Accessible Housing Austin Nonprofit Receives $189K Grant

NORTH AUSTIN, TX — Accessible Housing Austin, a nonprofit advocating for disability rights, has secured a $189,000 grant toward construction of an accessible apartment complex.

Frost Bank and the Federal Home Loan Bank of Dallas awarded the grant in support of the nonprofit’s plans to build a $5.8 million, 27-unit accessible apartment complex to be called AHA! Briarcliff, according to a press release. The three-story complex will be built on Northeast Austin land along Briarcliff Boulevard owned by the city’s Housing Authority, which will provide a low-cost, long-term ground lease.

The housing development will house up to 60 people, with all units made affordable to individuals and families earning 50 percent or less of the median family income in Austin. The site is convenient to public transportation, medical offices, employment centers and shopping, officials noted.

Construction is expected to start in September and take 18 months to complete. Additional funding for the project came from Texas Department of Housing and Community Affairs and the city of Austin.

“The AHP has helped this project, which has been 10 years in the making, become a reality,” said Melissa Orren, executive director of AHA! “This is a landmark project. It came from an agency whose majority board membership consists of individuals with disabilities. This is a project coming out of the disability community — for people with the disabilities. We are really excited.”

Frost Bank Senior Vice President Donna Normandin said the bank is a committed supporter of AHA! “We’ve seen the good work that AHA! has done in Austin to provide accessible and affordable housing to local in-need residents,” she said. “This agency has had a positive impact on the city of Austin and we are glad to perpetuate their mission through our partnership with FHLB Dallas and the AHP.”

Greg Hettrick, first vice president and director of Community Investment at FHLB Dallas, said Frost Bank has distinguished itself for contributing in meaningful ways to communities needing banking services. Frost Bank was among the first recipients of FHLB Dallas’ CARE award, officials noted, which recognizes members for their outstanding commitment to affordable housing.

“Frost Bank has partnered with FHLB Dallas to award more than $8.8 million in Texas communities through the AHP and other programs such as the Homebuyer Equity Leverage Partnership, Special Needs Assistance Program, Partnership Grant Program and disaster grants,” Hettrick said. “We commend Frost Bank for its community support and thank them for their partnership.”

FHLB Dallas annually returns 10 percent of its profits in the form of AHP grants to the communities served by its member institutions such as Frost Bank, officials noted. AHP grants fund a variety of projects, including home rehabilitation and modifications for low-income, elderly and special-needs residents; down payment and closing cost assistance for qualified first-time home buyers; and the construction of low-income, multifamily rental communities and single-family homes, officials added.

In 2017, FHLB Dallas awarded $7 million in grants to 19 affordable housing projects. The grants will help create 1,108 new or rehabilitated housing units. Since the inception of the AHP in 1990, FHLB Dallas has awarded more than $261 million in AHP and AHP-funded grants to assist more than 48,500 families, according to officials.

Accessible Housing Austin is located at 1100 S. Interstate 35 on the southwest corner of Riverside Drive and the southbound I-35 frontage road.

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