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Austin Housing Authority Acquires Units on the Private Market
Low-income households everywhere face an uphill battle acquiring and using Housing Choice Vouchers to offset their housing costs. But in Texas, where landlords can reject voucher holders based on their source of income, prospective tenants struggle even more.
To expand the pool of housing available to voucher holders, the Housing Authority of the City of Austin "is continuing to expand a strategy of acquiring housing units on the private market and making some of them affordable for low and moderate-income people," Jared Brey writes.
The authority's most recent acquisition is The Bridge at Asher Apartments, a 452-unit complex located in Southeast Austin. The project "is pushing into more valuable real-estate territory than a lot of the Authority's other projects," according to the authority's president and CEO Michael Gerber.
Along with the Housing Authority of the City of Austin, several other housing authorities have experimented with purchases on the open market to supplement their inventories, including the King County Housing Authority in Washington. This move by the Austin authority follows the city's passage of Affordability Unlocked, a plan to offer density bonuses and other loosened regulations to projects serving tenants who earn under 60 percent of the median income.