Texas drought reaches 10-year peak as Austin closes hottest July ever "As this month draws to a close, Texas finds itself in drought conditions unseen in a decade. Austin prepares to end not just one of its hottest Julys on record, but also one of its hottest months ever — and the city's main weather station has gone more than a month without measurable rainfall." (Roberto Villalpando, Austin American-Statesman)

What will passage of CHIPS Act mean for Samsung, others in Austin? "With the bipartisan semiconductor manufacturing bill heading to the desk of President Joe Biden after passing both the U.S. Senate and House, the already hot sector here in Central Texas is turning its attention toward Washington, D.C. That's because the signing of the $280 billion package — now known as 'CHIPS-plus' and intended to help the U.S. compete with incentives in other countries like China — is expected to have ramifications for numerous projects in the Austin area, some involving corporate giants. And experts say the passing of the bill could bring even more of that kind of investment to the region." (Justin Sayers, Austin Business Journal)

Austin-area office rental rates increasing as vacancies decrease "Across the Austin area, average rental rates continue to rise in commercial office spaces despite some market stabilization and decreases in vacancies in the past few months, according to the latest Austin office market report released July 25 from commercial real estate firm Aquila." (Kaitlyn Wilkes, Community Impact)

Austin City Council votes to put $350 million affordable housing bond on November ballot "As Austinites see a sharp rise in the cost of living, voters will have a chance to approve a $350 million bond for affordable housing this November. City Council members approved a measure Thursday to put the proposition — the largest in Austin's history — on the ballot. If the measure passes, the bond money will go toward building affordable housing, repairing homes for low-income people and acquiring more land for homes." (Skye Seipp, KUT-FM)

Austin housing market reports skyrocketing inventory and cooling prices this summer "Relief is on the horizon in the red-hot Austin housing market, according to the latest monthly report from Austin Board of Realtors. The June 2022 market report highlights a 218 percent year-over-year increase in the number of active listings in the Austin-Round Rock metro area, growing the area's housing inventory to 2.1 months — a level not seen since November 2019." (Arden Ward, CultureMap)

Austin's mayor's race heats up: Celia Israel blasts Kirk Watson's housing plan as racist "Austin's mayor race is getting testy, with Celia Israel and Kirk Watson, the top two fundraisers, sparring over housing policies — with Israel going so far as to label a portion of Watson's plan as racist." (Ryan Autullo, Austin American-Statesman

What is a live music venue? City Council looks to make it official "Nearly 32 years after declaring itself the Live Music Capital of the World, Austin is finally getting around to defining what, exactly, a live music venue is. A resolution on the agenda for today’s City Council meeting seeks to amend city code and a portion of the Land Development Code to include the specific parameters separating a live music venue – where music is a substantial portion of the business’ programming and revenue – from a bar, cocktail lounge or nightclub, which are already clearly defined in city code." (Chad Swiatecki, Austin Monitor)