Background

A severe problem has been developing in Central and North Central Austin neighborhoods related to housing called “dorm-style duplexes” or “stealth dorms.” The terms generally describe duplexes or houses rented to six or more unrelated people, usually students, who use them as dormitories or rooming houses. For the last eight years, college towns across the country have responded to the issue of stealth dorm duplexes in older neighborhoods by lowering occupancy limits of dorm-style duplexes. It’s time for Austin to do the same.

Read More

Act Now

Help Stop the Destruction of Austin’s Urban Family Neighborhoods by Dorm-Style Housing. We need to make the occupancy reduction ordinance passed on March 20, 2014 permanent.

  1. Contact City Council candidates and tell them you want to make permanent the occupancy reduction ordinance delete)
  2. Send an email or write to the Austin Code Next team and let it know you want the occupancy reduction ordinance to be permanent. Link www.austintexas.gov/codenext
  3. Ask your neighborhood association to write or email the Code Next team and let them know your association wants the occupancy reduction ordinance to be permanent.
  4. Spread the word

News

Austin limits ‘stealth dorms’ with four-person cap
Sarah Coppola. Austin American Statesmen. March 20, 2014.

Op Ed: Limits on ‘stealth dorms’ needed to protect neighborhoods
Mary Sanger. Mike Wong, Nuria Zaragoza. Austin American Statesmen. March, 2014.

Stealth dorm vote will help Austin in the long run
Editorial Board. The Daily Texan. February 20, 2014.

Austin Should Curb Urban Farms and Stealth Dorms
Editorial Board. Austin American Statesman. November 21 2013.

Austin to consider cracking down on stealth dorms
Kvue.com. November 21, 2013

Keep Integrity of Single-family Zoning
Austin American Statesman Article. November 15, 2013

City Plan Would Target Stealth Dorms
Sarah Coppola. Austin American Statesman. November 11, 2013

At its October 28th, 2013 meeting, the Historic Landmark Commission voted 4 – 2 not to approve historic zoning to the McKown home. We will have to wait and see what the developer builds in its place

The Austin Post discovers that the possible demolition of a historic home might be replaced by dorm style housing. Read the Austin Post article. October 24, 2013.

Texas Tribune takes a close look at stealth dorms’ negative impacts on single family neighborhoods. Read more at Stealth Dorms Move In and Families Move Out

This just in. Read All About It: On August 14 at 3:30, visit Code Compliance site to read draft RENTAL REGISTRATION ORDINANCES!!!!

Read Stealth Dorm Resolution in Pecan Press.

Developers are increasingly scraping off small, single-family homes and replacing them with stealth dorms and super duplexes that charge upwards of $1000 per bedroom. Check out Elizabeth Pagano’s Austin Chronicle article from June 28, 2013.

Austin City Council OKs two plans to track rental properties
Sarah Coppola, Austin American Statesman, June 7, 2013

Increased Penalties, Rental Registry in Plans for Austin Rental Properties
Community Impact, June 7, 2013

Join fellow neighborhood associations in supporting the Tovo-Martinez resolution to enforce codes for stealth dorms at June 6th City Council Meeting. Sign the Change.org petition now!!

Permit reviewer suspected of taking money to rush applications
Austin American-Statesman, May 23, 2013

Despite opposition, Board of Adjustment rules for ‘stealth dorm’ project
In Fact Daily, May 16, 2013

Homeowners Want Limits on Student Houses: Heritage Neighborhood Fighting “Stealth Dorms”
KXAN-TV, May 7, 2013

A Stealth Dorm’s Stealthy Victory: Construction finally begins at 1917 David St. 
The Austin Chronicle, April 12, 2013

“Obviously, their intent is going to be to build whatever it is they want to build – just kind of shove it in there when no one’s looking. Everyone knows very well that once something has a front door, nobody really is able to enforce what goes on behind it.”

Neighborhood Watch: The moving parts that keep a neighborhood sustainable
The Austin Chronicle, March 22, 2013

“Between 1970 and 2000, the percentage of the population represented by [families with children in central Austin] shrank from 32% to just under 14%. Middle-class families in particular, Robinson writes in his analysis, are disappearing from the urban core.”

“My opinion is that whenever there is competition for housing, families will lose, because there’s more to pay for.”

Central Austin Parents Upset Over Stealth Dorms
KEYE-TV, March 19, 2013

‘Stealth Dorms’ Grow in Number
KXAN-TV, October 7, 2010

Report Regarding Occupancy Issues in Single-Family Zoned Areas
Created by the Single Family Regulations Task Force

Read More