The Standard’s news roundup gives you a quick hit of interesting, sometimes irreverent, and breaking news stories from all over the state.
A new report from the short-term rental company, Airbnb, finds that teachers reap major financial benefits from serving as hosts.
Christopher Nulty, head of public affairs in the Americas for Airbnb says that after an internal conversation at Airbnb earlier this summer, the data science team really started digging into some of what is know about their host community.
“Every year we survey our host community to understand a little bit more about who they are, how they’re sharing their space, how that’s impacted their lives. And one of the things we ask people is when you’re not being an airbnb host, what do you do,” Nulty says.
It turns out 10 percent of Airbnb hosts in the United States are teachers.
And on average, they earn an additional $6,500 a year this way. They also, understandably, tend to host more in the summertime.
Nulty says three Texas cities either met or exceeded the national average for the percentage of Airbnb hosts that are also teachers: Houston, San Antonio and Austin.
“What was similar,” Nulty says, “is that you had teachers hosting more frequently during the summer than the rest of the year, which matches perfectly with the high season for travel to Texas on the Airbnb platform. And you saw teachers making millions of dollars in supplemental income each year in Texas alone.”
In San Antonio, 12 percent of hosts are teachers, earning a total of $547,000 in 2017. The percentage in Austin is 11 percent, raking in a total of $2.1 million. And in Houston, 10 percent of Airbnb hosts are teachers who made a total of $550,000 last year.
Almost one year after Hurricane Harvey, civil engineers across Texas say the state needs a comprehensive flood control plan.
In a new report, the Texas chapter of the American Society of Civil Engineers says lawmakers should find the money for the statewide plan – and put more money into the state’s struggling dam safety program.
Houston engineer Michael Bloom helped produce the report. He told Houston Public Media another idea is making flood risk maps more nuanced.
“Those maps could be enhanced to show multiple sources of flooding, and also maybe slightly more detail in terms of the gradation of risk,” he says.
The group also wants to see a more regional approach to planning, saying, “flood water does not respect political boundaries.”
It looks like Major League Soccer is coming to Austin. As KUT’s Syeda Hasan reports, the Austin City Council has voted to move forward with an agreement for a new soccer facility. Precourt Sports Ventures plans to build a 20,000 seat-stadium and move th Ohio-based Columbus Crew soccer team to play there.
Austin city council members voted 7-4 in favor of the agreement. Mayor Steve Adler says the plan will have a significant public benefit.
“The city is excited about Major League Soccer. I am too,” Adler says. “I can’t wait till we are all wearing the same jersey, celebrating the first championship in Austin.”
The decision came after about five hours of discussion, as council members worked through several amendments related to parking, transportation, affordable housing and youth soccer programs.