Elon Musk plans to build homes around Austin with rents lower than the market rate, exclusively for employees to rent

The Wall Street Journal reported that Elon Musk, the CEO of Tesla, seems to be interested in building around 110 homes near Austin, Texas, and is preparing to offer below-market rents for employees to lease.

According to the report, the planned housing site will be located near The Boring Company and SpaceX’s base in Bastrop County, not far from Tesla’s Super Factory in Texas. The location will be known as Snailbrook and will even have a mayor and other town planning structures.

Prior to this, there were reports that Elon Musk had been buying land around Austin, with the purchased area exceeding 3,500 hectares, and had even begun discussing town planning, but there were no further follow-up reports.

Compared to the average monthly rent for homes in Bastrop County of around $2,200, Elon Musk’s plan to build 110 homes with rents of around $800 for 2-3 bedroom homes is quite attractive, and some employees of The Boring Company have been able to apply for leases since last year.

However, leasing these homes would naturally be tied to employees’ employment status, and even further, it may allow employees’ children to attend local Montessori schools. If an employee leaves their job, they must move out of the rental house within 30 days. Nevertheless, the significantly lower rental fees compared to local rent prices are expected to convince more employees to work for Tesla in the long term.

On the other hand, purchasing land to build a town may also bring more impacts to the local area, such as issues related to wastewater discharge as more outsiders move in, which could cause protests from local residents.