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Be the broker: Which vacant office spaces would you like to see become affordable housing?

Tell us which empty building could be used differently.

The Austin skyline, as seen at nighttime

The Austin skyline has seen some changes in 2023 — and even more are yet to come.

Have you noticed some of the empty office space around town? Office vacancies are currently at 21.2% as of this September. Compare those numbers to the national office vacancy rate, which was 17.8% as of September. One possible use for vacant offices? Affordable housing.

Recently, the White House released a new plan to convert commercial buildings into residential housing — affordable housing in particular. Resources will be made available from 20+ programs across multiple agencies, including the Department of Transportation and the Department of Housing and Urban Development.

We’re talking below-market loans, grants, and tax credits... all available to help take advantage of preexisting buildings to make more affordable housing.

Office vacancies in Austin are high but no conversion projects are currently underway. However, office space conversions have been suggested by District 9 Austin City Council member Zohaib “Zo” Qadri, so the idea isn’t entirely new to town.

Which vacant spaces would you like to see converted?

Have you passed an empty office building that would be a sweet apartment? How about some empty warehouses near public transportation that would make for a quick commute?

Tell us which spaces you’d like to see remade into housing, and we may feature your picks in an upcoming newsletter.

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