Local nonprofit Foundation Communities is asking for the public's help to raise $30 million to fund its latest effort to build eight affordable housing communities over the next three years for low-income Austinites.

Nonprofit leaders spoke May 25 at an event at the organization's Lakeline Station Apartments Learning Center. The organization has received about 90% of the total $272 million needed for the new communities. Funding comes from the city, the county, local foundations, and private and corporate partners, making this initiative one of the largest affordable housing expansions in Austin’s history. The eight communities are located throughout Northwest, Central and Southeast Austin.

“When we opened our last two affordable communities, we received 10 times more applications than the number of units, and our waiting lists are longer than ever. We’re anxious to get all these communities built so we can welcome home thousands of our low-income neighbors,” Foundation Communities Executive Director Walter Moreau said in a press release.

Foundation Communities has 16 family apartments and seven studio apartment buildings, housing over 7,000 people.

The new communities, in addition to providing housing for those transitioning out of homelessness, will also offer on-site case management, health services, learning centers, food pantries and other services aimed to help ensure the long-term success of tenants.

“The most important thing I learned was how to manage my money better," Lakeline Station resident Iyanna Burns said. "The financial coach taught me how to set financial goals. ... I made up my mind that I was going to do everything they asked me to do, and it has paid off."

These new complexes will provide 1,000 new homes for over 2,000 families and single adults, increasing the amount of people who are able to use the services of Foundation Communities.

“Our whole culture is about action. We want to help folks and address the challenges and needs of our community. That’s what’s led us to build affordable housing and the kinds of services that really lift folks up,” Moreau said.

Austin Mayor Steve Adler said the choice for the city to help fund the projects of organizations like Foundation Communities is easy.

“When you look at this city ... we have a real apparent Achilles' heel. That is how expensive it is to live here, how increasingly hard it is for everyone who lives here to live here. We’re losing people, and that’s existential for a city like Austin that is all about its people,” Adler said.

Adler said the work that Foundation Communities does in preserving the Austin community, and its diversity is “existential for us being the city that we are.”

“I was always afraid to ask for help because I thought people might look down on me, but I’m so glad I did, because we really needed it,” Burns said. “Now I believe what really matters is what you do with the help.”