State awards $30M for affordable housing projects in Austin

AUSTIN -- Foundation Communities, a nonprofit that owns and operates close to 2,000 units in Austin for low-income families, was just awarded $30 million from the state to build more affordable housing.

Foundation Communities will use the $30 million to add to a total of $43 million to build three new affordable housing projects, one called the Bluebonnet Studios on South Lamar in the Old Chapman Motors spot. The second location, the Lakeline Station Apartments will have 128 units near the Lakeline Train and bus station. The last of the three new projects, Southwest Trails Phase 2 will feature 58 new apartments for low-income families and will be built in the Oak Hill neighborhood.

"From 2004 to 2013, average rents in Austin grew by 50 percent. During that same time, the median income in Austin only grew by 9 percent," said Julian Huerta, Foundation Communities deputy executive director.

Foundation Communities currently has another affordable housing project going on downtown at Trinity and 11th Streets. The Capital Studios, a 135-unit apartment complex for low-income families is scheduled to open in late October of this year.

Huerta says the Capital Studios is the first affordable housing project built in downtown Austin in 40 years.

"The more people have to move further and further away from the central city to be able to afford a place to live, that just adds to traffic and pollution, and all those things that impact all of us. It really is in all of our interest to keep Austin as affordable of a place to live as we can," said Huerta.

The Bluebonnet Studios, Lakeline Station Apartments and Southwest Trails Phase 2 are scheduled to begin the building process the first part of 2015 with a completion target date of summer 2016.


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