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County approves bond sale to finance Limestone Ridge senior apartments

Thursday, December 9, 2021 by Seth Smalley

On Tuesday, the Commissioners Court approved a resolution authorizing the sale of revenue bonds to help finance a multifamily residential development called Limestone Ridge Senior Project. The item was taken up during a Housing Finance Corporation voting session, following the adjournment of the Commissioners Court for the day.

The development is located at 7011 McKinney Falls Parkway and has 225 one- and two-bedroom units designated for individuals 55 and above, with 100 percent of available rooms falling into the “deeply affordable” category.

“One-hundred percent of the 225 units are dedicated for senior housing. The entirety of that is in that deeply affordable category – 60 percent of area median income and below – and I just want to call this out,” Commissioner Brigid Shea said. “I think this is exactly the kind of housing we need to be building. I’m incredibly proud of the work that Travis County has been doing to put more of these units on the ground and available to people who desperately need more affordable housing.”

The plan – which closed on financing Dec. 11, 2019, and started construction toward the beginning of 2020 – comes amid widespread housing shortages and price increases in the Austin area, with some sources estimating more than 100,000 units will need to be built over the next decade to meet demand.

The project is in its final stages of construction, and about 10 percent of the units will be immediately occupied upon completion, due to pre-lease agreements.

Commissioners Ann Howard and Jeffrey Travillion applauded the effort, though Travillion also called for the need for holistic master planning for community developments.

“I’d like to make the point that this is a great collaboration because we’re bringing our part to it, but it’s also a 4 percent credit deal, which really allows that deeper affordability to happen,” Howard said.

“I think that it’s important that it’s deeply affordable, but I also think that as a son of a 90-year-old, it’s important to have other community resources dedicated to that,” Travillion said. “As we talk about affordable housing, we should also talk about how close we are to health care, how close are we to getting access to healthy food … it is important that we have all the things that a master-planned community will have, so we know that it is not just a house; it’s all the things that make a home a home.”

The resolution unanimously carried, five to zero.

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