Austin Habitat for Humanity breaks ground on affordable townhomes in southeast Austin
AUSTIN, Texas - With the median home price in Austin soaring above $667,000, many families are finding themselves priced out. The mayor believes the city saw this coming years back.
"You could tell back then that our existential fight in this city to maintain this as a magical place was going to be ‘could we hold on to the people that live in this city’?" said Mayor Steve Adler.
He addressed the affordability issue at a groundbreaking ceremony designed to fix that exact problem.
Austin Habitat for Humanity broke ground on a .69 acre plot of land on Circulo de Amistad, just off Montopolis Drive. It will be the site of twelve brand new townhomes.
"We've owned this land for a long time, and we wanted to do more than put one or two homes on it," said Phyllis Snodgrass, CEO of Austin Habitat for Humanity.
Habitat bought the land for $30,000 back in 1996. It had originally been zoned for commercial development.
"We had the opportunity to rezone the site to be able to build more housing on Montopolis," said Andy Alarcon.
Now it will help families get the opportunity to live the American dream, which may seem out of reach for some.
"We are competing against a pretty hot market," said Snodgrass.
This housing will be subsidized. Although it's a step in the right direction, Adler acknowledges it will take even more effort from the city, to make sure the middle class is also not left out of the mix.
"At the lowest level it's subsidized housing. At the workforce level it's doing things like changing things like our land development code so you can build more densely. Austin is a city that never developed very densely, and we're paying the price for that right now," said Adler.
To apply for a home you can visit austinhabitat.org.