AUSTIN, Texas, Oct. 1, 2015 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Accessible Housing Austin! (AHA!) has been awarded an Affordable Housing Program (AHP) grant from the Federal Home Loan Bank of Dallas (FHLB Dallas) and its member institution, Frost Bank, to address a shortage of housing for people with mobility impairments and other disabilities.
The $189,000 AHP grant will provide seed funding for a $3.7 million, 27-unit apartment complex, tentatively named Gaston Place Accessible Housing, which will contain accessible, affordable, and integrated housing for people with disabilities. Six units will be dedicated to people with disabilities while other units will be open to people with or without disabilities who are living at or below 50 percent of the area's median family income.
"The AHP grant is our anchor funding," said Isabelle Headrick, executive director of AHA! "When I tell people that we received this grant, it has opened doors for us. It has given a boost in energy to our process."
AHA! is reviewing other potential funding sources, including a forgivable loan from the City of Austin, state-sponsored rental subsidies, and private foundation funding.
The Housing Authority of the City of Austin (HACA) will provide land for the complex, to be located at 1920 Gaston Place Drive in northeast Austin, via a long-term, low-cost lease.
Amenities will include an elevator for the three-story building and wider doorways to accommodate wheelchairs. Some units will also have roll-in showers, lower kitchen countertops, and grab bars. To maximize choice and integration, half of the units will be built with accessibility features while others will be constructed to be adaptable to adding accessibility features in the future, Ms. Headrick said.
"The supply of accessible housing in Austin isn't meeting the demand," she said, citing an Austin Housing Coalition study that estimates more than 2,000 housing units are needed for low-income people with mobility disabilities.
"There's a huge amount of pressure on the rents, and people on fixed incomes have very few choices," she said. "The choices are even more limited if you need accessibility."
Frost Bank Senior Vice President Donna Normandin said rising rents are putting a huge squeeze on affordable housing for people with disabilities, especially those living on fixed incomes.
"We applaud the efforts of AHA! for providing housing options for those living with life challenges," said Ms. Normandin. "We know from Austin housing and disability experts that this apartment building is desperately needed, and we are pleased to be able to provide the seed funding to move it one step closer to fruition."
FHLB Dallas, in partnership with its member financial institutions, has awarded more than $7.4 million this year in AHP grants to 32 projects, primarily within its five-state District of Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, New Mexico, and Texas. The funding will result in 965 new or renovated housing units.
FHLB Dallas annually returns 10 percent of its profits in the form of AHP grants to the communities served by its member institutions. AHP grants fund a variety of projects, including home rehabilitation and modifications for low-income, elderly, and special needs residents; down payment and closing cost assistance for qualified first-time homebuyers; and the construction of low-income, multifamily rental communities and single-family homes.
July 2015 marked the 25th anniversary of the Affordable Housing Program. Since the program's inception, FHLB Dallas has awarded more than $237 million in AHP grants to help approximately 44,000 families obtain safe, affordable, and quality housing.
About Frost Bank
Frost is the banking, investments, and insurance subsidiary of Cullen/Frost Bankers, Inc. (NYSE: CFR), a financial holding company with $27.8 billion in assets at June 30, 2015. One of 24 banks included in the KBW Bank Index and a top-50 U.S. bank by asset size, Frost provides a full range of business and consumer banking products, investment and brokerage services, insurance products and investment banking services to businesses and individuals in the Austin, Corpus Christi, Dallas, Fort Worth, Houston, Permian Basin, Rio Grande Valley, and San Antonio regions. Founded in 1868, Frost has helped Texans with their financial needs during three centuries.
About the Federal Home Loan Bank of Dallas
The Federal Home Loan Bank of Dallas is one of 11 district banks in the FHLBank System created by Congress in 1932. FHLB Dallas, with total assets of $42.6 billion as of June 30, 2015, is a member-owned cooperative that supports housing and community development by providing competitively priced loans and other credit products to approximately 865 members and associated institutions in Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, New Mexico, and Texas. For more information, visit our website at fhlb.com.
Federal Home Loan Bank of Dallas
SOURCE Federal Home Loan Bank of Dallas