Affordable Housing

April 28, 2018

Leaders Testify on codeNEXT to Joint Land Use Committee

Central Texas Interfaith (then known as Austin Interfaith) leaders from Our Lady of Guadalupe Catholic and All Saints' Episcopal testified about the impact of a proposed land use overhaul to a Joint Land Use Committee of the City of Austin.  Leaders told stories about the zoning-initiated displacement of Our Lady of Guadalupe Catholic Church to East Austin in the 1930s and subsequent displacements initiated by the City since then.   

Though the Committee began the hearing 20 minutes before the planned start, 50+ leaders were there to support their speakers. 

[Photo Credit: Jim O'Quinn]

Testimony by Florence Briceño, Our Lady of Guadalupe Catholic Church (video here)

Testimony by Rev. Michael Floyd, All Saint's Episcopal Church

Austin Interfaith Statement of Principles on codeNEXT

Additional photos

Video of Testimony

April 18, 2018

Civic Academy on codeNEXT & Affordable Housing Educates and Agitates

Hosted by Our Lady of Guadalupe Catholic Church and the Central Texas Interfaith (then known as Austin Interfaith) Affordable Housing Team, the latest civic academy on codeNEXT drew 120 mostly East Austin residents to learn about the proposed zoning overhaul, share their housing stories and identify opportunities for concrete action before the final City Council vote.  

Photo Album Here 

Info Sheet on codeNEXT

Flyer for Public Hearing 10am Saturday, April 28th

June 10, 2016

Central Texas Interfaith (then known as Austin Interfaith) Fights to Preserve Affordable Housing at Heights on Congress

At a Central Texas Interfaith (then known as Austin Interfaith) assembly held last month, residents of the Heights On Congress apartments told stories about their concerns with relocation now that the property owner is seeking permission to rezone. The children of those residents belong to Travis Heights Elementary School, whose PTA reached out to Austin Interfaith for help in developing a plan with the owner and developer that will serve the interests of the residents and their children. At the assembly, they secured the support of the Mayor Pro Tem Kathie Tovo and AISD trustees. In photo are local leaders Angie Gonzalez of the Oak Creek Village Tenants’ Association and Rev. Brian Ferguson of Wildflower Church.

[Photo Credit: Jana Birchum, Austin Chronicle]

Heights on Congress Start Organizing: City, Developer Discussing Relocation Plan, Austin Chronicle

Austin Affordable Housing Crisis, Fox News

December 15, 2015

Central Texas Interfaith (then known as Austin Interfaith) & Mobile Home Park Residents Win Major Protections

Last July, Hidden Valley / High Meadows (mobile home) residents became distressed when lot rents for people on month-to-month leases were raised for the second time within a 12-month period. New rules mandated improvements and standardizations — adding new costs to residents — including deck and railing upgrades, paint jobs, skirting repair, shed standardization, and control over inside window coverings. Families were asked to demonstrate possession of a drivers’ license to drive on the property, impacting hundreds of residents. Many families scrambled to comply; some left.

A couple residents reached out to the pastor of their church, a member congregation of Austin Interfaith, and their local councilperson who called in Austin Interfaith and Texas RioGrande Legal Aid (TRLA) for support. Within two months, resident officers founded their association (Hidden Valley / High Meadows Residents’ Association) and signed up over 200 households as members.

On December 10, after months of negotiation and tough conversations, the HVHMRA signed a historic accord with their landlord, Scott Roberts of Roberts Communities. The accord locked in many protections, including the right to organize residents’ associations that represent the interests of mobile home park residents, the first rent control concession in a mobile home park of Austin (locking in no more than 5% increases through 2017 and rent increase caps in subsequent years) and protections for undocumented immigrant residents.

Minutes before the item came up for discussion, Central Texas Interfaith (then known as Austin Interfaith) leaders shepherded the signing of this agreement between HVHMRA officers and landlord Scott Roberts.

The accord not only afforded protections for residents of Hidden Valley / High Meadows, it formed the basis of a ‘mobile home regime’, or framework for landlord-resident relations, for future mobile home parks in Austin.
Mobile Home Community Says Affordability Agreement Will Provide New Protection, KXAN
City Council: Keep 'Em WaitingAustin Chronicle
Mobile Home Park Stokes Hopes and FearsAustin Monitor [pdf]

July 5, 2013

Central Texas Interfaith (then known as Austin Interfaith) Preserves 173 Affordable Housing Units

Koreena Malone, president of the Oak Creek Tenants Association, said a cohesive agreement was reached on the redevelopment through the partnership of the Bouldin Creek Neighborhood Association, the tenants association and the developer.  ’I strongly believe that the redevelopment of Oak Creek Village won’t just lead us to a better community but a model for the city of Austin,’ Malone said.

The Oak Creek Village complex, located at 2324 Wilson St., has 173 units that qualify as affordable housing. According to city documents, the developer is planning to keep all of the affordable housing units in the complex and build up to 313 new market-rate units…The developer also entered into an agreement … to provide on-site, affordable housing for 35 years. Said Kurt Cadena-Mitchell, an Austin resident and leader of Central Texas Interfaith (formerly known as Austin Interfaith),… ‘It will lead to a more livable neighborhood and will lead to a more livable Austin.’”

Oak Creek Village Strikes a Deal, Austin Chronicle

Exiled From Main Street, Austin Chronicle

May 15, 2013

Austin Leaders Kill Zoning Entitlement

“The Austin City Council did away with the CURE zoning process at its last meeting, but the zoning entitlement program didn’t go quietly. The public hearing before the Council’s vote was characterized by a heated exchange between Mayor Lee Leffingwell and Central Texas Interfaith's (then known as Austin Interfaith) Kurt Cadena-Mitchell.

The back-and-forth began when Cadena-Mitchell brought up a city of Austin estimate that if all of the CURE zoning cases had been handled through the Downtown Density Bonus Program, the city could have raised about $20 million more for affordable housing.”

CURE Zoning is Dead, Long Live the DDDPAustin Business Journal