AUSTIN, Texas - The demand for affordable living in Austin continues to increase.
On Wednesday, Waterloo Terrace became one of the many communities in Austin trying to bridge the gap when it comes to affordable housing in the city.
"This is a home for folks that, many of whom are formerly homeless, others that are just very low income, said Walter Moreau, executive director for Foundation Communities.
The complex sits just near Mopac and Parmer Lane in North Austin and will house 132 residents and serve as permanent supportive housing. Additionally, 27 units are set aside for residents who have or are experiencing homelessness, said City of Austin Director of Planning and Development Rosie Truelove.
In 2017, Austin created a "strategic housing blueprint" on how to construct 60,000 restricted-income housing units within the next 10 years. Truelove said properties like Waterloo Terrace are steps in the right direction. "It's projects like Waterloo Terrace that helps us measurably meet these goals," she said.
More than 1,300 people have applied for 132 units. That breaks down to 10 people vying for every one unit that is available.
"These are neighbors, these are friends, and in some cases, these are people in your family that just need an affordable place to live and a little bit of support," Moreau said.
The complex is equipped with a food pantry, a library, and a fitness room. To qualify, applicants must earn less than $34,000 a year. Rent ranges from $475 to $855 dollars and utilities are included.
For councilmember Leslie Pool, the community is in her district. "I am so proud to have Waterloo Terrace in District 7," she said.
Pool said while the city has made progress towards its affordable housing goals, however, there is work that still needs to be done. "The opening of Waterloo Terrace is a huge and important step toward achieving the City of Austin's affordability goals, and ensuring Austin remains a welcoming community for everyone," she said.
Currently the complex is half full. To get the remaining spots leased, apartment officials say they are working through a lottery system for those on the waitlist.