Austin

Southwest Austin subdivision will be home to low-income residents

AUSTIN (KXAN) -- A new subdivision is going up in Southwest Austin, and buyers who live there will have access to some of the city's best schools, live close to grocery stores and city parks. But only a select group of people can move here.

The Westgate Grove community will be home to low-income residents, and they'll be able to buy the homes for about $100,000 less than market value.

HomeBase, a subsidiary of Austin Habitat for Humanity, teamed up with the City of Austin and developers to make it affordable. The city provided funding to acquire land and put infrastructure in place.

"Austin has an affordable housing problem. For a lot of folks, not just individuals who are very, very poor," said Michael Willard, with Austin Habitat for Humanity and HomeBase. "We're looking for folks who want to be a part of Austin, they want to live inside a neighborhood. They want to have an address and zip code that says Austin, Texas on it. And those families who just can't afford a house in the open market."

Buyers must make 80 percent or below Median Family Income annually. For a family of four, that's $61,650. They must also qualify for a mortgage with an outside lender.

"I can actually say I have an Austin zip code and I live in Austin," said new homeowner, Gisell Nieto. She and her daughters are getting ready to close on a home in the neighborhood.

A single, working mother, Nieto says she wasn't sure she'd ever be able to purchase a home like this in Austin.

"I have two girls, Akira and Rain, they're 10 and 12," said Nieto. "When we move, they have to move to a different school and make new friends." She's looking forward to this being a permanent home.

There will be a total of 61 units in the subdivision. Down the road, there will be an additional 80 condominium units in the area.

Communities like this are important because numbers show the Austin area is getting less and less affordable.

Apartment List released their Texas Rental price monitor in July.

The average price of a two-bedroom apartment in Austin is close to $1,400 a month, up 5.5 percent from the same time last year.

Other cities aren't immune, Cedar Park rents are up 4.7 percent in a year, and Pflugerville rents rose 6.2 percent.

City
Avg Price - 1 Bed
MM Change - 1 Bed
YY Change - 1 Bed
Avg Price - 2 Bed
MM Change - 2 Bed
YY Change - 2 Bed
Austin
1050
0.80%
5.60%
1380
0.90%
5.50%
Cedar Park
930
2.80%
8.60%
1260
0.20%
4.70%
Pflugerville
1010
0.00%
0.00%
1190
0.60%
6.20%
Round Rock
830
5.40%
9.70%
1070
2.00%
6.60%
San Marcos
800
0.40%
3.80%
930
1.10%
1.80%
                Source:  ApartmentList.com https://www.apartmentlist.com/rentonomics/july-2015-texas-rental-price-monitor/
  

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