Syeda Hasan | KUOW News and Information

Syeda Hasan

Syeda Hasan is a general assignment reporter for KUT News. She previously worked as a reporter at Houston Public Media covering county government, immigrant and refugee communities, homelessness and the Sandra Bland case. Her work has been heard nationally on public radio shows such as “Morning Edition,” “All Things Considered” and “Marketplace.”

She got her start in public radio as an intern at KUT while earning her bachelor’s degree in journalism, with a minor in French, at the University of Texas at Austin where she served as a reporter for the Daily Texan student newspaper.

There is plenty of parking in downtown Austin, but often those spaces aren’t available, according to a parking study released Wednesday by the nonprofit Downtown Austin Alliance. 

Austin is in the process of adopting several plans that will guide the future of development and transportation in the region. The city revealed a new guide Tuesday for the future of street design.

For years, talk of affordable housing has dominated discussions at Austin City Hall. As the cost of living continues to climb, Mayor Steve Adler has expressed concern that the city is on its way to sky-high real estate prices like those in San Francisco. But how much power does the city actually have to influence the housing market?

Austin City Council approved a review today of how fair housing practices measure up in Austin and across Central Texas. 

The federal Fair Housing Act aims to protect people from discrimination when renting, buying or financing a home. Despite those protections, the reality is that housing discrimination persists in many cities. This will be the first time the Austin-Round Rock metro area gets a comprehensive look at this issue across the entire region. 

For years, Central Texas has seen ripples of population growth with Austin at the center.

“Without question, you essentially see this concentric movement outward from the urban core,” State Demographer Lloyd Potter said last month at the Texas Demographic Conference.

As rents for residents and businesses continue to climb, Austin City Council has approved a plan to help the city’s artists afford to keep their venues and creative spaces.

For years, Mike “Truth” Johnston has been pasting his colorful portraits of icons from Michael Jordan to Martin Luther King Jr. on dumpsters, billboards and electrical boxes around the city. 

KUT’s Syeda Hasan caught up with the Austin street artist to learn more about his creative process. 


Austin City Council is set to consider a program that would bring more affordable housing units to the East Side. It’s called a community land trust, and it could create homes that remain affordable for decades to come.

A new traffic study recommends adding sidewalks, bike lanes and bus stops to ease congestion in the Rainey Street neighborhood. 

You’ve probably seen them while driving around town – those handwritten signs next to the road with messages like: “We buy houses for cash! Call now!”

The current draft of CodeNEXT continues to face scrutiny at City Hall. Last night, members of Austin’s Planning Commission and the Zoning and Platting Commission met to drill into the details of the proposed land development code.

City leaders have been hosting a series of open houses to inform Austinites about CodeNEXT, the proposed land development code that will shape Austin for years to come. The process has brought up different issues in different council districts.

Since the city released its first draft of a new land development code earlier this year, residents and city leaders have been working to understand how it will shape Austin neighborhoods.

In Hyde Park, residents have adopted a tool that both regulates development and aims to preserve the historic neighborhood’s character, but some say this exempts the area from having to follow the new code.

This may be the most anxious time of year for affordable-housing developers in Texas. In a few weeks, they'll find out whether their applications for low-income housing tax credits have been approved, and the decision could spell life or death for their proposed projects.

For many Austin artists, finding affordable space to create is an enormous concern. The Austin City Council is set to consider a plan Thursday to help them out.

Government officials and community activists from across the state gathered outside the Texas Capitol on Tuesday to voice support for taking legal action to stop the so-called “sanctuary cities" law.

The federal housing choice voucher program, which used to be called Section 8, is aimed at helping low-income families meet their housing costs. Here in Austin, it’s one way the city is trying to meet the growing demand for deeply affordable housing. 

For much of her life as a homeowner, Joan Reames never noticed the drainage charge on her monthly utility bill. Then the city revised the system in 2015. 

Reames said the monthly fee for her condo complex suddenly increased by more than $2,000. The city bills her homeowner’s association and then the cost is split among the residents.

For the past several months, the city's Visitor Impact Task Force has been exploring new uses for the millions of tax dollars brought in by Austin hotels. The group also has to contend with a host of state and local regulations that govern how exactly the money can be spent.

The city plans to exhume and rebury human remains found last year by a construction crew working at Oakwood Cemetery in East Austin.

Block 87, also known as Trinity Block, may be the last undeveloped city block in downtown Austin. A parking lot currently sits there, but a high-rise is slated to go up.

For years, residents of the Cross Creek Apartments in North Austin have been complaining about poor living conditions. They say they continue to pay rent while living with broken windows, poor security and a lack of hot water, among other issues.

The Austin City Council approved the strategic housing plan Thursday, though the document is now being called the strategic housing “blueprint.” It calls for the construction of 135,000 more housing units by 2025, with 60,000 of them being affordable.

After hours of debate last night, Austin City Council gave final approval to one of this year’s most divisive zoning cases. The Austin Oaks planned unit development, or PUD, will bring new housing, retail, office space and parkland to the current site of an office park near Spicewood Springs Road and MoPac. Last night’s vote was 8-2. 

Next month, Austin’s Brackenridge Hospital will close its doors for good. Patients will be transferred to the new Dell Seton Medical Center just across East 15th Street. That means the spacious, and centrally located, Brackenridge campus will be open for new development. But the incoming tenant will have to contend with a unique feature of the property, something buried beneath the surface of the old hospital.

The release of Austin’s first-ever strategic housing plan has both faced scrutiny and garnered support at public meetings in recent weeks. The plan aims to address the city’s growing affordability crisis by setting goals for new housing production. Austin City Council members are set to vote Thursday on whether to adopt the plan, and they’re proposing some changes to make the implementation process smoother.

For Austin visitors, it’s hard to beat the iconic view of the Texas Capitol from Congress Avenue. But for those who live and work along the corridor, the streetscape could use some improvements. 

This week, the Austin City Council is set to take up the city’s first-ever housing plan. The plan aims to address Austin’s growing affordability crisis by setting goals for new housing production. But apart from encouraging more affordable housing, there’s also the question of where exactly it should go. 

Austin’s hotels bring in millions of dollars in tax revenue for the city each year. For the past few months, the city has been exploring new uses for that money. As the revenue continues to grow, some local parks groups think it could be a way to fund their proposed improvement projects. 

Pastor Clarence Jones has a meeting with a potential buyer in just a few minutes. He’s been having a lot of these meetings over the past two years, ever since church leaders decided to put the Greater Saint John Baptist Church up for sale.

“Hopefully it will sell and we can relocate,” he says, “so that’s what we’re looking forward to at this time.”

Pages