Tomorrow, the Austin City Council takes up an ordinance that would lower occupancy limits on single-family zoned property. If approved, the maximum number of unrelated adults allowed to live together would fall from six to four.
Supporters of the change is needed to stop the spread of so-called "stealth dorms" – neighborhood homes built or remodeled to hold as many renters as possible. Opponents say the change will hurt Austin's declining stock of affordable housing.
Julie Montgomery is a Program Coordinator & Research Associate, Center for Health and Social Policy (CHASP) at the LBJ School of Public Affairs at her alma mater UT Austin.
An occupancy limit reduction would make housing more expensive for all of us. It wouldn’t really solve the unfortunate quality of life problems experienced by some neighborhoods. And it is a costly distraction from the challenging work that policymakers, staff, and advocates need to do to address Austin’s housing shortage.