City wants to turn vacant AISD properties into affordable housing

City wants to turn vacant AISD properties into affordable housing for teachers and families

AUSTIN (KXAN) — The city of Austin is making a bid to purchase ten properties the Austin Independent School District has listed to lease or sell.

Earlier this year district officials put out the proposal for bids on several buildings not currently used for educational purposes. Those include:

  1. Vacant land located at the Central Warehouse property
  2. Vacant land located on Doris Drive
  3. Vacant land located on Loyola Lane
  4. Vacant land located at the Service Center property
  5. Vacant land located on Tannehill Lane
  6. Vacant land located in Travis Country
  7. Austin Club
  8. Baker Administration Center
  9. Carruth Administration Center
  10. Allan Facility (formerly Allan Elementary & IDEA Allan)

On Thursday, the city will be joined by Foundation Communities who is also requesting to lease the former Allan Elementary School and the surrounding land to build 200 affordable apartments and town homes. The Executive Director of Foundation Communities says they don’t believe their bid is competing against the city’s request to purchase the Allan property because council is expected to approve a resolution supporting the non-profits request to lease the land.

Foundation Communities proposal calls for the school to be saved and reopened for Pre-k programs. The gym would become a community health center, and a financial center. Also on the 19 acres of land they would build affordable two and three bedroom apartments to attract families to East Austin. Half of the other units for sale would be set aside for AISD teachers and staff.

“If we build 200 new affordable homes that will bring 160 new children back into the school district, they will mostly go to Govalle Elementary,” said Walter Moreau, Ex. Dir. Foundation Communities. “Which is interesting because Govalle is expected to lose about 160 kids over the next five years.”

That is a big deal to the district because they are losing an average of 1,000 students a year due to the lack of affordable homes – not to mention the teachers.

“We lose about 800 teachers a year and half of the reason we lose teachers is because they can no longer afford to live here in Austin,” said Paul Saldana, VP Board of Trustees AISD.

The deadline for proposals on the AISD properties is due Thursday but a decision on any sale or lease won’t be made until next year by the Board of Trustees. District officials say any money generated from the sale or lease of the properties will go into their general fund which is not subject to recapture from the state. Over the next three years the district is projected to lose more than $2 billion due to the state’s recapture rules.

Kate Weidaw is live with how the city would turn vacant properties into affordable housing. 

Map of vacant AISD properties the city wants to turn into affordable housing for teachers and families
Map of vacant AISD properties the city wants to turn into affordable housing for teachers and families