Mueller affordable housing development breaks ground in Austin

Mueller Housing Development (KXAN Photo/ Tom Rapp)

AUSTIN (KXAN) — As the Mueller development continues to grow, the newest addition includes to the landscape includes a new affordable housing project.

The development, named Aldrich 51, will be built using $4 million given to the developer by the city. The funds were given through the Austin Housing Finance Corporation, whose goal is provide affordable housing for the Austin community.

“We have an affordability crisis in this city and if we’re going to actually do something about it we have to do big projects like this,” explained Austin Mayor Steve Adler. “There’s a lot this city council is trying to do: create pockets of affordability in this city which I think is we’re ultimately going to fight gentrification.”

(KXAN Photo/ Tom Rapp)
(KXAN Photo/ Sophia Beausoleil)

The Mueller Affordable Homes Program is focusing on providing young families, working couples, single parents, and older adults with a place they can afford to call home. The only qualification is that the families earn 30 to 60 percent of the median family incomes in Austin, a range between $32,000 and $41,250 for a family of four.

Of the 240 units, 85 percent will go to those in need in the community. Working adults can choose from a studio, one, two, and three bedroom unit in the housing community.

Located in East Austin the four-story housing development is nestled between Aldrich Street, Barbara Jordan Boulevard, and 51st Street.

Because of all the new homes and apartments being built in the Mueller area, the Austin Independent School District is considering building a new school in the area to accommodate for the growth.

“Well we have a tremendous need for affordable housing throughout Austin and district nine is no exception, it’s very high,”  said Mayor Pro Tem and District 9 Council Member Kathie Tovo. “We do have a tremendous need and we need a whole array of solutions and a whole array of developments to even chip away at that need.”

(KXAN Photo/ Tom Rapp)
(KXAN Photo/ Tom Rapp)

“I think this is going to be the most successful affordable housing development in Austin and I think we’re really going to see it as a nationwide model for how people should produce affordable housing,” said Diana McIver, DMA Development Company President.

McIver also worked on Wildflower Terrace which is affordable housing for seniors in the Mueller neighborhood which has been open for three years.

“We’re not a mass producer of housing and so we found just as a result of Wildflower Terrace that we’ve been sought out by other cities, other  master developers wanting to do senior housing  in their community,” said McIver. “So yes I think that Aldrich 51 is going to be a development that people in other cities and other  states are going to look at and say, ‘We want that.”

The mixed income communities are part of the Mueller Affordable Homes Program. Where about 1,475 homes out of the 5,900 apartments, condos and houses at Mueller.

“We really truly believe there is an incredible need in the Austin community for affordable housing and there’s literally no place better than to do it at Mueller with employers, jobs blocks away,” said McIver.

She said the goal is to have people work, live and play in the area which would eliminate the need for transportation.

Aldrich 51 won’t be available until June of 2017 and they won’t be able to sign leases until 90 days until the building is finished.

Here’s the break down of the 240 units:

  • 38 studios
  • 88 one bedroom units
  • 106 two bedroom units
  • 8 three bedroom units

McIver said 139 units will be available for people at 60 percent of the Area Median Income, which is for people who make around $30,000 for a one person household to about $46,000 for a four person household.

McIver said a bulk of the units rent will range from $620 to $1,200 a month.

Forty-seven units will be available for people who make around $24,000 to $38,00 for family o four. There will also be 18 units set aside for people who make $16,000 to $21,000 for a couple and rent will range from $350 to $370.

The building will have also have 36 units will be market-rate units.

“We will price those units so that they’re available for what we’re calling in Austin now, ‘the missing middle,” said McIver. “It’s folks that still can’t afford market-rate apartments, because they’re very expensive now, yet they’re over that $46,000 income  level that will be our cap for our affordable units. provides commenting to allow for constructive discussion on the stories we cover. In order to comment here, you acknowledge you have read and agreed to our Terms of Service. Users who violate these terms, including use of vulgar language or racial slurs, will be banned. If you see an inappropriate comment, please flag it for our moderators to review.

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