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NALHFA Member Spotlight: City of Austin Neighborhood Housing

Posted By Administration, Tuesday, June 11, 2019
Updated: Monday, June 10, 2019

During its 2019 Annual Conference, NALHFA presented the City of Austin Neighborhood Housing with the Multifamily Excellence award in recognition of Aldrich 51.

 

Aldrich 51 is an innovative partnership between Austin Housing Finance Corporation and DMA Development Company. The 240‐unit affordable rental housing development is ideally situated within the 700 acre Robert Mueller Municipal Airport (RMMA) redevelopment. Aldrich 51 provides a unique opportunity for low‐ and moderate‐income households to readily access jobs, transportation choices, parks and recreation facilities, fresh healthy foods options, and numerous other amenities. Of the 240 units, 85% or 204 units are affordable to households at or below 60% MFI.

 

The development was primarily financed through the 4% non‐competitive LIHTC program. In order to ensure a viable project – one that combined deep affordability with high quality construction in a desirable urban location, it was clear that development was going to require multiple partners and financing sources.

 

In the late 1980s, in anticipation of the closing of Robert Mueller Municipal Airport (RMMA), the City of Austin began to contemplate reuse and redevelopment of the 700 acre property, which is situated less than three miles from downtown and two miles from the University of Texas at Austin. After two decades of an inclusive citizen‐driven effort, the Mueller Master Development Agreement (MDA) was inked, memorializing the partnership between the City of Austin, Catellus Development Corporation (Master Developer), and the citizens of Austin. The guiding principles of the redevelopment included an ambitious affordable housing component: at least 25% of all homes at Mueller are required to be affordable to households at or below 80% MFI (ownership) and 60% MFI (rental). All affordable units were to be generally distributed throughout the 700‐acre development, thereby ensuring a vibrant, inclusive, mixed‐income community.

 

Today, the Mueller development is approximately 75% built‐out and includes a mix of commercial, retail, and residential. Homes range from small apartments to townhomes to condominiums to live‐work spaces. Commercial development includes the Dell Children’s Hospital, medical offices, the Thinkery Children’s Museum, AISD’s performing arts space, Texas Mutual Insurance, and Austin Energy’s headquarters (soon to break ground). Retail ranges from small business to “big box” retail such as HEB Grocery, Home Depot and Best Buy.

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NALHFA Member Spotlight: Allegheny County Residential Finance Authority

Posted By Administration, Tuesday, June 4, 2019
Updated: Monday, June 3, 2019

During its 2019 Annual Conference, NALHFA presented the Allegheny County Residential Finance Authority with the HOME Excellence award in recognition of Forest Hills Veterans Housing.

 

The Forest Hills Veterans Housing is the rehabilitation of a previously vacant and blighted structure in the Borough of Forest Hills into 41 units of affordable housing for seniors and veterans. 21 units have a preference for veterans and 20 units have a preference for seniors, with all units restricted to tenants with incomes below 60% area median income. 

 

The building sat vacant for nearly 10 years until ACTION-Housing, along with the support and encouragement from the local community, elected officials, and community partners, proposed the plan to transform this highly visible building into a community asset. Southwestern Pennsylvania has a higher concentration of both seniors and veterans, and affordable housing for these groups is in high demand, with little supply. Forest Hills Veterans Housing aims to help alleviate both of these shortages with units for both seniors and veterans. The building houses 33 one-bedroom units, 8 two-bedroom units, a community room, computer rooms, laundry, offices and a garage below ground. Supportive services are provided by the Veterans Leadership Program designed specifically to help veterans develop the ability to live independently and self-sufficiently. 


In summary, Forest Hills Veterans Housing combines a rare affordable housing opportunity within a prosperous, suburban community, supports tailored to veterans and seniors, an exemplary of the adaptive reuse of a vacant, blighted building, and finishes and systems throughout designed to deliver a calming sensory experience for all residents.

 

 

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