AUSTIN (KXAN) — An Austin real estate developer, Momark Development, announced Monday it’s working with the City of Austin to build 88 income-restricted condominiums in south Austin.

The Canopy at West Gate Grove will have 88 income-restricted units. (KXAN Photo/Yoojin Cho)

The developer said the one- and two- bedroom condos will be priced between $163,000 and $185,000.

“The significance of that is it’s in an area where the average sales price is in the low 300’s, so it’s a pretty good value,” said Terry Mitchell, President of Momark Development.

The condos are reserved for families making less than 80 percent of Austin’s median family income:

  • 1 person household: $52,850
  • 2 person household: $60,400
  • 3 person household: $67,950
  • 4 person household: $75,500

Austin Habitat for Humanity will help the developer and the city identify qualified buyers.

The Canopy at West Gate Grove will have 88 income-restricted units. (KXAN Photo/Yoojin Cho)

“There are very few new homes of any type being sold in the City of Austin for under $200,000 today, and that’s especially true in areas served by high-performing schools,” said Austin Habitat Vice President of Client Services Wayne Gerami. “This is one of very few income-restricted, for-sale Affordable housing developments under construction or even planned in Austin west of Interstate 35.”

Fewer affordable homes in west Austin

Mandy DeMayo with Austin’s Neighborhood Housing and Community Development Department told KXAN 2014’s Comprehensive Housing Market Analysis showed homes under $250,000 were heavily concentrated in far northeast and southeast.

Housing Works Austin’s 2018 study also showed a higher number of affordable units in northeast and southeast neighborhoods and fewer city-subsidized units in west Austin.

The report broke down the numbers by Austin City Council Districts. In District 5, where West Gate is, the report found 107 subsidized housing developments and 3,117 units.

Housing Works Austin’s analysis of city-subsidized housing units.

That’s more than what west Austin neighborhoods — Districts 8 and 10 — have, but significantly fewer than Districts 1 and 3.

Housing Works Austin’s analysis of city-subsidized housing units.
Housing Works Austin’s analysis of city-subsidized housing units.

Ideal area for families

“I think everybody in this city needs to make a commitment to affordable housing,” said Mitchell.

He said where the Canopy at Westgate Grove will be is a desirable area for families because “there’s a really outstanding school, an elementary school two blocks away.”

Yussef Habib, Lending Supervisor at Austin Habitat for Humanity, said, “The ZIP code. It’s in an amazing ZIP code. I haven’t heard of any other affordable housing in that area. Usually, affordable housing, very few that we find in the city, it’s east Austin and far out.”

The City of Austin pitched in $1.25 million from general obligation bonds for this property acquisition and initial infrastructure improvements.

Mitchell said he’s able to build the condos more affordably by increasing density and building smaller units.

Habib said Habitat started selling the condos recently. They’ve already talked to 10 families who went through the first steps to meet the organization’s requirements.

“It gives the opportunities to families, hard-working families, that are actually trying to buy something,” he said.