Austin non-profit transforms old hotel into affordable housing

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by KVUE News

kvue.com

Posted on November 14, 2012 at 6:26 PM

AUSTIN -- An Austin non-profit has built another specially-designed community for low-income adults.

The 120 furnished, efficiency apartments at Arbor Terrace were dedicated Wednesday.

Foundation Communities used federal stimulus money and funds from City of Austin housing bonds to renovate the old suburban Lodge hotel along South I-35 near Oltorf.

Half of the parking lot was converted into a courtyard. Several rooms were converted into exercise, TV and social services areas to help residents, many of whom may be homeless or disabled veterans like Ron Colon.

"I'm 100 percent grateful. I had somebody on my side because I really don't know where I would be without this place. I do, I probably would be in the streets," Colon, an Arbor Terrace resident said.

"People think of affordable housing, and they have an image of something run down, and then they see our properties, and they say 'Wow, that's really beautiful.  We've driven by that property for years and had no idea that was affordable housing,'" said Foundation Communities Executive Director Walter Moreau.

The Arch, Caritas, the Downtown Community Court and the U.S. Veterans Administration have helped 60 residents make Arbor Terrace home. The other 60 units are reserved for single adults with incomes less than $27,000 a year.

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