I attended the East Austin Economic Summit organized by The People Fund. They shared some pretty alarming stats on East Austin*….
- There are approximately 1,350 businesses in East Austin
- 25% of East Austin residents are age 30 or younger
- East Austin’s retail/restaurant market is valued at $138 Million
- Average income for East Austin residents – $43,200 (50% less than the City’s)
- You need to earn $40,000 to qualify for a $200,000 loan – 60% of East Austin residents would not qualify
- Only 21% of East Austin residents have at least an associates degree
- East Austin is being left out of economic development conversations
- Not enough residents are not being engaged in authentic ways
- Residents are being pushed further east due to the increased housing prices and taxes
Do not be dismayed by these stats; there is hope and people are working on it (although I think we need to do more as a community). Groups like the People Fund are doing their part to increase awareness and visiblity to East Austin concerns as well as to create opportunities for residents and families in East Austin.
The only thing I would have liked to seen more (at the Summit) is engagement and attendance with East Austin residents that are being impacted by these changes. I would like to see more people like Jeff Clark. I sat next to him at the opening session and we talked about the growing disparity in East Austin and some of his struggles as a business owner and resident.
I thought I would share his message with you…
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Director, Hands On Central Texas