Friday, June 4, 2021

City Council Waives $4.3M to Support Expansion of Affordable Housing for People Experiencing Homelessness

Community First! Village Expands Micro-Home Development with Fee Waivers and Infrastructure Support

Austin City Council voted today to waive approximately $4.3 million in development fees and infrastructure support for two additional phases of Community First! Village, developed by the non-profit organization Mobile Loaves & Fishes.

Community First! Village is a master-planned community in Northeast Austin that provides permanent housing and a supportive community for individuals who are coming out of chronic homelessness.  

The Village is currently home to more than 220 formerly homeless people. Mobile Loaves & Fishes recently announced plans to expand to add 1400 new micro-homes on a combined 127 acres.  

"We are extremely grateful to the City of Austin for the Council's support of Community First! Village," said Amber Fogarty, President of Mobile Loaves & Fishes. "Homelessness is a community issue, and it requires a community response in order to adequately care for our most vulnerable neighbors."  

The expansion involves two phases. Phase 3 of the Community First! Village will be on an adjoining piece of land near the neighborhood's current location on Hog Eye Road. Phase 4 will be developed in a new location off Burleson Road between McKinney Falls Parkway and U.S. 183.  

"Making a long-term difference in addressing chronic homelessness requires the work and commitment of partners across our community," said City Manager Spencer Cronk. "The Community First! Village demonstrates how the City can support and work with community leaders, businesses, and philanthropic organizations to make homelessness rare, brief, and non-recurring." 

The Development Services Department (DSD) is waiving fees related to the development review process, inspections, plumbing, and electrical fees. Austin Water and Austin Energy will provide additional infrastructure and planning support that helps to extend water, wastewater and electric services and enhance resiliency throughout the community and surrounding area. A full breakdown of fee waiver details can be reviewed on the Council Agenda. 

"We know Austin needs permanent affordable housing," said Development Services Department Director, Denise Lucas. "Today, the City showed the development community and our non-profit partners that we stand together to find housing solutions to the affordable housing crisis."  

About the Development Services Department
The Development Services Department (DSD) ensures compliant and sustainable development, supports the environment and urban forest, and helps ensure special event safety. DSD collaborates with partner departments and helps homeowners, business owners, contractors, event managers and area residents understand and apply existing codes and other guidelines designed to help keep our community safe.