Musicians, homeless vets to get low rent at South Lamar complex


AUSTIN (KXAN) — Austin is welcoming its newest addition to the affordable housing effort, Bluebonnet Studios.

Foundation Communities is putting the finishing touches on the 107 units on South Lamar Boulevard. The apartments will be available for those earning less than $27,000 per year. City planners say this is a perfect example of the type of apartments needed since it’s close to a bus line, and someone can bike, or walk to everything from grocery stores to work.

“What I love about Bluebonnet Studios is we were able to buy a piece of land here on South Lamar so it’s very central, it’s still close to great employment and downtown and great things that are happening in Austin,” said Walter Moreau, executive director of Foundation Communities.

Each unit comes furnished with all utilities paid. Of the 107 units, 22 of the apartments are reserved for the area’s homeless and low income veterans, while five units are dedicated to local musicians.

Bluebonnet studios offers affordable places to live (KXAN Photo/ Frank Martinez)

“We received a donation from an Austin group called All ATX to try to help finish the construction here and their hope was that we would have apartments for musicians. So we committed five apartments for them but I think we may have way more that apply and may have more that live here,” Moreau said.

There will also be on-site support services such as educational programs, financial stability programs and community support including access to the food pantry through the Central Texas Food Bank.

Officials say rent prices will range from $400-$700. The complex should be open by late November.

This latest development coincides with the city of Austin’s push to create cheaper housing options with the goal to prevent Austinites from being priced out of their homes.

The Austin Strategic Housing Plan has 30 strategies with the goal of creating 75,000 new homes over 10 years. Thirty-five thousand of those being affordable for families of four earning about $62,000 per year.

The plan also recommends each zip code have at least 10 percent rental housing units that are affordable for a family making less than $24,000 per year. The goal is to build units near public transit since planners say your daily commute is typically a household’s second highest expense.

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