Affordable housing can take many forms, and a myriad of financing sources is necessary to create the spectrum of housing options needed in our community. Traditional philanthropic grantmaking can only go so far when it comes to funding. That’s why Austin Community Foundation makes impact investments in the form of low-interest rate loans to increase the capacity of housing-focused organizations that otherwise would have to seek more expensive sources and delay projects that are desperately needed today.
Our impact investment in the Texas State Affordable Housing Corporation (TSAHC), for example, helps nonprofits like Project Transitions create affordable, supportive housing in Austin for people living with HIV.
Project Transitions began in 1988 as a small hospice house, but since then has expanded to build 40 units of supportive housing at Roosevelt Gardens. Their newest project, Burnet Place, will create 61 homes for people with HIV who are currently unhoused or living in unstable housing conditions. Onsite supportive services at Burnet Place will include both a clinic as well as vocational training, providing much needed resources for residents to build stability.
We had the pleasure of attending the groundbreaking for this project on March 23, where one attendee stated, “We are making history in Austin. HIV as an epidemic has rocked the community, but it has also brought so many people together. It just shows what we can do when we come together and make people a priority.”
Michael Welt, Senior Manager of External Relations at TSAHC, shared, “We’re really delivering housing that is desperately needed in Austin … and we rely on investment partners like Austin Community Foundation.” According to Michael, it can be difficult to communicate the significance of projects like Burnet Place to philanthropic funders, but “ACF has embraced that and has understood how they can be a catalyst for developments like this.”
ACF plans to increase investments in affordable housing in the near future so that more homes like Burnet Place can be built in Austin. Learn more about our impact investment program at austincf.org/fundatx.