Syeda Hasan

Development and Affordability Reporter

Syeda Hasan is KUT's development and affordability reporter. She previously worked as a reporter at Houston Public Media covering county government, immigrant and refugee communities, homelessness and the Sandra Bland case. Her work has been heard nationally on public radio shows such as Morning EditionAll Things Considered and Marketplace.

She got her start in public radio as an intern at KUT while earning her bachelor’s degree in journalism, with a minor in French, at the University of Texas at Austin where she served as a reporter for the Daily Texan student newspaper.

Ways to Connect

Gabriel Cristóver Pérez / KUT

The Austin City Council approved the strategic housing plan Thursday, though the document is now being called the strategic housing “blueprint.” It calls for the construction of 135,000 more housing units by 2025, with 60,000 of them being affordable.

Martin do Nascimento / KUT

After hours of debate last night, Austin City Council gave final approval to one of this year’s most divisive zoning cases. The Austin Oaks planned unit development, or PUD, will bring new housing, retail, office space and parkland to the current site of an office park near Spicewood Springs Road and MoPac. Last night’s vote was 8-2. 

Martin do Nascimento / KUT

Next month, Austin’s Brackenridge Hospital will close its doors for good. Patients will be transferred to the new Dell Seton Medical Center just across East 15th Street. That means the spacious, and centrally located, Brackenridge campus will be open for new development. But the incoming tenant will have to contend with a unique feature of the property, something buried beneath the surface of the old hospital.

Pavel Mezihorak for KUT

The release of Austin’s first-ever strategic housing plan has both faced scrutiny and garnered support at public meetings in recent weeks. The plan aims to address the city’s growing affordability crisis by setting goals for new housing production. Austin City Council members are set to vote Thursday on whether to adopt the plan, and they’re proposing some changes to make the implementation process smoother.

Miguel Gutierrez Jr. for KUT

For Austin visitors, it’s hard to beat the iconic view of the Texas Capitol from Congress Avenue. But for those who live and work along the corridor, the streetscape could use some improvements. 

Gabriel Cristóver Pérez / KUT

This week, the Austin City Council is set to take up the city’s first-ever housing plan. The plan aims to address Austin’s growing affordability crisis by setting goals for new housing production. But apart from encouraging more affordable housing, there’s also the question of where exactly it should go. 

Jorge Sanhueza-Lyon / KUT

Austin’s hotels bring in millions of dollars in tax revenue for the city each year. For the past few months, the city has been exploring new uses for that money. As the revenue continues to grow, some local parks groups think it could be a way to fund their proposed improvement projects. 

Jorge Sanhueza-Lyon / KUT

Pastor Clarence Jones has a meeting with a potential buyer in just a few minutes. He’s been having a lot of these meetings over the past two years, ever since church leaders decided to put the Greater Saint John Baptist Church up for sale.

“Hopefully it will sell and we can relocate,” he says, “so that’s what we’re looking forward to at this time.”

Pavel Mezihorak for KUT News

City programs that aim to improve affordability may bring down costs for some Austin residents, but for others, they could make the cost of living even higher. That’s according to a draft report released Tuesday by the city auditor’s office.

Stephanie Tacy for KUT

Residents of the Rainey Street neighborhood struck a deal last year with a developer looking to build new condos in the area. It agreed to conduct a comprehensive traffic study, determining what the most pressing transportation needs are and how they could be affected by new development.

Jorge Sanhueza-Lyon / KUT

When he arrives at work Monday morning, Khalid Marshall is greeted by a slate of complaints from Austin residents. Marshall is a code enforcement officer with the city, and his work specifically focuses on short-term rentals, or STRs, like those you’d find on HomeAway or Airbnb.

Gabriel Cristóver Pérez / KUT

The City of Austin is in the process of adopting a new land development code, rules that will govern everything from parking requirements to how tall buildings can be. As the city begins rolling out the proposal, some think the information needs to be translated into more languages, making it accessible to more Austin residents.

Gabriel Cristóver Pérez / NPR

In recent years, Austin’s creative community has been feeling the brunt of the city’s affordability crisis. As rents continue to rise, many artists have moved away, and studios and galleries have closed their doors.

Now, the city is looking to provide creative space for artists in some unexpected places, by partnering with local houses of worship.

Pavel Mezihorak for KUT

Austin has been called the most economically segregated city in the nation. Now, the Austin City Council is taking steps to try and bring more jobs to the East Side, an area that’s historically been home to minority populations and the economically disadvantaged.

Jorge Sanhueza-Lyon / KUT

With more tourists coming to Austin each year, the city’s hotels are generating more and more revenue. Some of that funding is set aside to support Austin’s tourism industry, and as the number of guests and hotels grow, so does that pot of money. A city task force is exploring new ways to spend it.

Pavel Mezihorak for KUT

The Capital Metro board of directors on Monday unanimously approved a plan to overhaul its transit service. Cap Metro says Connections 2025 is designed to improve rider experience by creating a 24/7 transit system and expanding service.  

Gabriel Cristóver Pérez / KUT

Recent reports show hate crimes against Muslims in the U.S. have spiked to levels not seen since just after 9/11. This has led one Austin-area Muslim group to try and combat misconceptions about their religion. They’re holding a series of community conversations, inviting people to come and ask any questions they have about Islam.

Miguel Gutierrez Jr. / KUT

An increase in immigration enforcement and proposed policies from President Donald Trump may be taking a toll on businesses that rely on an immigrant workforce. Some in Austin's construction community say undocumented workers don’t feel safe reporting to work.

Jorge Sanhueza-Lyon / KUT

It’s lunchtime at the Quickie Pickie on East 11th Street. Customers fill the patio tables and several others line up to order food inside. Manager Mohammad Walid describes the business as part restaurant, part convenience store.

Gabriel Cristóver Pérez / KUT

A federal appeals court on Thursday rejected a bid to reinstate President Trump’s travel ban. The executive order temporarily bars travel from seven majority-Muslim countries. 

Pages