By Lee Whitaker • 2018 President

Hopefully by now you’ve at least heard the term “CodeNEXT.” If you haven’t, as an industry professional, we encourage you to learn all you can and get involved. Why? This is your city and the health of the real estate market is your bread and butter. But imagine a California-like scenario where thousands of middle-class individuals and families literally cannot afford to buy a home and find themselves paying ridiculous rents or worse, living in their cars or RVs—a crisis happening as I write these words in places like Santa Barbara and San Jose.

The city of Austin recently released Draft 3 of CodeNEXT. Unfortunately much of the feedback given to the city from housing advocates and the general community have not been heard. Draft 3 is too restrictive and does not offer the ability to build various “missing middle” housing options throughout the city to address our affordability problems. Much more needs to be done.

Our HBA is diligently working with Evolve Austin, a coalition of professional organizations including the Austin Board of REALTORS, Habitat for Humanity, and the Real Estate Council of Austin, just to name a few, and city of Austin staff to educate and inform both city staff and the general public on the importance of getting CodeNEXT right. Once passed, we will be stuck with this code for decades to come. Done correctly, our city can continue to grow while remaining an affordable place to live so that our quality of life and unique culture can remain intact. Done poorly and we’ll find ourselves in the same affordability pit found in cities like San Francisco and other cities across California.

Evolve Austin recently released a video that does a great job of explaining how the current development code has contributed to our affordability problems, where we are now and what we must do to “evolve.” Visit our Facebook page at www.facebook.com/HBAGreaterAustin to see the video. We highly encourage you to share it with your friends, reach out to your professional organizations that you are a part of and make a difference. There is no time like the present to make meaningful change!

2018 Parade of Homes™ Big Reveal Party March 29

Please join us at 6-8 p.m. on Thursday, March 29 at Austin’s newest hotel, Fairmont Austin on Red River and Caesar Chavez for “The Big Reveal.” In partnership with Travisso and Platinum Top 50 REALTORS, we will reveal the vision for the 2018 Parade of Homes, introduce the builders and show off the renderings of this year’s Parade homes. There will be live music, refreshments, appetizers, networking and big prizes. This year’s Parade of Homes will be hosted at Travisso in Leander and will include some exciting new features never done before. You will not want to miss this event. Please send your RSVP to info@platinumtop50.com.

14th Annual Crawfish Boil & Washer Tournament Builder/REALTOR Mixer April 26

Save the date for this year’s Crawfish Boil & Washer Tournament Builder/REALTOR mixer. Hosted by Bryson in Leander, you won’t want to miss this once-a-year opportunity to mix and mingle with builders, check out our host community, enjoy live Cajun music and indulge yourself on the season’s best Crawfish and fixings. Early bird tickets are on sale now through March 31. Visit www.hbaaustin.com/event/crawfishboil2018.  RL