The New Braunfels City Council approved a $250,000 sale for a 2.5-acre lot for the San Antonio Food Bank and NB Housing Partners to build transitional housing Nov. 27.

Kellie Stallings, NB Housing Partners executive director, said it was “wonderful” to begin moving forward with the project.

“Our mission is about being a catalyst for improving safe and secure housing at obtainable levels for every income level in the community. We are very fortunate to have wonderful partnerships with the city of New Braunfels and with the San Antonio Food Bank and the New Braunfels Food Bank to see this project come to fruition,” Stallings said.

The background

In March 2020, the council approved a development agreement and lease with the San Antonio Food Bank to continue developing and designing the transitional housing facility.

About the project

The food bank designed, engineered and received a building permit for the construction of a 51-unit transitional housing facility named Apple Seed Apartments for homeless families with children under the age of 18.

Apple Seed Apartments will serve households earning 80% or less than the median family income for the San Antonio-New Braunfels Housing and Urban Development Metro Fair Market Rents Area, which is determined by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, according to agenda documents.

Eric Cooper, San Antonio Food Bank CEO, noted that access to affordable housing with a program designed to catapult “gap” families forward is what attracted them to the project.

“Rent eats first in every household, so this [is an] opportunity to be able to provide some level of housing and work with the gap families. These are families that tend to be in upper trajectory. They’re on the higher side of low income, so they don’t qualify for a lot of benefits and don’t get a lot of support, and that vulnerability can sometimes put them in a fragile state,” Cooper said.

Cooper explained that the program was created to help working class families with affordable rent in a program of “betterment” that would set aside a stipend awarded at graduation that could be used for student debt or a down payment for more permanent housing.

The cost

According to agenda documents, construction costs for the Apple Seed Apartments is between $9 million-$12 million, which will be funded through the San Antonio Food Bank.

Quote of note

Cooper emphasized his gratitude toward the City Council and city staff.

“We’re so grateful for the city staff and City Council for their trust and belief in us, and we know that the families that benefit from this project will be also grateful,” Cooper said.