DEVELOPMENT Austinmoves forwardwith plans to add hundreds of aordable units
A variety of aordable housing options moved forward in August. Planned aordable community development Market-rate with some aordability
BY BEN THOMPSON
Land purchases Council members also voted for purchases of three properties located o Manor Road and South Pleasant Valley Road for $2.85 million total. A pair of properties o Pleasant Valley totaling 5.3 acres, 5900 S. Pleasant Valley Road and 5901 Drowsy Willow Trail, were acquired together for $2.05 million. To the north, the 2.59-acre property at 3511 Manor Road was acquired for $800,000. Community developments City Council in recent weeks also authorized sta to move forward with negotiations with developers for the St. John and Ryan Drive projects. The properties, now occupied by vacant businesses and an Austin Energy storage lot respectively, are slated to be developed with aordable housing and green space. Aordability lagging There are more than 30,000 aordable housing units in Austin, though accord- ing to a recent report, the city will need thousands of additional units to catch up to its decade-long goal of 60,000 aordable units added by 2028 under the 2017 Strategic Housing Blueprint plan. According to a September update on the city’s progress on the plan, just over 7,100 aordable housing units were added from 2018 through 2020—less than 12% of the target. Most council districts were identied as well o track from their decade-long goals, and new housing at the lowest MFI level is being added at the slowest rate.
In late August, the city of Austin moved forward with several projects that will add hundreds of aordable housing options throughout the city. The items included funding for a hotel to be converted into supportive housing for those experiencing homelessness and purchasing land for future developments. The projects come as Austin grapples with a surging housing market and a continuing homelessness crisis, leaving many to wonder what the future of housing in Austin will look like. Housing developments The city will provide $10.54 million in loans to create four developments made up almost completely of aordable housing. The projects—Parker Apartments, June West, Saison North and Industry SoMa—will serve a range of individuals making 30% to 100% or less of the area median family income, or MFI. Supportive housing temporary shelter, what the city calls bridge housing, and long-term housing options for people experiencing homelessness. The city is now backing Foundation Communities’ plan to convert a 120- room TownePlace Suites hotel o MoPac in Northwest Austin into a permanent supportive housing facility. The city will provide a $16.13 million loan for the development. In recent months, the city has expanded its hotel and motel conversion strategy to provide
MAP NOT TO SCALE N
AFFORDABLE HOUSING INAUSTIN: BY THE NUMBERS
The city has a ten-year plan, ending in 2028, to add more aordable housing throughout the city, but it is behind on its goals, per city data.
31,917 Estimated number
60,000 The number of aordable units Austin wants to add by 2028
$32.55M The maximum amount the city authorized for these projects so far
The units added through the projects highlighted in this brief*
of aordable housing units throughout the city
*SOME PROPERTIES DO NOT HAVE AN ESTIMATED NUMBER OF UNITS YET
MFI is set by household size. The threshold for aordable housing is typically set at a percentage of the MFI.
MEDIAN FAMILY INCOMEAMOUNTS
$100K $80K $60K $40K $20K 0
13.44% of target aordable housing added for the 61%-80% MFI range, 2018-20
30% ( extremely low-income )
50% ( very low- income )
80% ( low- income )
SOURCE: CITY OF AUSTIN HOUSING AND PLANNING DEPARTMENTCOMMUNITY IMPACT NEWSPAPER
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CENTRAL AUSTIN EDITION • SEPTEMBER 2021
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