Austin City Council voted to dedicate nearly $50 million to projects that will bring hundreds of affordable homes and apartments across the city, including $20.41 million in 2022 housing bond funds—the first spending from that $350 million pot since voters approved the bond in November.

The context

Council members, who also serve as the Austin Housing Finance Corp. board, approved a dozen loans for the development or improvement of affordable rental and ownership housing June 1.

Those include a few that have or will continue to receive additional public funds as they come together. Jamey May, Austin's housing and community development officer, said the city is providing more funding to some projects that already got financial support to account for rising local development costs.

“The market conditions have changed. Cost of materials, cost of labor, cost of borrowing has extremely elevated in the last year or so," May said.

The funded projects are mainly concentrated around the east side. However, two are located in North Austin and one is located in far Northwest Austin, representing one of the few affordable developments in that area.

Projects are labeled as affordable based on percentages of the local median family income, or MFI, which currently sits at $122,300 for a family of four. Many of the developments would also feature continuum of care units for those exiting homelessness.

The details

Funded projects include:
  • Cairn Point at Cameron, located at 7205 Cameron Road, is a project from The Vecino Group and Caritas of Austin and will include 150 apartments at 50% MFI with 100 continuum of care units. Cairn Point received $6.08 million from 2022 bond funds.
  • Norman Commons, located at 3811 1/2 Tannehill Lane, is a project from Foundation Communities and will include 156 units with 94 at 50% MFI and 16 for continuum of care. Norman Commons received $8.43 million from Project Connect anti-displacement funds and $436,331 from the 2022 bond.
  • The Rebekah, located at 1320 Art Dilly Drive, is a project by DMA Companies and The Austin Geriatric Center to rehabilitate the RBJ Tower complex. The Rebekah will feature 224 units—all for seniors—including 180 at 50% MFI and five continuum of care units. It received $6 million from Austin's Homestead Preservation District Tax Increment Reinvestment Zone, or TIRZ, in East Austin. Separately, council—through the Austin Housing Public Facility Corp.—voted to issue $45 million in bonds to support rehab work at The Rebekah.
  • The Rhett, located at 1000 E. Yager Lane, is a project from Saigebrook Development and O-SDA Industries with 215 apartments including 73 at 50% MFI and 17 continuum of care units. The Rhett received $5.56 million from the 2022 housing bond and $838,324 from Austin's Housing Trust Fund.
  • The Works III, located at 701 Tillery St., is a project from Lifeworks and Capital A Housing that will include 120 apartments at 50% MFI including 96 continuum of care units. The project received $6 million from the preservation district TIRZ and $2 million from federal HOME grant funding.
  • Red Oaks, located on the 1100 block of FM 620 near El Salido Parkway, is a project from HTG Anderson LLC with 70 apartments including 35 at or below 50% MFI and two continuum of care units. Red Oaks received $4 million from the 2022 bond.
  • Juniper Creek, located at 11630 N. Lamar Blvd., is a project from Foundation Communities including 110 apartments with 66 available at or below 50% MFI. Juniper Creek received $3.3 million from the 2022 bond.
  • GSNZ 7 Acres West, located at 2721 Goodwin Ave., is a project from the Guadalupe Neighborhood Development Corp. featuring 51 homes, including 38 to be sold to households earning at or below 80% MFI and 13 available at or below 60% MFI. The project, an expansion of the Guadalupe-Saldaña Net Zero Subdivision, received $591,302 in 2022 bond funds.
  • Montopolis Townhomes, located at 6301 Circulo De Amistad, will be developed by Austin Habitat for Humanity and include 12 homes to be sold to households earning 80% MFI or below. The project received $360,000 from the 2022 bond.
  • The Ivory, located at 1309 Chicon St., will be developed by the Chestnut Neighborhood Revitalization Corp. and feature 53 homes including 40 available at or below 70% MFI. The project received $4.31 million from the TIRZ and $86,345 from 2022 bond funds.
Additionally, council members agreed to spend $1.5 million—including $1.14 million from Project Connect funds and $361,676 from the Housing Trust Fund—for air conditioning maintenance at the existing AHA! at Briarcliff, located at 1915 Briarcliff Blvd. AHA! features 27 apartments for households earning at or below 50% MFI.

Finally, the AHFC meeting also featured a public hearing on the city's plans to issue $50 million in bonds to finance the Seabrook Square project at 3511-15 Manor Road. Seabrook Square will include 204 apartments available at or below 60%, 50%, and 30% MFI.