Austin and Travis County are recovering from the impact of the Great Recession and have seen improvement in many socio-economic indicators. When CAN released its first Dashboard report in 2010, we were reeling from the impact of the recession. The poverty rate in Travis County shot up from 15% in 2008 to 19% in 2010. Other indicators, such as housing cost-burdened and unemployment followed this trend. After the end of the Great Recession in 2009, indicators began improving and have mostly continued to improve since then.
However, not all people have shared in this recovery. We see concerning disparities by race and ethnicity in arrests, poverty, homelessness, health, college success, and unemployment.
Some people have been forced to leave Austin because they can no longer afford to live here. Many residents find themselves priced out of their own neighborhoods as a booming job market brings higher income wage earners to compete for housing, increasing the cost of living.
The CAN board of directors acknowledges the need to address disparities by race and ethnicity and the importance of making sure all people who live in Austin have the opportunity to benefit from our thriving economy. The CAN board has focused its efforts on developing strategies, actions, tools and resources that can help to more effectively address the diverse needs of our community.
We face challenges in affordability, in making sure opportunities exist for people of all races and ethnicities, in helping families living in poverty, and in preparing local people for high-paying jobs. These challenges are not insurmountable. Due to the strength of our economy and an innovative and collaborative spirit, our community is better positioned than most to meet them.
Please visit our website for more information about the CAN Dashboard and the work of the Community Advancement Network: www.canatx.org