New Braunfels Edition | July 2021


Defining affordability The city is currently working to nd housing that is aordable for those making less than the area median income. Census data reports household income in $5,000-$50,000 increments.

Price gap

Daily commute

For those making less than the area median household income, much of New Braunfels’ housing is out of budget.

Due to the lack of aordable options in the city, many who work in New Braunfels live outside city limits.

survive,” Alice Jewell said. “But we have come to realize that there [are] a lot of dierent opinions about hous- ing. ... It conjures up a lot of emotion in people.” City seeks to diversify housing In 2018, the New Braunfels Eco- nomic Development Corp. hired Com- munity Development Strategies to conduct a workforce housing study. The study revealed that one-third of households in New Braunfels were cost-burdened based on data gathered in 2017. The United States Department of Housing and Urban Development denes cost-burdened as families that spend more than 30% of their annual or monthly gross income on housing. “[The study] was really the rst time in print that everybody was able to realize what we’ve all known,” Alice Jewell said. “We all knew it, but now it was documented and legitimate.” Approximately 22% of owner-occu- pied households were cost-burdened, and 48% of renter households were cost-burdened in 2017, according to the study. In 2019 the city created the Work- force Housing Advisory Committee to assist city sta in developing plans to bring more aordable options to New Braunfels through changing zoning regulations, educating the public and In New Braunfels, a lack of aordable housing options has led many who work in the city to take up residence in surrounding communities. According to a 2018 workforce housing study, approximately 72% of jobs in New Braunfels are lled by nonresidents. SOURCES: CITY OF NEW BRAUNFELS, FOUR RIVERS ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS, U.S. CENSUS BUREAUCOMMUNITY IMPACT NEWSPAPER the issue Identifying

In 2019,

27,004 were lled by non- residents 10,576 were lled by residents

$71,044 2019 median household income

were located in New Braunfels in 2018 37,580 jobs

30% of New Braunfels households were cost-burdened, meaning they pay more than 30% of their monthly income on housing costs.

52.8% 47.2% made at or below $74,999 in 2019

made at or above $75,000 in 2019

Renters Aordable rent for someone earning $50,000 would not exceed $1,250 per month Homebuyers Aordable home for someone earning $50,000 would not exceed $200,000

Median monthly rent in 2019

areas because housing is not aord- able or not available. According to the workforce hous- ing study, about 72% of the 37,580 jobs located in New Braunfels in 2017 were lled by nonresidents. Stephen Brockman, vice president of leadership and small-business pro- grams for The Greater New Braunfels Chamber of Commerce and at large member of the WHAC, said the daily outow of residents and inow of non- residents for work contributes to traf- c congestion throughout the area. “We’re passing ourselves on the major roadways,” Brockman said. “You can follow the major arteries, I would say [I-]35 and [Hwy.] 46, gure out the communities along there and they’re coming in.” However, some residents have voiced concerns that trac might increase as additional housing is cre- ated and could add to other issues they believe have been brought on by the city’s rapid growth. “Our roads are not adequate for existing trac, let alone thousands more apartment residents,” said Timo- thy Davis, a resident and member of a local group called the Citizens of New Braunfels for Responsible Growth, during a June 14 City Council meet- ing. “The city needs to hire more sta, more police and more road depart- ment employees desperately.” Members of the CNBRG regu- larly attend City Council meetings to oppose agenda items that are aimed at rezoning land to allow for multifamily projects that they believe would put strain on area infrastructure. During the June 14meeting, no coun- cil member made a motion to approve the rst reading of an ordinance to rezone 49.5 acres of land located at 614 and 720 W. Zipp Road to allow for a mix of residential and nonresidential development. The item died following citizen opposition. City council members have


earned at or below $49,999 34.2%

earned between $50,000-$74,999 18.6%

Median home price in 2019

identifying incentives for developers to build aordable options. As the city has grown and sin- gle-family homes now dominate the market, Je Jewell, economic and community development director for the city of New Braunfels, said the number of cost-burdened households has likely increased. “You have a lot of supply being put on the ground today, but it’s being priced at such a point that is further and further out of reach for a larger and larger portion of the New Braunfels population,” Je Jewell said. “The way that you begin to address that is you start to put more housing in there.” Building homes at a variety of price points would allowmobility within the community as families and individu- als who cannot aord the majority of homes on themarket in NewBraunfels would be able to purchase a house within their budget, he said. Though the demand for aordable options is high, developers have little incentive to build residential proper- ties that may not produce enough rev- enue to repay loans used to construct them, Je Jewell said. Incentives such as fee waivers for homes constructed at or below $225,000, federal grants, state fund- ing and other programs are necessary


to make such projects aordable for developers, he said. “A lot of our work has been focused on what regulatory tweaks can we be making to increase the supply of housing,” he said. “It is about how do you mold the built environment and your land-use rules to achieve the vision that’s outlined in Envision New Braunfels [comprehensive plan].” Several new developments within city limits and in the extraterrito- rial jurisdiction of New Braunfels are expected to add many new residences over the next 20 years. The 2,400-acre Veramendi project and the 1,880-acre Mayfair develop- ment will add thousands of new sin- gle-family homes, apartments and townhomes over the next 15-20 years. Solms Landing, a 98-acre commu- nity located near Creekside Crossing, plans to add up to 215 single-family homes and 455 multifamily units in the next ve to seven years. “We’re running out of land in New Braunfels,” said Johnnie Rosenauer, a retired professor of real estate at sev- eral universities throughout Texas and a member of the WHAC. “We have to make very selective choices with the limited amount of open space that’s still available because the conse- quences will be far beyond this com-

11,850 residences Three large developments are anticipated to bring more than All three will include single and multifamily housing. to the New Braunfels area.

Know? Did you

mittee, or any of our lifetimes.” Solutions to growth concerns

MAYFAIR 6,000 residences

VERAMENDI 5,000 residences

SOLMS LANDING 850 residences



Even now, many who work in the city commute from surrounding




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