Austin officials approve city-funded affordable housing project

262-unit Seabrook Square is projected to cost about $13M

Mayor Steve Adler and 3515 Manor Road in Austin (Google Maps, AustinTexas.gov, Getty)
Mayor Steve Adler and 3515 Manor Road in Austin (Google Maps, AustinTexas.gov, Getty)

Austin gets another inch closer to making a dent in its affordable housing crisis.

The board of the Austin Housing Finance Corporation — headed by mayor Steve Adler and made up of City Council members — just approved the construction of a mixed-use affordable housing development on three acres of city-owned land at 3515 Manor Road.

Located in central East Austin, the property consists of four parcels and two vacant commercial buildings totaling roughly 4,000 square feet. The program is part of the larger city plan to build 60,000 affordable housing units by 2027, according to the Austin Business Journal.

The four-building Seabrook Square is projected to cost about $13 million. Funding for the project will come out of the money raised with the city’s $250 million affordable housing bond that voters approved in 2018.

Of the 262 total units, 22 will be reserved for residents earning at or below 30 percent of the Travis County median family income — which reached $99,250 last year. There will also be 162 units for households earning between 50 and 60 percent of the median income, ten of which will be live-work artist residences. In total, 102 of these income-restricted units will be multi-bedroom homes for families.

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As for the remaining 78 units, 18 of them are going for market rate and the rest will be reserved for permanent supportive housing — a type of affordable housing for the homeless which includes social services. The furnished permanent supportive housing units would provide services such as case management, mental health care, plus wellness and employment resources. There will be two nearby clinics, plus an onsite food pantry in collaboration with Central Texas Food Bank.

The NHP Foundation, a New York City-based nonprofit real estate corporation, and Capital A Housing, an Austin-based affordable housing developer, will build the project.

“Because we very deliberately brought in Black-led organizations to perform our marketing and outreach, we think this will be both the most economically integrated and racially integrated development in Austin,” said Conor Kenny, director of public affairs at Capital A Housing. As such, Seabrook Square will also include a community arts hub centered on Black-led East Austin nonprofits and small businesses.

This likely won’t be the last big, city-funded affordable housing project in Austin. City officials want to put a new, even larger $350 million housing bond on the ballot this November.

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