400-unit low-income housing development receives support from Austin City Council

Austin City Council threw support behind the Chalmers Courts housing project in its quest for low-income housing tax credits. Residents and community members came out in droves to support the project.

Austin City Council threw support behind the Chalmers Courts housing project in its quest for low-income housing tax credits. Residents and community members came out in droves to support the project.

Austin City Council unanimously voted to support the Chalmers Courts development in its quest for federal tax credits necessary to bring more than 400 low-income units to east Austin.

City Council faced a choice between two projects officials agreed were valuable to the community. Due to a state law that forbids tax credits being awarded to two projects within a 2-mile radius, council members could only support one project.

Pitted against Chalmers Courts was Talavera Lofts, the affordable housing project tied to the Plaza Saltillo development, headed by DMA Development Company.

The Chalmers Courts project is a redevelopment and expansion of a low-income housing development at 1801 E. Fourth St., Austin, where residents currently live within cinderblock walls with no central air conditioning or heating and no washer and dryer connections, according to public testimony. The project is headed by the Housing Authority City of Austin, or HACA.

Residents from Chalmers Courts and other members of the community packed City Council’s chambers on Thursday to show support for the HACA project.

The highly competitive 9-percent low-income housing tax credits the projects were targeting provide financial flexibility crucial to incentivizing these low-income developments. Although the money comes from a federal program, the state awards projects based on a points system. City Council’s support on Thursday did not guarantee the tax credits will be awarded, but gave Chalmers Courts an additional two points that will be crucial when it comes to the state’s decision.

A representative from DMA Development Company told City Council on Thursday that Chalmers Courts needed the money more. The representative then withdrew the application for Talavera Lofts in order to guarantee City Council’s support for Chalmers Courts, to which the audience erupted in applause.

The decision now lies with the Texas Department of Housing and Community Affairs. According to city documents, the deadline for applications is March 1.


The monthslong search for Austin's new police chief is expected to wrap up before the end of August. (Ben Thompson/Community Impact Newspaper)
Search for Austin's next top cop narrows to 7 finalists; new chief to be named by end of August

Seven finalists from across the country remain in the search for Austin's next police chief, the city announced July 26.

Austin ISD will offer virtual learning options to students in kindergarten through sixth grade for the 2021-22 school year, according to a July 26 news release from the district. (Courtesy Adobe Stock)
Austin ISD plans to offer virtual learning for some students in 2021-22 school year

The district changed course on virtual learning after rising case counts led the local health authority to revert to Stage 4 guidelines, including wearing masks.

Chick-fil-A will open a location in downtown Austin on July 29. (Courtesy Chick-fil-A)
Chick-fil-A coming to downtown Austin; Dutch Bros Coffee opens in Round Rock and more Central Texas news

Located at 600 Congress Ave., Ste. C150, the newest outpost for the fast-food fried chicken giant is locally owned by Luke Steigmeyer.

City and criminal justice representatives gathered July 26 for a virtual forum about public safety in downtown Austin. (Screenshot via Downtown Austin Alliance)
Officials talk violent crime, diversion options amid continuing discussions over downtown Austin safety

City Council this week could also vote to roll out a new Sixth Street public safety strategy and support a county criminal justice diversion program.

State Rep. Vikki Goodwin, D-Austin sent a letter July 23 urging Gov. Greg Abbott to allow schools to require masks. (Courtesy Adobe Stock)
Texas state reps. call on Abbott to permit school mask mandates amid rising COVID-19 cases

The letter, spearheaded by Rep. Vikki Goodwin, called upon Gov. Greg Abbott and Texas Education Agency Commissioner Mike Morath to permit school districts to enact mask mandates and provide virtual learning options.

photo of Chick-fil-a fries and sauce
Chick-fil-A to open in downtown Austin July 29

A new location for the chicken giant is coming to 600 Congress Ave.

The new 35-story building overlooks Lady Bird Lake and Shoal Creek. (Trent Thompson/Community Impact Newspaper)
Workers celebrate topping out of Austin 'sailboat building' concrete structure

Workers who contribute to the construction of the Block 185 building celebrated topping off the structure, a big milestone for the development project that began in 2019.

A system to identify at-risk Austin Police Department employees has not been effective. (Maggie Quinlan/Community Impact Newspaper)
Audit finds Austin police system to flag at-risk officers is failing

Austin's city auditor and police chief agree the police department's computer program to identify at-risk officers is not fulfilling its mission.

A rise in COVID-19 cases has Travis County back in stage 4. (Courtesy Adobe Stock)
Austin reverts to Stage 4 guidelines with rising delta variant cases

As delta variant COVID -19 cases are sending more young people to local ICUs, The Austin-Travis County Health Authority has moved the area back to guidelines that require masks indoors.

Opening day at Q2 Stadium
US men’s soccer team to visit Q2 Stadium this fall

The U.S. men's national team will host Jamaica for a FIFA World Cup qualifier game on Oct. 7.

Capital Metro is hosting a series of virtual meetings to hear feedback from the community on the latest Project Connect designs. (Community Impact Newspaper staff)
Capital Metro seeks community input on latest Project Connect design

Want to have your voice heard about Project Connect? Tune in to the upcoming virtual meetings.