Foundation Communities recently broke ground on a new affordable housing development in North Austin called Juniper Creek. This multi-family apartment complex was made possible in part due to a $900,000 impact investment from Austin Community Foundation and the Shield-Ayres Foundation.
Foundation Communities is an Austin-based nonprofit that holistically supports families with children, people transitioning out of homelessness, veterans, seniors, and individuals with disabilities—by offering modestly-priced, attractive homes with a multitude of on-site supportive services. The impact investment provided financing for a five-acre tract of land on which Juniper Creek’s 110 units are being built on North Lamar Boulevard.
This new development is adjacent to Laurel Creek Apartments, another property owned by Foundation Communities, with 88 units for families making 50-60% of the area‘s median income (approximately $44,000-53,000 for a two-person household).
“Households [at Juniper Creek] will be at or below 60% of area median family income,” said Norris Deajon, Communications and Marketing Manager at Foundation Communities. “We are excited that we have broken ground, and contractors have been clearing trees and brush and leveling the property.”
When Juniper Creek opens in early 2025, residents will be able to access a number of programs at Laurel Creek, including the Realty Austin Learning Center, which provides after-school and summer academic programs, as well as yoga classes on Thursday nights; an Open Door Preschool; a healthy food pantry; health education programs; and many kid- and pedestrian-friendly outdoor spaces.
Statistics show that half of Austin renters spend more than 30%—even 50%—of their income on housing, exceeding the standard 30% rule-of-thumb when it comes to budgeting rent. As housing costs continue to outpace wage growth, some families are even getting pushed out of the city, as was the case for the Henderson family—until they found Laurel Creek. “It’s been a blessing,” shared Edward Henderson. “A supportive community where we feel calm and like we don’t have to worry.”
Investing in projects like Juniper Creek helps to ensure that affordable housing developers possess the necessary capital to acquire land before it is acquired by private developers.
“We are incredibly grateful to Austin Community Foundation for helping us with a loan to buy the land that will now become Juniper Creek,” said Walter Moreau, Executive Director of Foundation Communities.“The loan timing and flexibility allowed us to secure this critical site quickly in a hot real estate market. And now we can look forward to welcoming home 110 new families [in early 2025].”
ACF continues to make investments in housing so that hardworking families like the Hendersons can access affordable, quality homes in Austin—just like Juniper Creek. You can learn more about philanthropy’s role in addressing Austin’s housing crisis by reading the Foundation’s 2022 Housing Affordability report.