AUSTIN, Texas — As the challenge to find affordable housing in Austin continues, Austin ISD partnered with Austin Habitat for Humanity to build affordable homes for families in the district, including employees.
The collaboration will provide 30 affordable homes in two developments. One location is off Highway 183 and Loyola Lane, and the other location is off Highway 183 and East 51st Street.
"We have these 30 units with Habitat for Humanity that are being marketed to AISD students' families and staff, which really allows us to keep them here in the City of Austin, keep them employed, and keep them at our schools," said Jeremy Striffler, the director of real estate for AISD.
Striffler said the development is located on land the district previously owned.
"A few years ago, the district identified some excess land that was no longer being utilized and so we, in selling that land, we put in some controls to protect affordability," Striffler said.
AISD owns over 140 properties in the city with over 13 million square feet and more than 2,000 acres of land. Striffler said they are one of the largest landowners in Austin.
"This is just such a huge opportunity to have to provide affordable housing here in the city of Austin. This is just the start with five properties that we're in the process of repurposing and potentially more in the future," Striffler said.
Greg Anderson, the director of community affairs for Austin Habitat for Humanity, said in the next two months families within the district can begin to apply to move into the homes.
"It's going to be a true mixed-income community in the heart of East Austin and we really don't have enough of these," Anderson said.
With a partnership like the one they have with the district, Anderson said it gets them one step closer to their goal, which is to make people's dream to own a home a reality.
It's a reality that seems impossible for some due to rising costs.
"It's a very hot market and we simply don't have enough housing. So Austin Habitat for Humanity is also deeply engaged in that conversation of trying to legalize responsible land use," Anderson said.
Construction is expected to begin in the summer and families may be able to move in by the end of 2023.
Striffler said the district has five old school facilities they may use for housing, but the district is still working with the community to finalize plans.
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