AUSTIN (KXAN) — People living near a property in north Austin formerly known as the Raintree Apartments — now called the Redfield 34 Apartments, though it’s not indicated on the building — say after the City of Austin secured the property for affordable housing, it’s become unsafe.
Neighbors say they’re seeing drug use, prostitution, theft and shootings, among other issues. They say a man was shot and sent to the hospital as recently as Wednesday.
“He pulled out a gun and shot at this guy and then of course that’s when we went to duck for cover because we don’t want to get accidentally hit by a stray bullet,” Parker Case, who lives a few houses down from the complex and witnessed the shooting, said.
Case is one of several neighbors we spoke to Friday who said they’re seeing crime on a regular basis, to the point that some have contemplated moving. They also say nobody seems to be managing the property or providing services to the people who live there. Several of the units appeared to be broken into when KXAN visited Friday.
“We’re scared to go outside because it’s just like, we don’t know who we’re going to encounter,” Case explained.
A City of Austin spokesperson said they are aware of concerns people have about the property and said in part:
“Current activity on the property violates the terms of the agreement with the property owner to acquire and renovate the property for affordable housing. Over the last several weeks, the City and AHFC (Austin Housing Finance Corporation) have been working with the property owner to make the necessary improvements.”
November Austin Housing Finance Corporation meeting documents show money for the project comes from the housing trust fund and 2018 general obligation bonds.
“Project funding will be utilized for the acquisition of an existing 34-unit apartment complex
and for tenant relocation expenses. The 34-unit property will be converted into a 33-unit permanent supportive housing development for individuals exiting homelessness. All 33 units will be available for rent at or below 50% MFI. The units will be affordable for 40 years,” documents said.
KXAN got in touch with a property owner with FHADL Real Estate LLC who said he didn’t feel he had enough time to provide comment before our deadline. Should he provide one, we will update this story.
We reached out to the Austin Police Department early Friday morning asking if they were making any adjustments to keep neighbors safe and did not hear back.
Neighbors ask that if the city house people experiencing homelessness anywhere in Austin, they provide services to set those people up for success. They also want the city to ensure there are regulations tied to affordable housing so it’s not to the determent of other people living in the area.
“We want people to have resources if they’re going to get benefits from the government so that way it’s not just a city-funded chaos,” Case said.