A public-private partnership between a private real estate investment trust and a public housing authority will add affordable housing to a rapidly growing area of Austin, Texas. 

The Community Development Trust (CDT) is partnering with Austin Affordable Housing Corp. (AAHC), a nonprofit subsidiary of the Housing Authority of the City of Austin, to acquire two market-rate properties with 642 units and convert half of them into affordable housing.

The Bridge at Tech Center in Austin, Texas.
Michael Lear The Bridge at Tech Center in Austin, Texas.

The 348-unit Bridge at Center Ridge and the 294-unit Bridge at Tech Ridge were built in 2007-2008 as market-rate properties in north central Austin and feature amenities such as resort-style pools, fitness centers, and Wi-Fi in common areas.

Through the partnership, half the units will be reserved for households earning no more than 80% of the area median income.

“We are proud to have partnered with the outstanding team at CDT to bring greater affordable housing opportunity to North Austin,” said Michael Gerber, president and CEO of the housing authority, in a statement. “These exceptional properties will immediately help address the 55,000-unit shortfall we have in affordable housing in our city.”

To finance the acquisition, CDT and AAHC contributed $21.4 million in equity, and Bellwether Enterprise originated two new 10-year Freddie Mac mortgages. The housing authority will own the land and will lease it to CDT and AAHC for the long term.

“We believe that this model can be implemented in other states and cities, and we look forward continuing to partner with state and local housing agencies to create and preserve affordable housing nationwide,” said Joseph F. Reilly, president and CEO of CDT.