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Flannigan questions city process on Clarksville affordable housing project

Friday, August 31, 2018 by Jack Craver

On Thursday, City Council approved a measure that will transfer a small city-owned property at 1611 W. 10th St. to the Austin Housing Finance Corporation for the purpose of building affordable housing. The housing will actually be developed by the Clarksville Community Development Corporation, a nonprofit organization that organizes community events in Clarksville, advocates the preservation of the historic character of the neighborhood and currently provides 16 housing units available to families whose incomes are far below what is necessary to buy or rent property in what has become an affluent area. Council Member Jimmy Flannigan said he was concerned about the process by which the CCDC was selected to develop the site. There had been no competitive request for proposal, he noted. Staff with the Neighborhood Housing and Community Development Department said that if the project in question had been larger, there would have been an RFP, but the 3,000-square-foot property will likely only accommodate a single-family home. In addition, noted NCHD Community Administrator Mandy De Mayo, it was the CCDC that alerted the city to the property that it owned. Mayor Pro Tem Kathie Tovo lauded the CCDC, noting it is the only neighborhood group developing affordable housing west of Interstate 35 and one of the only such groups in the country that is based in an affluent area. Flannigan stressed that he has nothing against the CCDC, but that he wanted to make sure that the process is consistent. Council Member Greg Casar said he hopes the project could include more than one unit, even if Council has to rezone the property. Council approved the measure, with only Council Member Ellen Troxclair opposed.

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