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City using tax credits to support affordable housing

Thursday, August 30, 2018 by Katy McElroy

A combination of tax credits, city general obligation Rental Housing Development Assistance bond funding and federal funds has made possible the creation of 444 new multifamily, affordable housing units in the city, announced the Neighborhood Housing and Community Development Department in a press release today. The city received four awards from the Texas Department of Housing and Community Affairs 2018 Competitive (9%) Housing Tax Credit Program, which this year is providing $76.2 million in housing tax credits to private developers to construct or rehabilitate 73 affordable properties statewide for households earning up to 60 percent of the area median family income. In the past, Austin has only received two awards from this program. The release shares that the city’s Austin Housing Finance Corporation “followed suit by approving the use of $5.5 million from the Affordable Housing Bond voters approved in 2013, as well as U.S. Housing and Urban Development Community Development Block Grant funds, to provide for loans” for four projects. NHCD Director Rosie Truelove said in the release that the selected developments “provide a terrific example of what is possible when the City employs innovative approaches to affordable housing. This is exactly the direction advocated by the recently adopted Strategic Housing Blueprint, which sets a goal to create 60,000 affordable units in the next decade through an integrated, multilevel strategy of policy initiatives and community partnerships.”

The four developments that are receiving support are:

  • Travis Flats Apartments, 5325 Airport Blvd.: This multifamily development includes 75 units designated for low-income residents, 13 units for households earning less than 30 percent of the median family income, 49 for households at 50 percent of MFI, and 60 at 60 percent. In addition, three units will be reserved specifically for families at risk of homelessness. The project also received a $1.5 million loan from the city of Austin, which includes federal funds and general obligation bond funds for affordable housing.
  • Waterloo Terrace Apartments, 12190 N. MoPac Expressway: This development will have 132 new affordable rental housing units – 27 units for households at 30 percent of MFI, 27 units for those at 40 percent, and 78 for households at 50 percent. Also, 27 units will be reserved for the Housing First Program, “which connects individuals and families experiencing homelessness to permanent housing without preconditions and barriers to entry (e.g., sobriety, treatment or service participation requirements) as a first step toward accessing turning their lives around.” The project also received a $3.2 million loan from the city’s general obligation funds.
  • Chalmers Court East Apartments, East Fourth and Chicon streets: This 135-unit development will have 14 units for households at 30 percent of MFI, 55 units for those at 50 percent of MFI, and 66 for households at 60 percent of MFI.
  • Cambrian East Riverside Apartments, 1806 Clubview Ave.: This development includes six units for households at 30 percent of MFI, 22 units for those at 50 percent of MFI, and 27 for households at 60 percent. Of these, 10 units are reserved for families at risk of homelessness. It received a $2 million loan from city general obligation bond funds.

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