Travis County commissioners approved a resolution June 25 pushing forward plans for the rehabilitation of an affordable housing development on Decker Lane, known as Eagles Landing.

The details

Officials with Austin’s affordable housing department and developer April Housing—which specializes in affordable housing—intend to apply for a 4% noncompetitive low-income housing tax credit with the Texas Department of Housing and Community Affairs.

The developer plans to renovate the 240 affordable housing units originally constructed in 2003. According to county documents, the apartment complex primarily serves families, with most units having two or three bedrooms.

Rehabilitation projects, such as Eagles Landing, often work to ensure the housing units are up to code. Replacing things such as windows, wiring or appliances safeguards future renters from infrastructure-related high energy bills.

Information presented to commissioners, in partnership with the Austin Affordable Public Facility Corporation, indicates rent will range from $1,314-$1,822.

The multifamily development will target households within the very low income range, which is defined by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development as between $58,400-$70,080 for a four-person household.

For context, the city of Austin's Housing Department reported the median household income for a family of four in 2023 was $122,300.

There will be access to public transit on site with a bus stop located on the property.

Other amenities that also fulfill criteria of affordability include a grocery store roughly 1 mile away, a full-service pediatric medical center 5 miles away and a recreational facility half a mile away.

Terms to know

Austin Affordable PFC is a nonprofit organization that serves as a bond issuer created to expand access to private activity bonds financing affordable housing, according to the city of Austin’s website. The organization may also partner with outside groups to build or maintain affordable housing.

Private activity bonds are a type of municipal bond issued by local or state governments to support private projects that benefit the public. These bonds can help fund initiatives such as affordable housing, hospitals, schools and infrastructure projects.

What they’re saying

This type of project represents one of the first rehabilitation projects in affordable housing, rather than new construction, said Monique Coleman, the county’s supportive housing division director.

Precinct 1 Commissioner Jeff Travillion voiced his support for the project during the public hearing held at Commissioners Court on June 25, noting these types of projects were needed.

“I think rehabilitation of properties over time is really important. That's why we've asked for an asset map of the condition of housing [throughout the county] so that we don't allow them to fall into a state of disrepair,” Travillion said.

This project could mark the beginning of a new wave in renovations needed for affordable housing throughout the county, Precinct 2 Commissioner Brigid Shea said.

Adding to Travillion’s sentiment, Shea raised questions on how many other similar affordable housing developments throughout the area could be coming up on their compliance termination requirements allowing for new financing opportunities for rehabilitation projects.

“Yes, it's a very good thing because they're rehabbing older, affordable housing, presumably bringing it up to code and making it more energy efficient, so people won’t have high bills,” Shea said. “... I think it'd be valuable to know how many other multifamily units are going to transition into that state—where they end their affordability period and are eligible for this sort of [rehabilitation].”

City staff noted a future update will be shared with commissioners on an initiative called “Project Rehab.”