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THE PROBLEM

Austin housing cost increases are outpacing household income at a rate of nearly 750%.  Over the last 6 years (2010-2016), Austin median family home price has increased 45.25% while median family income has only increased 5.42%.

 
 

THE STAKES

"The stakes could not be clearer: If we do nothing, Austin will become like San Francisco, a wonderful, if incredibly expensive city, with a median home price over $1 Million where only the wealthy and the subsidized can afford to live. We lose [and are already losing] our middle class to suburban sprawl, making traffic even worse and losing the spirit and soul of our city."

- Mayor Steve Adler

 

The OPPORTUNITY

Impact Hub Austin has partnered with Google, Chase, and The Austin Board of REALTORS to find new and innovative solutions to tackling our city's housing affordability crisis.

Impact Hub Austin’s Affordable Housing Accelerator (AHA) is a 3-month Austin-based program focusing on advocacy, innovation, and financing to keep Austin diversely weird and affordably engineered.  The AHA will unite civic, tech, and real estate industry curriculum and mentorship to fast-track a cohort of teams that will innovate solutions to this pressing social issue.    

 

With the current rewrite of the land development code (CodeNEXT), the brand new City of Austin strategic housing blueprint, and the recent mayoral report and recommendations on addressing Austin’s systemic racism and inequity, this is an unprecedented moment to leverage focus, knowledge and public will to make a significant impact on the affordability crisis.
— Ashley Phillips, Managing Director of Impact Hub Austin

 

APPLICATIONS closed

Participants will benefit from Impact Hub’s strong network of organizations and experts working in Austin’s housing sector as well as one-­on-one intensive coaching, a peer cohort model, and expertly developed sessions created to produce sustainable solutions to Austin’s affordable housing issue.

 

YOU SHOULD APPLY IF*....

YOU HAVE...

  • ...A desire to change Austin’s affordability problem
  • ...Identified a good Problem-Solution fit: your solution can actually have a meaningful impact on the problem
  • ...The skills and background necessary to be able to deliver your solution
  • ...The ability to measure your impact and track progress against it
  • ...A plan for the next twelve months with clear goals and outputs, fully aware that both are probably wrong
  • ...Are based in Austin, TX and want to learn from, contribute to and build with a cohort of locally-based peers

YOU NEED...

  • ...Consistent encouragement, inspiration and practical tools.
  • ...Dedicated time, mentoring and tailored support as you test and build your impact and business models
  • ...Specialist advice from other successful ventures and relevant experts
  • ...Powerful connections, including to customers, beneficiaries, potential partners, funders, talent and other locally-based peers like you
  • ...Help recruiting, building and engaging your board

*Huge thanks to the UnLtd USA team for sharing templates, inspiration & best practices as we have built this process and program.


Three Tracks for Applications

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Policy & Advocacy

Creating and sustaining affordable housing is complex.  Austin, like other cities, has its own unique policy, history and needs when it comes to affordability.  Under this track we are soliciting teams that support stakeholder understanding, education on current Austin data and other initiatives that enable the long term adoption of policies that support affordability in Austin. 

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Financial Modeling

Austin’s land and infrastructure are expensive.  This is a huge component to lack of affordability city-wide.  Under this track, we are soliciting teams that will utilize innovative financial models that enable production and/or preservation of affordable units in Austin.  These teams will use strong partnerships and other methods to buy the cost of units down. We are looking for these initiatives to have potential for broad application.

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Efficiency Tools

You have heard the phrase - time is money; and nowhere is this more accurate (and with expensive consequences) than in producing affordable housing.  Under this track, we are soliciting teams that are working on tools, tech enabled or otherwise, that will support efficiency in identifying, executing and delivering on affordable housing stock.


What You Get As A Participant*

INSPIRING SPACE
Impact Hub North and South are open to you.  Our community, our amenities, our coffee and our swings!  We price ourselves in creating spaces and moments where serendipity is at work and inspiration is constantly at play.

COACHING AND TRAINING
Drawing on the skills and expertise of our team, our network of mentors and your own cohort members, we provide customized coaching and a series of trainings in key skills for venture and impact success.

CROSS SECTOR NETWORK BUILDING
Impact Hub Austin creates a platform for leading affordability and start-up advisors, mentors and experts in government, business and non-profit top mentors to connect to you and support your growth.  We will identify the challenges you have and connect you to the solutions to you need to succeed, including customers, beneficiaries, potential partners, funders and talent.

COHORT BUILDING
We know that people often learn the most from their peers, so we facilitate opportunities for you and your cohort members to share insights, resources, ideas and contacts.

 

*Huge thanks to the UnLtd USA team for sharing templates, inspiration & best practices as we have built this process and program.


OUR PARTNERS & ADVISORS

 
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Impact Hub Austin is excited to partner on this year's Affordable Housing Accelerator with Google, Chase, Noble Capital, BuildFax, The Austin Board of REALTORS®, and dozens of mentors including leaders from Austin's for-profit and non-profit sectors.


 

With a growing presence in Austin, Google is committed to helping solve our community's biggest challenges.  Whether it's access to STEM education or helping find innovative solutions to transportation and affordable housing concerns, Austin Googlers want to be a part of the solution.  We are excited to support the Affordable Housing Accelerator and look forward to seeing our community move forward.

- Gerardo Interiano 
Head of External Affairs for the Southwest U.S. at Google

Housing is at the center of all major public policy dilemmas facing urban communities across our country- it impacts community health outcomes, mobility, and public education in ways that are deeply meaningful. The Austin Board of REALTORS® is committed to identifying opportunities to solve the housing challenges Austin faces in an effort to positively impact the overall quality of life of all Austinites. We are encouraged by the use of a tech model of innovation as a vehicle to engage the community in solving this problem together. 

 - Emily Chenevert
Director of Operations at Austin Board of REALTORS®

Home is where we raise our families. It’s safety. It’s security. And as housing becomes increasingly inaccessible and substandard, it puts that basic human need in jeopardy for many Austin community members. At BuildFax, we’re passionate about the democratization of data and technology to uphold housing safety standards and to promote transparency in real estate transactions. That’s why we’re so excited that the Affordable Housing Accelerator is fostering this collaboration and we’re thrilled to support the movement to promote change.

 - Holly Tachovsky
Founder and CEO, BuildFax


Our MENTORS

 

Our Partner and Mentor Network span government, business and non-profit professionals who have a wide variety of expertise from land code regulation & tax law to private wealth funding and successful public/private partnerships.  Be sure to come to the launch party to meet this growing community.

The best way to win is to have everyone brings their expertise to the table. Mentors are proven practitioners in Austin specific issues pertaining to housing, government, non-profits and business.  They are here to help our teams overcome major challenges when building their ventures.

 

Interested in mentoring?

The best way to win is to have everyone brings their expertise to the table. Mentors are proven practitioners in Austin specific issues pertaining to housing, government, non-profits and business. 

 
 

Interested in future Impact Hub Accelerators?


Our Values

 

Authenticity

Our intention is to create a safe place where you can drop the masks or “roles” you may assume in your everyday life and just show up as you.  In a society where we are often categorized by our accolades and accomplishments, we put our humanity first, before career accomplishments, political position, or the size of bank accounts. To build the trust needed to change the issues we face, we have to start with authenticity.

We’re Here To Grow

Ultimately, all of our programs at Impact Hub Austin are created for people to grow.  The Affordable Housing Accelerator is no different.  We are learners and doers and create a space to support both.  We value feedback and see it as a gift and material for our growth.

Take Risks & Be Bold

We invite you to be be bold, to take risks!  To pay attention when your inner critic is stopping you from sharing your ideas or shining brightly.  We invite you to drop the internal judge and be aware of your judgements of others.  Our intention is to create a safe experience where you are able to explore what you’re made of and to stop putting limits on yourself or others.  From here we can walk the path less traveled while honoring the past and pioneering new solutions.

Assume Goodwill

Before we jump to conclusions or judgments we ask questions.  We assume goodwill in our partners and potential collaborators and that each person in this experience is working toward the same end.  We trust each other to do what we say we will do. We may have different approaches, but we share an underlying positive intention and set of values.

Impact-Oriented & Process-Driven

We remember the goal, we remember the individuals and families affected every moment in Austin when they aren’t able to find a home.  Our goal is to tangibly change this reality now and ultimately change the narrative of Austin.  We know that this impact will only be sustained through a robust and thoughtful process.  The process ensures the outcome.  And the process is where all the learning happens!

It Takes A Community

Collaboration is the key to solving the issues of our time. We welcome diversity and partner with like-minded organizations to make a meaningful difference. We understand these issues are extremely complex and any effort to address them must be inherently collaborative.