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

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. 

Miguel Gutierrez Jr. / KUT

Have you ever looked up at construction cranes around town and wondered why it takes so long for things to get built in Austin? Developers will quickly say the city's permitting process has a lot to do with it. Now the city is about to start a new program to hopefully speed things up, but with speed comes a new set of rules.

Brad.K/Flickr

A few months ago, Austin launched a new recycling program. A company called Simple Recycling agreed to pick up people’s unwanted clothing and textiles right from their homes. It began distributing big green bags for residents to fill and put at their curbs, just like trash or recycling.

Immigration activists and attorneys in Travis County are bracing for the possibility of deportation raids by federal officials in the coming days. 

Syeda Hasan / KUT

The City of Austin has released the much-awaited first draft of CodeNEXT, its new land development guidelines. It’s the first time in more than 30 years that these regulations have been updated.

The new code aims to address a host of issues, from offering flexibility in homes allowed in a planned neighborhood, to improving flood mitigation.

Gabriel Cristóver Pérez / KUT

Thousands are protesting President Donald Trump’s executive order banning refugees from seven predominately Muslim countries. While federal judges have temporarily stayed parts of that order across the country, notably a provision that would deport some refugees detained at airports, demonstrators have staged protests at airports across the country, including at Austin Bergstrom International Airport.

Jorge Sanhueza-Lyon / KUT

Next week, the city of Austin is set to release the first draft of CodeNEXT, a much-awaited overhaul of the land development code. These rules govern everything from parking to how neighborhoods look. But as the change rolls in, some city leaders worry Austin’s affordable housing may be at risk.

Jorge Sanhueza-Lyon / KUT

If you’ve ever tried to park in downtown Austin, you’ve probably found yourself circling the streets a few times before finding a spot. The city is exploring changes to make more parking available during peak traffic time – but that could mean cutting back on free parking hours.

Jorge Sanhueza-Lyon / KUT

Austin’s booming population continued to grow in 2016, which helped fuel another strong year for the housing market. But some analysts say the region’s home sales could begin to see a slowdown in the year ahead.

One of the biggest factors that draw people to the Central Texas region – employment – isn’t growing quite as fast as it used to. Eldon Rude, principal of 360 Real Estate Analytics, said that could signal a weaker growth in home sales for the year ahead.

Gabriel Cristóver Pérez / KUT

Our story begins at a dead end near 13th Street and Walnut Avenue in the Chestnut neighborhood of East Austin, just down the street from where Leslie Padilla has lived for about three years. 

You wouldn’t know it from looking at it, but a vacant field just past this dead end is a piece of Austin’s African-American history. About a century ago, this land was home to the city’s annual Juneteenth celebration, which marks the end of slavery in Texas.

Gabriel Cristóver Pérez/KUT News

From lower wages to higher interest rates for loans, minority business owners in Austin often face disproportionate challenges. But city staff are working to help those businesses find more opportunities to work with the city of Austin.

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