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Austin creates corporation that could nearly double proposed affordable housing projects

The Austin Affordable Housing Public Facilities Corporation will propose projects aiming to receive federal bond funds.

AUSTIN, Texas — This Thursday, the Austin Affordable Housing Public Facilities Corporation will meet for the first time to discuss seven different project proposals that include affordable housing.

The group, formed in April and made up of the Austin City Council and Mayor Steve Adler, will work on securing bond funding for housing projects, according to the City's Housing and Community Development officer.

"We're losing out on opportunity to develop, and that's really why we're taking this step now," Jamey May said. "We're taking this step really to expand our own capacity and build out the housing that we need to see."

RELATED: Report: Austin area sees median rent cost almost double in a year

The City already has an Affordable Housing Finance Corporation that proposes projects to secure bond funding from a different account. According to May, historically, Austin only gets bond funding for maybe three or four projects each year.

"We have a dire need for affordable housing in the city, and when we can do four deals per year, that's great, but it's not so good when we need eight," May said.

The proposals go through a lottery system, meaning only a random few get selected for bond funds. According to May, the bonds get paid back by the developer, not the public. With two city corporations in place, May said that means the number of projects receiving bond funding from larger government entities could nearly double.

RELATED: Survey shows need for more affordable housing near ACC campuses

"Now that we have a pool of applicants that we're taking to the Bond Review Board, we have business to conduct and we are going to move forward with the lottery this year," May said. "If any of those deals do get awarded, and we wouldn't expect that to actually happen until January or even later, there are still steps in the process."

May added if a proposal goes through the AHPFC, it cannot also go through the Affordable Housing Finance Corporation.

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