AUSTIN (KXAN) – The Austin Housing Finance Corporation (AHFC) has issued a Request for Proposals (RFP) to develop affordable, limited-income housing on eight acres of land at 3811 Tannehill Lane in the East MLK neighborhood of Austin.
For Eric Byrd and his family, the roots run deep in this East Austin neighborhood.
“It’s actually the primary school I went to when I was a kid. I grew up not too far from here, ”Byrd explained. “Before that my grandparents owned a house just down the road, and before that my grandfather’s parents were sharecroppers in this area.
Over the years, real estate prices have gone up, as have new homes. Homes in an area that were once worth less than $ 200,000 are now worth over $ 650,000.
“My family had to leave the area because of the affordability,” Byrd said. “We only have a few family members who live within the city limits. The rest have moved outside where it is more affordable.
The AHFC’s plans change that by turning part of the area into an affordable housing development.
“In this particular neighborhood, we’ve seen a significant amount of gentrification and displacement. We would like to stem the tide or work to help stem the tide of gentrification and displacement, certainly in east-central Austin, ”said Mandy De Mayo of the Austin City Planning and Housing Department. “This particular site is right next to the Norman-Sims Elementary School which has seen declining enrollment in recent years. We would like to ensure opportunities to bring families back and stabilize neighborhoods, bring families back to this neighborhood.
They hope to conclude a development agreement by the fall.
“Ideally, we would have something under construction within a year, and we anticipate a construction period of around 18 months,” De Mayo said.
Priority will be given to proposals which:
- Maximize the number of affordable units
- Maximize the number of affordable multi-bedroom units for families
- Providing Highly Affordable Units for Low Income Austin Households
- Providing affordable housing to help low-income households build wealth
- Prioritize affordable housing for low-income households previously displaced or at risk of being displaced from the region
- Minimize the City of Austin subsidy per affordable unit
The request for proposals and supporting documents are available on the website Tender website. The deadline is July 22, 2021.
Byrd wants to make sure the developer is used to taking care of their tenants and communities, not a history of complaints and violations.