Members of the public may now give their input on proposals for an affordable housing development in East Austin, the city of Austin and the Austin Housing Finance Corp. announced May 31.
The 3-acre property at 3515 Manor Road, owned by the Austin Housing Finance Corporation and the city of Austin, is set to be transformed into a multifamily rental housing development for low-income families, with permanent supportive housing for homeless individuals. With three different proposals on the table, residents can vote or give comments until June 19.
“Right now, soaring housing costs are pushing our working-class residents to the suburbs and lower-income neighbors to the streets and creeks,” said Natasha Harper-Madison, District 1 Austin City Council member. “That’s why I’m super excited that we as a municipality are leveraging this city-owned property to create hundreds of new units in a high-opportunity area.”
Foundation Communities, an affordable housing nonprofit, has submitted a proposal for a 150-unit community called Fontaine Trails. All units would be designed for those making 60% or less of the area median income, most with multiple bedrooms. Of those, 48 would go toward permanent supportive housing. Fontaine Trails would also encompass a neighborhood center hosting a food pantry, youth programs and other supportive services.
Seabrook Square—proposed by the National Housing Partnership Foundation, Integral Care and Capital A Housing—includes 262 housing units, 244 of which are reserved for those at or below 60% of the median family income. Almost half of the units would have multiple bedrooms. Ten units would be dedicated as live-in studios for artists in East Austin, and 60 units would go toward individuals experiencing homelessness. The community would also provide social services as well as include a community square, a hall and cafe, and 1,950 square feet for commercial businesses.
Hues Plaza, sponsored by affordable housing developer Vecino Group in partnership with the Austin Area Urban League nonprofit, has planned two residential buildings hosting 229 units for residents making between 30%-80% of the area median income. One building would include 123 studio apartments, with a minimum of 48 units reserved for permanent supportive housing along with social services and staff. The other would host 106 mostly multibedroom units. A community plaza, at 9,500 square feet, would provide space for local, minority-owned businesses.
According to the U.S. Census, the median household income for Austin was around $75,000 in 2020, and 12.5% of residents were living in poverty.
“The best way to address our affordability crisis is to build housing, housing and more housing,” Harper-Madison said. “I look forward to 3515 Manor Road becoming a great mixed-use destination for surrounding neighbors and a complete, transit-friendly and supportive home for new and existing residents in East Austin.”
Austin Housing Finance Corp. and Austin Public Health executive teams will consider the public input when recommending a proposal to Austin City Council and the AHFC board of directors July 28.
Votes and comments on the proposals may be submitted here.