AUSTIN, TX - Community leaders, affordable-housing advocates and key investment partners today received a “hard-hat” tour of the construction site of downtown Austin’s first affordable-housing project in 45 years.
The new community, Capital Studios, will be completed this fall and will serve low-income and homeless residents in the Austin area. Residents will able to move in to their new homes in October.
Capital Studios, built and managed by Foundation Communities, will be located within a block of the Texas State Capital at 11th and Trinity streets, and will include 135 efficiency apartments for single adults. Twenty-five percent of the units will be reserved for homeless individuals. Residents will also have access to onsite social services, such as adult education classes, computer labs, and case management and counseling services.
Capital Studios is a key part of fulfilling the Downtown Austin Plan, the city’s blueprint for area development that calls for more affordable housing and permanent supportive housing. The new community is being built to meet Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Platinum standards and is located close to public transportation. Rents will range from $400 to $650 per month, including utilities.
Additional features include 24-hour monitored access to the property; a private community space for residents that includes a computer lab, TV lounge and activity/fitness area; street level retail space; and an onsite, publicly accessible bike-share kiosk.
UnitedHealthcare, the largest investor in the new development, provided $11.7 million through the use of Low Income Housing Tax Credit (LIHTC) equity in a partnership with Enterprise Community Investment. The tax credits were allocated by the Texas Department of Housing and Community Affairs. The Austin Housing Finance Corporation provided $4.7 million in permanent financing.
Additional funding was secured through $1 million in permanent financing by the Federal Home Loan Bank, a $500,000 construction loan from Bank of America, and $2.7 million through other sources including private donations.
“Foundation Communities is thrilled to work with so many public-private partners and help bring more affordable housing to downtown Austin,” said Walter Moreau, executive director of Foundation Communities. “Without their support and financial commitment, this new community and the hopes it holds for so many in need would not be possible.”
UnitedHealthcare, which employs more than 10,500 people in Texas, serves the health care needs of more than 3.8 million Texans, including people enrolled in employer-sponsored and individual plans, Medicare and Medicaid beneficiaries, as well as military service members, military retirees and their families. The $11.7 million investment in Capital Studios is part of more than $150 million the company has provided to finance affordable-housing communities throughout the United States.
“Expanding access to affordable housing is important in breaking the cycle of homelessness and poverty and helping people live healthier lives,” said Donald Langer, president of UnitedHealthcare Community & State of Texas, who participated in today’s hard-hat tour. “Capital Studios will be a tremendous boost to downtown Austin, providing affordable housing and services to help people in need.”
Enterprise helps communities build and preserve affordable housing and has a 30-year history of financing good-quality homes that are affordable to low- and moderate-income people and families. UnitedHealthcare and Enterprise have worked together to invest $63 million in affordable-housing developments in five states, including Texas. This is the second affordable-housing community Enterprise has helped develop with Foundation Communities.
“Enterprise is proud of our partnership with UnitedHealthcare and Foundation Communities, which creates opportunity by building affordable homes in thriving communities linked to jobs, good schools, health care and transportation,” said Charlie Werhane, president and CEO of Enterprise Community Investment. “Enterprise is grateful to be part of a team whose work makes a significant difference in the lives of so many people.”