 30% of MHI) 262 418 680 Very low income households (30% up to 50% of MHI) 253 387 640 Low income households (50% up to 80% of MHI) 470 193 663 Total Existing Demand for Affordable Housing (2000) 1,042 1,177 2,219 Projected Demand for Affordable Housing (2000-2012) 0 New extremely low income households (up to 30% of MHI) 306 569 875 New very low income households (30% up to 50% of MHI) 33 60 93 New low income households (50% up to 80% of MHI) 372 373 745 Total Projected Demand for Affordable Housing (2000-2012) 711 1,002 1,713 TOTAL AFFORDABLE HOUSING DEMAND 1,753 2,179 3,932 AFFORDABLE HOUSING SUPPLY Supply of Affordable Housing Units Created (2000-2007) 2000-2007 Market sales units that sold for up to $142,000 (affordable to up 80% of MHI) 3,127 3,127 Habitat for Humanity 15 15 New construction rental units (affordable to households up to 80% of MHI) 587 587 Supply of Affordable Housing Units Anticipated to be Created (2008-2012) 2008-2012 Market sales units for <$142,000 (affordable to households up to 80% of MHI) 152 152 Habitat for Humanity 14 14 New construction rental units (affordable to households up to 80% of MHI) 179 179 TOTAL AFFORDABLE HOUSING SUPPLY 3,308 766 4,074 UNMET AFFORDABLE HOUSING DEFICIT TOTAL DEMAND MINUS TOTAL SUPPLY -1,555 1,413 -142 Sources: Affordable Housing Developers; Williamson County Board of Realtors; Mullin & Lonergan Associates, Inc. The local housing market has addressed the affordable sales housing need for households earning up to 80% of the area median income. Because the total affordable housing supply for owner units (3,308) is greater than the total affordable housing demand for owner units (1,753) for the period 2000-2012, there is no affordable housing deficit of owner units for this period. In other words, the local housing market has addressed the need for affordable sales housing as evidenced by the number of new and existing sales units that sold for $142,000 or less (3,127 units). By comparison, the local market has not adequately addressed the affordable rental housing need in Georgetown. The 766 affordable rental units estimated to be available will not provide sufficient housing opportunities for the 2,179 lower income households in need of housing. As a result, there exists a deficit of 1,413 affordable rental housing units in Georgetown. Public policy recommendations made in Part 11 are tailored to ameliorate this situation. As stated previously, the projections included in this section are based on the assumption that current public policies impacting the creation of affordable housing remain unchanged. If, however, new policies are approved that would provide incentives for the creation of new affordable housing units, then the total affordable housing supply could be increased, thereby decreasing unmet need. 108 Housing Element The affordable housing deficit for the City of Georgetown is projected to be 1,413 rental units. This number represents the total number of housing units that will be required to meet the demand of affordable housing for lower income renter households. 109 City of Georgetown 2030 Comprehensive Plan (This page left intentionally blank) 110 Housing Element 11. Policy Recommendations Recommendations These recommendations offer a series of techniques that, when undertaken in whole or in part, offer the potential to reduce the affordable rental housing deficit in the City of Georgetown. 1. Increase the amount of land zoned specifically for multi-family housing development. One of the public policies that affect the development of affordable housing is zoning. If the City wishes to put a meaningful dent in the affordable rental housing deficit identified in Part 10, additional housing units affordable to residents below 80% of median household income will need to be constructed. In order for units to be constructed, the proposed development must be consistent with the City’s zoning ordinance. A quick glance at the City’s zoning district map reflects few undeveloped land areas designated specifically for multi-family housing development. A deeper investigation of the ordinance reveals provisions for medium and high density residential units as a component of mixed use developments, which, to its credit, the City encourages. Expanding the supply of affordable housing means accepting the need for a higher level of residential density. There are two ways for the City to expand the quantity of land zoned for medium and high density residential development. The indirect approach is to encourage developers to seek rezonings, variances and other forms of relief from the zoning district regulations. However, these actions typically require public hearings. Neighboring property owners are often fearful that higher density development patterns will lead to lower property values. It is not uncommon for neighboring residents to organize vocal opposition to site-specific development proposals that involve higher density living arrangements. Most developers prefer to avoid the time, expense and potential humiliation of a public hearing and will not actively pursue higher density projects. Relying on developers to rezone the City is not an effective method of expanding the supply of land zoned specifically for multi-family development. A more direct and proactive method of expanding the amount of land zoned for higher density residential development would entail an internal evaluation of the zoning ordinance. The City’s planning staff should be asked to identify additional land areas that would be suitable for higher density residential development and prepare a report to City Council. This self-evaluation serves as the foundation for future amendments to the City’s zoning regulations and zoning map. Once land is rezoned, developers proposing medium and high density residential development should understand that their proposals will be reviewed more favorably if they provide a certain percentage of affordable units in the overall unit mix. Mixed use projects represent a beneficial addition to the City and as such, the City should be commended for encouraging this type of development. However, the City should recognize that it is very difficult for an affordable housing developer to incorporate commercial space in their developments due to the nature of the financing mechanisms typically used to create affordable housing. It is impractical to think that providing for medium and high density residential development in mixed use zoning classifications, in and of itself, will significantly expand the supply of affordable housing in the City. 111 City of Georgetown 2030 Comprehensive Plan 2. Identify revitalization areas for concentrated investment. Given the limited supply of resources for affordable housing, it only makes sense for the City to select certain areas of the community for intensive and comprehensive revitalization rather than pursuing a “shotgun” approach to the development of affordable housing. City planners should be asked to select several target areas for intensive revitalization. Each target area might consist of three or four blocks. Typically, these areas will require the removal or substantial rehabilitation of blighted properties, new lighting, sidewalks, streets, utility infrastructure, landscaping and infill housing. At least some of the infill housing should be affordable to low and moderate income households. 3. Treat nonprofit and for-profit affordable housing developers as a special class of developer. Whenever a development proposal is presented to City officials that involves an affordable housing component, it should be identified as such and treated with special care and attention. The City’s housing coordinator should be assigned as an internal advocate to shepherd the project through the land use approval process. The City’s review process for projects involving affordable housing should be streamlined in a way that results in a fast track towards approval and permitting. The City’s planning staff should be asked to identify an abbreviated critical path for such projects to move through the approval process. Reducing the time period required to obtain local land use approvals will significantly enhance the feasibility of these special projects. Certain developers of affordable housing may not be oriented to the rigors of the approval process. The City’s internal advocate will not only speed the process, but make it more understandable and user friendly to non-traditional developers who may be confused and overwhelmed by the complexity of the process. 4. Waive all municipal impact fees and development fees for housing units affordable to 80% of the area median income and below. Waiving impact fees and development fees is the sole method the City has at its disposal to finance affordable housing. These costs represent a significant portion of the development budget for an affordable housing initiative. As a matter of policy, the City should continue this practice for all projects that involve the creation of affordable housing as defined in the Housing Element of the City’s Comprehensive Plan. The waiver of municipal impact fees and development fees is not an issue that should be debated on a project-by-project basis. Affordable housing developers should be able to rely on this support from the City when they prepare their financing plans. 5. Continue the Housing Diversity density incentives for new residential construction. To its credit, the City currently provides a density bonus to development projects that include an affordable housing component. To date, no developers have taken advantage of this incentive. Over time, as developers become more familiar with this provision in the City’s zoning code and as development sites become scarce, it is likely that developers will become motivated to have a second look at this incentive. The City may wish to tweak the incentive or provide public infrastructure support for projects that involve the creation of affordable housing. The City may also wish to conduct a developer workshop to expand awareness and to obtain developer feedback on how the housing diversity component of the City’s zoning code can be modified to expand the supply of affordable housing. 112 Housing Element 6. Use the City owned and operated electric utility to finance affordable housing. In rent-restricted affordable housing developments, it can sometimes be a financial challenge to generate sufficient revenue to meet operating expenses. Since the City operates its own electric utility, it has the flexibility of offering preferred rates to certain types of consumers that further the City’s policy objectives. For example, the City currently offers preferred electric utility rates to stimulate economic development. Likewise, the City should offer preferred rates to affordable housing developments. This type of subsidy is particularly appropriate in light of the fact that these developments house the labor that is needed to expand the local economy. A preferred electrical rate should also be offered to households at or below 80% of the area median household income that complete a certified homebuyer counseling program and purchase a Habitat for Humanity or other affordable for-sale property in the City. Another method of stimulating affordable housing development is to use energy savings to finance the cost of construction. The City’s electric utility or its subcontractor would install energy improvements and equipment during the construction process that would have the effect of reducing the consumption of electrical power within affordable housing developments over the long term. The City’s electric utility could undertake an energy audit to determine the potential reduction in operating costs that will accrue to the project through the use of energy efficient construction techniques and equipment. The City’s utility or its subcontractor would then install the prescribed energy improvements and equipment and enter into a lease-purchase agreement with the developer. The developer/owner would be responsible for making the lease-purchase payments from operating revenues. At the end of the lease period, the improvements will be owned by the developer/owner and the project will enjoy a permanent reduction in operating costs due to the energy savings. 7. Capitalize a local Housing Trust Fund with a dedicated revenue stream. A housing trust fund is a pool of funds that is irrevocably committed to the development of affordable housing. This pool of funds is capitalized through a dedicated revenue stream. For example, the City may permanently commit to the housing trust fund a percentage of its electric utility revenues or a percentage of its ad valorem (value added) tax revenues from economic development projects. Using a recurring revenue stream that is somehow linked to growth and expanded real estate development to capitalize the fund would be particularly appropriate. In this manner, the City would symbolically devote a percentage of its growth dividend to finance the construction of workforce housing needed to sustain the local economy. The City’s Housing Advisory Board would develop criteria for the use of housing trust fund proceeds and extend grants, loans and guarantees in support of affordable housing. A local housing trust fund is likely to become a useful tool with which to leverage proceeds from the national housing trust fund that is currently gaining legislative support in Congress. 8. Encourage the creation of a local Community Land Trust. A community land trust (CLT) acquires and holds land for the benefit of others. Perhaps the most popular type of CLT is a conservation trust which acquires and protects open space and agricultural land. But CLTs can also be used to expand the supply of affordable housing. CLTs hold land for the common good and make it available to individuals and/or organizations through long-term land leases. 113 City of Georgetown 2030 Comprehensive Plan Community land trusts typically acquire and hold land, but sell off any residential or commercial buildings which are on the land. In this way, the cost of land in the housing equation is minimized or eliminated, thus making the housing more affordable. The land leases, in addition to being long-term (typically ninety-nine years) and renewable, are also assignable to the heirs of the leaseholder. Most CLTs adopt "limited equity" policies and formulas that restrict the resale price of the housing in order to maintain its long-term affordability. Properties developed by land trusts pay local property taxes. Community land trusts, though often allied with City Hall, operate outside and independent of municipal government. The City may wish to convene a workshop with its nonprofit community to explain the land trust model and provide seed money for the formation of a CLT that is unique to Georgetown. 9. Prioritize the use of HUD CDBG funds for affordable housing. Based on 2007 estimates, the City’s population has eclipsed 47,000. When its population estimates reach the magic number of 50,000, the City of Georgetown will become eligible for an annual Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) entitlement grant from HUD. This will be an important windfall event in the City of Georgetown. The City would be well- advised to establish its priorities for the use of CDBG funds as a matter of public policy before entitlement status is conferred on the City. Early prioritization will minimize the confusion and competition to secure CDBG funds for “pet” projects that inevitably occurs whenever grant money becomes available in a community. Rather than using this newfound source of revenue for activities that ease pressure on the City’s general fund, the community should prioritize the use of CDBG funds for affordable housing. CDBG funds can be used to acquire property, rehabilitate affordable housing, provide infrastructure improvements in support of affordable housing and provide human services to the residents or prospective residents of affordable housing. In certain circumstances, CDBG funds can be used to finance the construction of new affordable housing, but only when the funds are funneled through a community based nonprofit development corporation. The revitalization planning effort described in recommendation #2 should provide the City with plenty of good ideas for the use of CDBG funds. Once the City’s CDBG program is operating smoothly, the City may want to work towards the designation of a neighborhood revitalization strategy area (NRSA) which is a provision in the CDBG regulations that makes it easier to utilize CDBG funds for mixed income housing initiatives. 10. Strengthen home buyer counseling and support services. Homebuyer counseling is aimed at credit repair and building basic home maintenance and budgeting skills. As such, it is an essential element of the affordable homeownership equation. While there are certain counseling services already available in Georgetown, these types of services need to be expanded and promoted. The City should encourage regional providers of counseling services to create or expand their presence in Georgetown. Commercial lending institutions and institutions of higher learning also have a vested interest in supporting or providing homebuyer counseling services. When extending public funds for affordable homeownership activities, the City should require each prospective homebuyer to successfully complete a certified homeownership counseling program as a condition of receiving financial assistance. 114 Housing Element 11. Strengthen the development skills of local nonprofit housing developers. The City is blessed with several public agencies and nonprofit housing organizations within its boundaries that develop affordable housing, including Habitat for Humanity and the Georgetown Housing Authority’s nonprofit affiliate. These organizations are valuable assets to the City since most of the affordable housing production in the nation is carried out by the nonprofit sector. Under certain circumstances, nonprofits find it beneficial to form strategic alliances with for-profit development entities in order to gain access to public funding. These types of relationships should be encouraged because they make projects happen in the short term while providing valuable experience to the nonprofit. But over the longer term, the City would benefit from the involvement of seasoned nonprofits that are familiar with the development process. There is no substitute for local nonprofit organizations that have the innate ability to obtain control of key properties, secure financing, form development teams, oversee construction and lease-up or sell properties upon the completion of construction. This ability is referred to in the industry as “development capacity”. The City should do everything in its power to support and expand the development capacity of its nonprofits. Every successful project contributes to a nonprofit’s development capacity. Nonprofits should also be encouraged to create at least one local Community Housing Development Organization (CHDO) that also qualifies as a Community Based Development Organization (CBDO). CHDOs and CBDOs are very special types of nonprofits that have access to federal HOME and CDBG funds to carry out development projects. 12. Seek out County CDBG funds and State HOME funds in support of affordable housing initiatives; subcontract with local nonprofits to implement projects. One of the important roles of the City in terms of expanding the supply of affordable housing is to use its legal powers to apply for state and federal funds. Once funding approval has been obtained, the City would act as a pass-through of funds to one or more local development organizations. These organizations would then assume responsibility for implementation of the project. Williamson County is a CDBG entitlement urban county entity and the City of Georgetown may submit project requests to the county’s community development department. Requests for federal HOME funds must be submitted to the state. The City and its affordable housing partners should identify and prioritize a series of projects and activities that would qualify for CDBG and/or HOME funding. Every year, the City should submit at least one funding request under each program for priority projects. The City currently administers a homeowner housing rehabilitation program funded by general fund revenues. The City’s guidelines for this program closely follow federal requirements, including an income targeting provision that limits the provision of financial assistance to households with incomes below 80% of the area median household income. This housing rehabilitation program would be administered more efficiently by a local nonprofit organization or the Georgetown Housing Authority. The City may wish to enter into a cooperation agreement with a local housing organization to administer this program. 13. Adopt universal design standards for accessibility. Universal design standards would require residential new construction to incorporate features that make dwellings more 115 City of Georgetown 2030 Comprehensive Plan accessible to persons with mobility impairments. The City should modify its building code requirements to require: • wall reinforcement to provide grab bars adjacent to a toilet, bathtub or shower • 32-inch minimum clear opening of interior doors • wall switches at a height not to exceed 32 inches • no-step entrances The adoption of universal design standards will provide older residents with an expanded opportunity to age in place while improving the visitability of the dwelling to persons with mobility impairments. These expanded design standards add minimally to the cost of construction. Such provisions will help to insure that the City’s housing stock becomes accessible to a wider range of consumers. The City should conduct a workshop with contractors and the local builders’ association to obtain input on this issue as part of the process of amending its building code to incorporate universal design standards. 14. Fund the proposed fixed-route transit system. As stated previously, there is a significant amount of cross-commuting taking place in Georgetown as City residents leave the community to work at jobs in Travis County while residents of outlying areas commute in to Georgetown to fill local jobs. Many residents have expressed concern about increased traffic volumes on Georgetown’s highways as evidenced by the results of the City’s Citizen Quality of Life Survey. In light of continued population growth in the City and the absence of public transportation, it is a forgone conclusion that traffic volumes will continue to rise. The City recently invested a significant amount of resources to identify the most cost-effective and efficient method to initiate a fixed route public transit system in Georgetown. While the proposal was not approved by Council, it makes serious economic sense to reconsider such a project in light of the affordable rental housing deficit of 1,413 units and the projected increase in lower-wage, lower-skill jobs— both of which involve the primary ridership of public transit. 15. Treat affordable housing as a major policy issue in Georgetown. Each January when the City is establishing its overall policy and programmatic goals for the coming year, the City and its appointed Housing Advisory Board should review affordable housing achievements from the prior year and establish new goals for the year ahead. The City may wish to define specific point-in-time benchmarks against which performance in implementing the Housing Element’s recommendations can be judged. The Housing Advisory Board in conjunction with the City’s Housing Coordinator should prepare an annual report of accomplishments. One very important task that should be added to the Housing Coordinator’s to-do list involves updating the calculation of the City’s affordable housing deficit. Using the methodology described in Part 10, the City should update its affordable housing deficit when 2010 census data is made available. In particular, HUD data on cost-burdened households is needed to perform this calculation. Unfortunately, this information is generated by HUD only once every ten years. Given the magnitude of growth and change in Georgetown during the past decade, it can reasonably be assumed that there will be significant changes in the factors that influence affordable housing demand. The City’s affordable housing deficit is by nature a fluid phenomenon and efforts should be undertaken to monitor the production of affordable housing on an annual basis. This 116 Housing Element calculation will be made easier by including affordable housing production in the annual report of accomplishments. 117
"Housing Element - City of Georgetown Texas"