Austin School District Properties Could Host Affordable Housing

The District is weighing early proposals to include housing units for teachers and staff in the redevelopment of a group of six ‘underutilized’ district properties.

Read Time: 2 minutes

October 2, 2022, 7:00 AM PDT

By Diana Ionescu @aworkoffiction

Six facilities owned by the Austin Independent School District (AISD) could become affordable housing for teachers and staff, reports Fred Cantu for CBS Austin. The district has struggled to hire new teachers as housing costs rise sharply in the fast-growing Texas capital, and building housing on district land offers an innovative solution.

The sites in question include the old campus of Rosedale School, which recently relocated to a new building, the Alternative Learning Center in East Austin, whose property is larger than the needs of the center, and the 20-acre Anita Ferrales Coy Alternative Learning Center property.

The proposals are “very preliminary,” Cantu adds, noting that “The district still needs to identify appropriate partners and financing before they can move forward.” According to Jeremy Striffler, director of real estate for Austin ISD, “We believe we have the opportunity by leveraging our underutilized land to explore building housing that is high-quality housing that's affordable relative to the wages of our teachers, staff, and families.” To narrow down their options, the district will host public meetings around the district.

Converting non-residential properties to housing, known as adaptive reuse, is growing more popular as cities endeavor to meet the housing needs that have grown dire in many communities. Last week, Pasadena, California approved a plan to permit houses of worship to build affordable housing on their property, and this Wednesday, California Governor Gavin Newsom signed two bills that incentivize housing construction on some commercially zoned lots.

Wednesday, September 28, 2022 in CBS Austin


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