Austin is growing, and so is the need for affordable housing. That's why Austin Habitat for Humanity is feeling the need to pick up the pace of its work. That was evident at Friday's groundbreaking for its latest project.
They gathered in the Montopolis neighborhood to turn earth on their latest endeavor, a site of less than an acre that will soon host 12 affordable family-size townhomes.
CEO Phyllis Snodgrass explained, “We’re trying to optimize the resources that we have. We’ve owned this land for a long time and we wanted to do more than put 1 or 2 homes on it.”
With the median sale price for an Austin home now almost $700,000, Austin Mayor Steve Adler says the city needs to do more to create housing for working families.
“And we have to be increasing the supply at every level,” Adler adds, “So at the lowest level it’s subsidized housing, but at the workforce housing it’s doing things like changing our land development code so we can build more densely.”
Austin Habitat for Humanity is no stranger to the concept. They built a row of homes in the popular Mueller neighborhood in East Austin which families were able to buy at a much lower price than their neighbors.
But it took a village to create the Mueller village.
Mayor Adler explained, “It’s so many people participating in what they call a ‘finance stack’ in order to make this ultimately a home that someone’s able to come in and purchase and pay for with the income that they have.”
Contributing to this kind of effort are the donors to Habitat for Humanity, city bond money approved by voters, and banks willing to make home loans at lower interest rates.
“We’re lucky and blessed in this community to have so many providers,” says the mayor.
The City of Austin has online tools to help you locate housing you can afford. You just plug in your income and size of your family and you'll see your options. You’ll find the link below.