Are “Stealth Dorms” a Concern in Allandale?

We think of high-density student housing as being concentrated adjacent to campus and in areas such as Riverside and Far West where apartment complexes are served by a convenient bus system. An offshoot of student housing is the so-called “stealth dorm,” a large single-family house with 5+ bedrooms or a duplex with 3+ bedrooms per side, built specifically for student rentals. Also, many existing smaller houses in central Austin neighborhoods are crammed to the gills with tenants (not just students) whose priorities do not always include good neighborliness.

The City Council recently voted to reduce the occupancy limit from 6 to 4 unrelated adults living in single-family zoned homes. Supporters of the ordinance seek relief from ongoing problems related to overcrowding, while opponents state they cannot afford to live otherwise. Council will take up the issue again on March 20.

If you are an Allandale resident dealing with ongoing problems related to an overcrowded house or duplex (such as frequent noise and trash, hazardous activities such as bonfires and fireworks, or reduced street parking on your block related to an unusually high number of vehicles per dwelling) send email to allandale.neighborhood (at) to let us know.