State awards $17 million to local nonprofit for new low-income family housing


AUSTIN (KXAN) — The nonprofit housing group Foundation Communities is moving forward with plans for an 88-apartment development in north Austin with financial backing from the state.

The Texas Department of Housing and Community Affairs awarded the organization nearly $17 million for its newest project, currently called Foundation Village.

“We have 18 of the apartments here that are dedicated to families with kids that have been homeless,” said Foundation Communities’ executive director Walter Moreau. “It’s an intensive program to help folks get back on their feet, improve their income.”

The development on five acres of land on North Lamar Boulevard, near West Braker Lane on a busy north-south transit corridor, will also include a big community center with on-site childcare.

“That is the single biggest amenity that we could dream of to put with the apartments,” Moreau said. The community center will also offer health and wellness classes and continuing education courses.

Foundation Village is reminiscent of other supportive communities the nonprofit has built, like M Station Apartments on East Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard. That development, which opened in 2011, also provides child care and is near a transit center.

The state’s funding provides most of the total cost of the new development, which Foundation Communities estimates will cost in the low-$20 million range.

The group expects to break ground on the new project next year and start accepting families in 2021. It will join two other complexes coming online in the coming months; the Jordan at Mueller will open later this year, and Waterloo Terrace will open in 2020.

Together, the three new complexes will help the organization reduce the lengthy waiting list for affordable housing that keeps growing.

“We typically get 15 applications a week,” Moreau said, “and we often only have one or two new apartments.”

While the newest addition to the group’s housing stock will make just a small dent in the total number of people waiting for housing, he said, it will make a big difference for the estimate 35-40 kids who will call it home, “and that’s immeasurable.”

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