Historic Affordable Housing for AISD Teachers Planned at The Grove
New, Innovative Program Will Help AISD Attract and Retain Teachers
Teachers will have an unprecedented opportunity to purchase homes at affordable rates in Austin’s urban core under a historic program announced by The Grove at Shoal Creek and the Austin Independent School District (AISD).
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Under the new program, and in the event the Grove project gets approved as contemplated, The Grove will provide approximately 19 affordably priced homes to AISD teachers.
This new program, which is the first of its kind in Texas, is structured to maintain affordability for the long-term. The Grove will turn 19 new, affordable homes over to a Community Land Trust or restrictions administrator, which will manage future re-sales of the properties under a renewable term. In other words, the homes will remain affordable for future generations of teachers to come.
“This project could serve as a model for how the private sector can successfully leverage valuable resources and offer them to the school district, at no additional cost to the district or taxpayers,” said Nicole K. Conley, Chief Financial Officer of AISD.
“The Austin ISD Board of Trustees often discusses the challenge of retaining teachers as it becomes more expensive for them to live in the city, near our schools. As a district, we continue to be hampered in attempts to offer wages that support the increased cost of living in Austin. So when Trustee Elenz and I approached The Grove at Shoal Creek about this idea and they brought in their affordable housing consultants, we were excited. Over the last several weeks, the owners of The Grove have worked with AISD staff to develop what could become a model for future affordable housing options for our hard-working teachers and staff. While this won't solve our housing needs for all who need assistance, it is a step in the right direction, and I'm proud that Austin ISD and The Grove are willing to work through the challenges of this idea to benefit as many as possible,” said Julie Cowan, Board of Trustee for AISD District 4.
“My hope is that this initiative is so successful that it encourages all private developers to include similar provisions in their projects, allowing more Austin ISD employees to live inside Austin city limits and to continue working in our schools and educating our children,” said Amber Elenz, Board of Trustee for AISD District 5.
“As a community we are recognizing more and more how affordability and traffic intersect in policy decisions. When we provide Austinites the opportunity to live close to where they work we remove the need for long commutes, which congest our roads. Through this innovative program, teachers working in our neighborhood schools can now afford to live close to their schools. Thank you to The Grove for taking care of the teachers who teach our students!” said Austin City Council Member Sheri Gallo.
“Community Wheelhouse works with the community and identifies areas that are of greatest concern and identifies solutions that have the greatest impact. The community needs affordable housing to retain teachers. The Grove presents an incredible opportunity to work strategically and create a ‘win-win’ situation,” said Kelly Weiss, CEO of Community Wheelhouse.
Affordable Housing Urgently Needed In West Austin
Virtually no subsidized housing exists in central west Austin, and affordability is increasingly becoming unattainable for many Austinites. The affordable housing proposed for The Grove is historic because it would be the first affordable housing program within the large 78731 zip code area.
In fact, few affordable homeownership opportunities exist for households making 80-120% or below MFI in 78731, so The Grove offers an opportunity to meet the need for “Missing Middle” homeownership options within the urban core.
For more details, click here to read our press release.