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June 29, 2014

Capital Studios, the First Affordable-Housing Community in Downtown Austin, Set to Open in October

By Anca Gagiuc, Associate Editor

The Downtown Austin Plan is moving forward. The city’s blueprint that shows the need for more affordable housing and permanent supportive housing is meeting its materialization. The first affordable-housing project in 45 years is currently in the works.

Capital Studios is the new community that will serve low-income and homeless residents in the Austin area, designed to meet LEED Platinum standards. Works are scheduled to be completed this fall for residents to move in in October.

The developer and managing company is Foundation Communities and they work with various public-private partners including UnitedHealthcare – the largest investor that provided $11.7 million through the use of Low Income Housing Tax Credit (LIHTC) equity in a partnership with Enterprise Community Investment, the Texas Department of Housing and Community Affairs that allocated the tax credits, the Austin Housing Finance Corporation who provided $4.7 million in permanent financing. The Federal Home Loan Bank secured an additional $1 million in a permanent financing, the Bank of America granted a $500,000 construction loan, and other sources and private donations raised another $2.7 million.

Capital Studios will be located at 11th and Trinity Streets and will offer 135 efficiency apartments for single adults and 25 percent of them will be reserved for homeless individuals. The property will have 24-hour monitored access; residents will have a private community space with a computer lab, TV lounge and fitness area. Just a block of the Texas State Capital, it has street level retail space and a publicly accessible bike-share kiosk. Rents will range between $400 and $650 per month with utilities included.

“Expanding access to affordable housing is important in breaking the cycle of homelessness and poverty and helping people live healthier lives,” says Donald Langer, president of UnitedHealthcare Community & State of Texas. “Capital Studios will be a tremendous boost to downtown Austin, providing affordable housing and services to help people in need.”

Photo courtesy of City of Austin, Texas.

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