AUSTIN, Texas — Austin Independent School District (AISD) is looking to build two sites of affordable housing for its staff and teachers.
According to KVUE's news partners at the Austin American-Statesman, officials from AISD are looking to convert two properties in the district into affordable housing for teachers, staff and families of students.
The two buildings are the Anita Ferrales Coy Facility in East Austin and the former Rosedale School in Central Austin. The possibilities for the buildings are single-family houses, a mix of different sized apartments and three-bedroom townhomes.
Rent in these buildings would be controlled by the district, but a developer partnered with AISD would build it. The main goal of the affordable housing push is to recruit and retain employees, but residents and advocates have spoken out that raising employee wages would be a better solution.
According to the article, district officials have stated that the housing push would not be a replacement for increasing wages. Instead, it would be in conjunction with raising pay to become the highest-paying district within Central Texas.
AISD employs 11,000 people, where 95% of them earn less than $92,000 a year, which is 120% of the median family income in Austin. Furthermore, 91% of teachers in Austin make under $61,000 a year, which is 80% of the median family income. Anyone making less than 80% of the local median family income (which is $77,000 for our region) is considered to be low-income, according to the Department of Housing and Urban Development.
But the affordable housing also goes beyond staff, it could assist families within the district that need it. Granted, district employees will get "first dibs" on any of the housing options.
The desire for affordable housing among employees is at an all-time high – when applications opened on May 30 for affordable homes for AISD employees by Habitat for Humanity, 1,200 employees applied within the first week, the article stated.
Read more about the housing options from the Statesman here.
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