Right to Remain: Montopolis Neighborhood

Page 1

813 E. 8th Street Austin,TX 78702 Phone: 512-479-6275 Web : www.guadalupendc.org

RIGHT TO REMAIN: MONTOPOLIS NEIGHBORHOOD Final Report

2018

Generous support provided by:


GNDC

Guadalupe Neighborhood Development Corporation Who we are: Guadalupe Neighborhood Development Corporation (GNDC) is a 501(c)(3) non-profit that celebrates over thirty five years of service to its community as an affordable housing provider to families from East Austin. Since its inception in 1981, GNDC has rehabilitated over fifty homes, enabled over fifty families to purchase homes, developed over fifty single-family rental units and in 2008 completed La Vista de Guadalupe - a 22-unit multi-family project that is prominently located near the historic French Legation and downtown Austin. In 2017, GNDC developed the Jeremiah Program Moody Campus in partnership with Jeremiah Program Austin, which offers 35 units of supportive and affordable housing to Jeremiah Program participants.

Why Montopolis? The Montopolis Neighborhood is widely recognized as one of the most at risk Austin neighborhoods for displacement of long-time low-income residents and was recently highlighted as such in a report from the Urban Institute titled: Austin and the State of Low- and Middle-Income Housing: Strategies to Preserve Affordability and Opportunities for the Future. Following the success GNDC has had at preserving affordability and social ties in the Guadalupe neighborhood it was identified as one potential partner to the community in staving off the displacement pressure currently felt across the community. GNDC and the Austin Community Design and Development Center conducted community engagement and research to further understand the nature of the pressures felt today and identify strategies to help current residents remain, past residents return, and for the entire neighborhood to thrive. A special thank you to all of the community members and neighborhood leaders who participated in this process including PODER and the Montopolis Neighborhood Plan Contact Team. Additional thanks to Dr. Jake Wegman’s students, the Austin Board of Realtors, and Abby Tatkow for data analysis assistance. This report and its subsequent activities would not have been possible without the support of JP Morgan Chase.


Montopolis Report

Content

Executive Summary

4

1 I introduction

8

2 I Challenges Facing Montopolis

14

3 | Right to Remain Opportunities

28

4 | Right to Remain Actions

40

5 | Appendix a: people’s plan

50

Report prepared by:

RIGHT TO REMAIN STRATEGY 3


Montopolis Report

Executive Summary

The Montopolis Neighborhood, located

Realtors support the concern of many residents:

south-southeast of downtown Austin, is a close-knit

affordable homeownership and rental opportunities

community that is rapidly gentrifying. Because it is

are scarce in Montopolis. The average sales price for

still in the early stages of change, knowing the main

new construction in the neighborhood is $377,789

opportunities to help preserve the housing where

and for existing construction (average age is 44

families with low to moderate incomes live is essential

years) is $249,835. This means that the minimum

in order to maintain this rich and diverse community.

household income needed to become a homeowner

in the neighborhood is around $60,500, while the

Although many long-time residents still live

in the neighborhood, residents described how signs

median income in 2016 was $30,853. Affordable

of displacement and redevelopment pressure are

rental opportunities are even more scarce with the

apparent everywhere. The majority of Montopolis

average monthly rental price on the market currently

renters pay up to 39% of their income on housing

at $2,024, requiring an annual income of around

while a smaller portion pay amounts that exceed

$81,000.

50% of their income. Census data shows that

homeowners are less housing cost-burdened than

Remain report is to identify opportunities for the

their renter counterparts and experience relatively

development and preservation of affordable homes

stable housing costs. However, it is important to note

in the Montopolis Neighborhood and determine

that new development in the area, has increased

how the Guadalupe Neighborhood Development

property values affecting many homeowners with

Corporation (GNDC) could contribute to new or

fixed incomes who now are struggling to pay their

existing efforts to address them. These efforts align

increasing property taxes.

with and support many of the resolutions contained

within the People’s Plan, specifically those focused on

4

Recent data from the Austin Board of GUADALUPE NEIGHBORHOOD DEVELOPMENT CORPORATION

The main objective of this Right to


Montopolis Report following. Montopolis Neighborhood Austin, Texas

Home repairs needed

Hwy 183

Approximately 238 of homes require moderate to major repairs indicating financial hardship and risk of

Roy Guerrero Metro Park St. Edward’s Baptist Church

displacement of residents.

Civitan Neighborhood Park

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Limited Ownership

Allison Elementary

et

Affordability The average household income

Montopolis Neighborhood Center

Dolores Catholic Church

Va rga sR oa d

Montopolis Neighborhood Park

Montopolis Practice Fields

needed to purchase an existing home in the neighborhood

Porter Street

is around $60,500, while the

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median income in 2016 was $30,8531. ive Dr

Limited Rental

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Affordability

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Affordable rental opportunities are even more scarce with the

Dr

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average monthly rental price on the market currently at $2,024, requiring an annual income of

-71 TX

around $81,0002.

Mobile Home Insecurity Manufactured housing currently Map 0.1: Montopolis Neighborhood Context

provides a valuable affordable

helping preserve, build or subsidize housing for low-

housing option with the

income families (See Appendix A- The People’s Plan.)

average estimated value at $15,2163, but the

The report highlights the most pressing barriers to

neighborhood has recently lost a number of

being able to remain identified by residents through engagement activities (at-large community meetings

1 City

and small-group group discussions with residents

neighborhood/Montopolis-Austin-TX.htm

and leaders), which were combined with results from a mapping analyses. These barriers include the

2

Data,

http://www.city-data.com/

Austin Board of Realtors MLS data accessed on July

17, 2018 3 City

Data,

http://www.city-data.com/

neighborhood/Montopolis-Austin-TX.htm

RIGHT TO REMAIN STRATEGY 5


Montopolis Report

Montopolis Single Family Preservation & Infill Opportunities Characteristic Homes in poor physical condition, needing major structural repair or replacement Homes in fair physical condition, needing some repairs, and showing increasing property value in the last few years Renter-occupied units that are behind on property taxes Homes that are behind on property taxes and owner-occupied Parcels that are undeveloped with a property value under $200,000 and where zoning allows for at least two units on the parcel

# of homes 11 57 199 144 112

mobile home communities and those that remain

was a visual assessment of the exterior of structures,

are now experiencing redevelopment pressure.

usually just the facades, without examining the

Homelessness Homelessness is a pervasive concern in the neighborhood indicating a lack of housing and community resources available for the homeless population in the Montopolis area and Austin in general.

Isolation and Institutional Distrust There is a serious lack of trust in and connectivity to City government and the Police Department. As crime worsens residents feel their concerns are not addressed and there is a clear disconnect between residents and the resources currently available to help them stay in place.

interiors. It would be safe to assume that housing conditions are likely to be worse than they appeared by viewing the facade from the street. Out of the 1,614 properties in Montopolis, 9.4% of them are in excellent condition and reflect the existence of newly developed or remodeled housing; 63% are in good condition and do not need any obvious repairs; 12.5% are in fair condition and are in need of moderate repair; and 2.3% are in very poor condition and need extensive repairs. The survey also counted undeveloped parcels which represent 12.8% of the surveyed properties.

Strategies are crucially needed both to

create new affordable housing and to preserve

Time is Running Out

existing affordable units in order to allow residents

A sense of urgency for action is felt by all to prevent

to remain in their neighborhood. With this in mind

continued loss of existing neighborhood residents

and following the resolutions contained in the

and assets.

People’s Plan, the Montopolis Right to Remain

A windshield survey was carried out during

the months of December (2017) and January (2018) to better understand the housing conditions in the Montopolis Neighborhood. It must be noted that this

6

GUADALUPE NEIGHBORHOOD DEVELOPMENT CORPORATION

report focuses on 6 actionable steps that address preservation, creation and partnership tactics to increase opportunities for affordable housing in the neighborhood.


Montopolis Report

Right to Remain Actions: 1: Preserve renters at high risk of displacement Assist renters in properties that are behind on property taxes by securing existing units as permanent affordable housing. 199 renter occupied properties are tax delinquent. 2: Preserve owners facing high development pressure Assist homeowners who are unable to keep up with home maintenance in order to reduce the pressure they may experience to sell their property. Currently 68 properties are facing development pressure.

3: Create home ownership opportunities on infill lots Develop new detached single-family housing on undeveloped single-family lots. There are currently 112 undeveloped parcels. 4: Create new rental housing on large undeveloped lots Develop new housing, with special consideration for multifamily development. Four parcels identified could generate 190-236 units. 5: Partnerships with local institutional land holders Partner with local institutions to develop new housing on underdeveloped parcels. The Escuela Montessori de Montopolis is the most feasible partner to date. The Escuela Montessori de Montopolis property could provide between 50 and 100 new affordable units for families and seniors as well as a new onsite preschool. 6: Right to Remain Community Resource Center Establish a space where residents can easily access assistance from programs currently available and provide a place where community members, assistance providers, researchers, and public and private institutions can create targeted place-based actions that directly address resource gaps. RIGHT TO REMAIN STRATEGY 7


Montopolis Report

1 I introduction

The Montopolis Neighborhood, located across

the Colorado River, southeast of downtown Austin has been somewhat geographically isolated until recently. It has been described as a close-knit community that currently is feeling the pressures of new development and gentrification. An Urban Institute report released in 2017 says of Montopolis, “given its low housing costs and current LMI [low- and middle-income] population, preserving LMI affordable housing in this neighborhood may be a priority”.1 With this in mind, it is important to understand the main challenges and best opportunities to preserve affordable housing and to maintain this diverse community. To do this, a basic understanding of the history and growth of Montopolis is important. This section presents a short history of Montopolis and provides context for the changes that are taking place currently. 1

Hedman, Carl, Diana Elliott, Tanaya Srini, Shiva

1.1 Montopolis History2

Montopolis, Greek for “City on a Hill”, is the

name chosen by Jessie Cornelius Tannehill in 1830s to designate a new town north of the Colorado River. Although Tannehill platted his town of Montopolis in 1839 with the hope it might become the new capital of Texas, it was never incorporated and his dream never materialized. Instead, as Tannehill’s town of Montopolis faded away, a community of the same name gradually developed south of the river, at the opposite landing of the “Montopolis ferry”, in an area where Santiago Del Valle, a noble man from the Mexican State of Cohuila y Texas, had purchased a 34,000-acre property and subdivided it to host new settlers. At that time, both Montopolis and Del Valle were still pristine lands. Another settlement known as Waterloo, 4 miles up the river, was developing faster than the Montopolis and Del Valle areas. It

Kooragayala. “Austin and the State of Low- and MiddleIncome Housing: Strategies to Preserve Affordability and Opportunities for the Future.” Urban Institute (October

2

2017).

2014 book Austin’s Montopolis Neighborhood.

8

GUADALUPE NEIGHBORHOOD DEVELOPMENT CORPORATION

This section was informed by Dr. Fred McGhee’s


Montopolis Report A recent examination of historical documentation has revealed: “Travis County has had two locations named Montopolis that significantly differ in their formation and geographic location. The first was a planned settlement in 1838 with a systematic design of building lots, farm lots, out lots and streets on a grid much like Edwin Waller’s design of Austin. The plat for the town was filed with the Bastrop Clerks office in July 1839. [1] The second location is a community that began to take shape in the early 20th century evolving over several decades ultimately becoming the neighborhood most Austinites recognize today as the Montopolis. In reality, the only thing they have in common is their name. As the 20th century Montopolis community grew and the memory of the former Town of Montopolis faded, the emerging community assimilated the history of its predecessor culminating in publications inaccurately reporting the history of both the Town of Montopolis and the community of Montopolis.”1 [1] Bastrop County Clerk’s Office, Deed Book Vol C, p. 499-504 1

Jesse Tannehill’s Montopolis, Lanny Ottosen, Travis County Historian in collaboration with Richard

Denney, Travis County Historical Commission, June 7, 2018.

was renamed Austin and became the capital of the

addition, to connect the northern part of the river to the

Republic of Texas in 1839. At this time Montopolis

southern, a bridge was constructed in the late 1880s.

slowly populated and remained mainly an agricultural

The 1900 census revealed a total population of 142 in

community isolated from the new metropolis of the

Montopolis.

republic.

Montopolis were demolished in the early 20th

The growth in Montopolis between 1840

Most of the 19th century buildings in

and 1900 was in part a result of the introduction of

century and the town started shifting to a more urban

slavery and plantation agriculture. Jesse F. Burditt,

landscape. The area was mainly occupied by black

a Euro-American settler who came to Montopolis in

families, as reflected in the Del Valle ISD records: 9 white

1844, established a plantation which developed into a

students and 108 black students. The Mexican migration

freedmen settlement after the Emancipation. The new

to Montopolis started in the 1920s followed by the

settlement was comprised of the St. Edwards Baptist

creation of the Nuestra Senora de Siete Dolores, the

Church (the oldest black church in Travis Country)

Dolores Parish and the Zaragoza designated Mexican

founded in 1863, Burditt Prairie school for emancipated

Park across the bridge. The area kept densifying as

children in the 1870s and the Burditt Prairie Cemetery

a result of displacement happening near the newly

which was the resting place for slavers and emancipated

constructed Bergstrom Air Force Base in 1942. At that

African Americans. The land also included a small

time Montopolis and Del Valle included the Colorado

general store built by William Givens in 1874 called after

Negro School 1 and 2 in both Montopolis and Del Valle

himself, the Givens General Store. The store operated

areas, with the Colorado White School in between.

with success between late 1800s and early 1900s

Mexicans were not required to attend school during that

and hosted a post office between 1897 and 1902. In

time. RIGHT TO REMAIN STRATEGY 9


Montopolis Report Total Population in 2010

Total Population in 2016

0 - 1,500 1,501 - 3,000 3,001 - 4,500 4,501 - 6,000 6,001 - 7,500

Data source: US Census, 2012-2016 ACS

Map 1.1: Total population in Montopolis 2010-2016

Because of the neighborhood lack of

The Montopolis Neighborhood is majority

infrastructure, education institutions, pavement on

Latino, who make up 80% of the total population

streets and public transportation during the 1960s and

in 2016. While the district has grown in population

1970s, Montopolis was long considered an isolated

between 2010 and 2016, Latinos only comprise 1%

poor neighborhood in Austin. Montopolis has hosted

of the increase over the last 6 years. White residents

many mobile home parks such as Aero Mobile Home

(Latino and non-Latino) started moving into the

Park, Royal Park Manufactured Homes & RV community,

neighborhood around 2010. The white population

Comfort Trailer and RV Park, Cactus Rose Mobile Home

in Montopolis has grown by 51% over the last 6

Park and the Village Park Trailer Park, few of which

years while the African American population has also

remain. The remaining residents, many of whom

increased by 20%.

have generational ties to the neighborhood, are now

Housing tenure types tend to be geographically

experiencing development pressure as Austin continues

specific with the northern part of District 3 (north of

to grow and are at risk of displacement.

the Colorado river) having more owner-occupied units than its southern counterpart. Additionally, census data

1.2 Montopolis Today

Today demographic growth in the Montopolis

Neighborhood follows Austin’s trend, with an increasing population over the last several years. Currently Montopolis has a total population of 11,280, an increase of 13% from 2010. Certain areas of the neighborhood show a notable increase in population whereas others have decreased. 10

GUADALUPE NEIGHBORHOOD DEVELOPMENT CORPORATION

illustrates that in 2016 Montopolis was mostly renteroccupied with a proportion of 57% renters and 43% owners. In comparison, it was 59% renter-occupied and 41% of owner-occupied in 2013. The housing tenure trend in Montopolis has changed from 3,885 homeowners in 2013 to 4,818 in 2016, a 24% increase, indicating an influx of a new home buyer population.

The median family income (MFI) in the


Montopolis Report Percent Change in Latino Population 2010-2016

Percent Change in African American Population 2010-2016

Percent Change in White Population 2010-2016

Map 1.2: Racial and Ethnic Distribution in Montopolis 2010-2016

Montopolis Neighborhood is lower than that in other

on the existing population living there.

parts of the District 3. In 2013 Austin’s MFI was $69,000

Homeowners and renters in Montopolis already

dollars, while Montopolis had an average household

show signs of being housing cost-burdened. In both

income of $44,850. In 2016 Austin’s MFI increased

2013 and 2016, renter households spent more than 30%

to $78,000, while the Montopolis MFI dropped to

of their income on housing. The majority of Montopolis

30%-50% of Austin’s MFI. This raises concerns about

renters pay up to 39% of their income on housing while

affordability of homes as new higher-income housing

a smaller section pay amounts that exceed 50% of their

development in the area increases, which puts pressure

income. Thus, the vast majority of renters in Montopolis RIGHT TO REMAIN STRATEGY 11


Montopolis Report Renters Ratio

Owners Ratio

2016

2016

Map 1.3: Housing Tenure in Montopolis 2016 Median Family Income

Median Family Income

2009-2013 ACS 5-Year Estimates

2012-2016 ACS 5-Year Estimates

In Austin 2013

69K

In Austin 2016

78K

Map 1.4: Median Family Income 2013-2016

were considered housing cost-burdened in both 2013

housing prices and/or the presence of lower-income

and 2016. Homeowners seem to be less housing cost-

population in the area in 2016.

burdened as Census data indicates that this group spent

Residents concerns for the lack of homeownership and

less than 30% of their income on housing in both 2013

rental affordability is supported by recent data from the

and 2016. However, the area between Montopolis Drive

Austin Board of Realtors which reported that the average

and Grove Boulevard has experienced an increase of 13%

sales price for new construction in the neighborhood

in housing cost since 2013. This may be due to increasing

is $377,789 and for existing construction (average age

12

GUADALUPE NEIGHBORHOOD DEVELOPMENT CORPORATION


Montopolis Report Median Rent as % of Income

Median Owner Cost as % of Income

2016

2016

2013

2013

Map 1.5: Housing Expenditure and Income 2013-2016

is 44 years) is $249,8353. This means that the minimum

an annual income of around $81,0005. However the high

household income needed to become a homeowner

average rent in part may be due to larger new homes

in the neighborhood is around $60,500, while the

and town homes entering the market whereas long-time

median income in 2016 was $30,8534. Affordable rental

residents are more likely to be renting smaller, older

opportunities are even scarce with the average monthly

homes in poorer condition than new units. This, at least,

rental price on the market currently at $2,024, requiring

has been the trend in other gentrifying parts of Austin where the traditional renters with low-to-moderate incomes manage to stay until the owners sell or remodel.

3

Austin Board of Realtors MLS data accessed on July 17,

2018 4

City Data, http://www.city-data.com/neighborhood/

Montopolis-Austin-TX.htm

5

Austin Board of Realtors MLS data accessed on July 17,

2018

RIGHT TO REMAIN STRATEGY 13


Montopolis Report

2 I Challenges Facing Montopolis

To identify neighborhood challenges and

develop a Right to Remain strategy for Montopolis, the team prioritized the knowledge and concerns of residents and combined the information gathered through a combination of engagement activities with a mapping analyses. The engagement activities included at-large community meetings and smallgroup group discussions with residents and leaders of Montopolis to discuss the challenges facing residents trying to stay in the neighborhood and how the Guadalupe Neighborhood Development Corporation (GNDC) could address them. The team also met with representatives from various local institutions to understand their perspective and discuss potential partnerships. The mapping analyses relied on windshield surveys to visually examine the physical condition of the housing stock in Montopolis and a analysis that combined information from a variety of sources such as the Census, the Travis County Appraisal District (TCAD),

2.1 Neighborhood Engagement

One of the primary goals of the Montopolis

Right to Remain strategy is to develop a collaborative process by which GNDC can assist with affordable housing that prioritizes long-time residents and connects them with useful services in addition to align their efforts with the People’s Plan and its desired outcomes to help neighbors stay and return to Montopolis. To accomplish this several community meetings and engagement activities were executed during the development of this report. A total of 2 at-large community meetings, 3 smaller group discussions with residents, a neighborhood tour and ongoing conversations with community members inform this report. The team spoke with more than 60 Montopolis residents, including homeowners, renters and mobile home park households. The main objectives of the meetings were:

Austin’s Tax Collector, and Future Land Use Map. It

1. Learn from residents about their most

should be noted that this type of visual assessment

pressing challenges, as homeowners or renters

is not 100% accurate and numerous structures are

2. Get a sense of their future vision for the

likely to have more severe structural and code-

neighborhood in terms of housing options

related problems that are not apparent from the

3. Share information about the housing and

exterior.

services that GNDC currently provides in other East Austin neighborhoods

14

GUADALUPE NEIGHBORHOOD DEVELOPMENT CORPORATION


Montopolis Report 4. Explore and discuss various resources that might

tax delinquency. Overall, residents are looking for ways to

meet the needs identified by Montopolis residents

stabilize their housing values – thus, their property taxes

5. Discuss opportunities to expand availability of

– in order to maintain their homes.

resources and services in Montopolis

Housing scarcity

Some of the main concerns and challenges expressed by

residents included:

residents expressed concern over the limited supply of

In community meetings and interviews

1. Loss of existing low-cost housing

affordable homes in the neighborhood. Many families

2. Increasing property taxes with many households,

with generational ties to Montopolis noted the ‘exodus’

especially those on fixed incomes

of family members and friends who could not keep up

3. Keeping up with home improvements and code

with higher rents or afford to buy because of high sales

enforcement issues, and their financial hardship

prices. The need for more affordable homes for growing

4. Increase in homeless population in the area

families and assistance in helping households that

Residents and church leaders also expressed an

overall sense of urgency to preserve housing affordability in Montopolis, knowing that time is of the essence. This sense of urgency was coupled with a general mistrust of city agencies, as experience has shown that many

could be pushed out was voiced repeatedly. Impending redevelopment along the East Riverside Corridor provoke worries about a sustained increase in property taxes, rents and sales prices; all of which will lead to additional displacement pressure.

concerns go unheard.

Homelessness

Many issues raised during the public engagement

Residents also noted the existence of a growing

process speak to cost burdened homeowners, loss of

homeless population in Montopolis. Many factors

available rental and ownership housing that is affordable

were described as leading homeless people to the

to family members, friends and long-time residents.

neighborhood including the existence of abandoned

New development has higher prices that are not at all

homes, businesses, and large forested areas that are used

affordable to existing residents. There is a real concern

as informal shelter. Representatives of churches also

that the existing community character will be lost. Many

mentioned that homelessness is deteriorating safety in

residents expressed the need for more services and more

the neighborhood as they have experienced, as well as

affordable housing options while maintaining the current

businesses and other homeowners in the area, numerous

balance of housing tenure.

instances of trespassing and theft by the transient

Property Taxes

population. The importance of finding a solution for

Residents expressed that increasing property

taxes is the main issue facing homeowners in Montopolis.

this issue was universally expressed by residents and community leaders.

Many residents find increasing property taxes to be

Crime

burdensome because of their limited income. Increasing

tax bills threaten homeowners struggling to keep up with

that over the last six months the Montopolis area has

the annual tax payments. Three-hundred and forty one

experienced 216 incidents of violent crimes (assault and

property owners in the neighborhood have fallen into

robbery), 458 incidents of property crimes (breaking

Information from the City of Austin reveals

RIGHT TO REMAIN STRATEGY 15


Montopolis Report & entering and theft), 193 quality of life incidents

either does not respond to their calls or the response

(disorder, drugs and liquor) and 456 other incidents and

is too slow. Building a better relationship between

911 calls.1 Residents have noted a significant increase

community members and APD officers assigned to

in criminal activity as affordability challenges grow

the area is an essential step to addressing crime in the

and families move out leaving homes unoccupied.

neighborhood.

Vacant, deteriorating structures have specifically been

Time is running out

identified as prime locations for drug and other illicit activity. A number of bus stop shelters have also been identified as central locations for drug use and sales causing public safety concerns for pedestrians and potential transit riders.

One of the most pressing challenges recognized

by residents is the increasing sense of urgency to act quickly before the community as they know it is irreversibly changed. While most participants agree that the presence of a Montopolis-based community

Residents also expressed frustration with their

current relationship with the Austin Police Department (APD)., feeling their concerns and daily safety are not a priority to the Department. Residents stated that APD 1

“CrimeReports.com.� CrimeReports. Accessed July

development corporation would be ideal for longterm consistent efforts to maintain affordability in Montopolis; they see GNDC as a welcome agent that could act fast to preserve homeownership and affordable housing in the neighborhood.

11, 2018. https://www.crimereports.com/city/Austin

Connecting to Existing Resources

Throughout the engagement process for this report the team repeatedly heard that many

residents do not have easy access to information about existing programs that may provide assistance. This disconnect between resident needs and institutional outreach to leverage existing resources must be addressed in order for residents in the Montopolis Neighborhood to thrive. Outside of addressing the direct housing need in the neighborhood, better access to these resources could also improve the quality of life for its most vulnerable residents. These connections should also be leveraged to design new programs directly informed by the needs expressed from the community. Below are a few of the programs currently available provided by the City of Austin that are designed to help homeowners with different housing needs. Very few of the residents we spoke to knew these resources existed.

Go Repair! This program provides financial assistance for repairs that eliminate health and safety hazards and/or provide accessibility for low to moderate-income residents.

16

Home Rehabilitation Loan Program

Emergency Home Repair Program

Homeowners are able to access loans for $15,000 $75,000 at 0% interest for up to 20 years for home repairs.

This program assists with repairs for low-income homeowners facing a lifethreatening condition or a health and safety hazard.

GUADALUPE NEIGHBORHOOD DEVELOPMENT CORPORATION


Montopolis Report

2.2 Neighborhood Data

to be in need of the type of assistance that GNDC and

Windshield Survey & Current Land Use

other agencies could provide. Thirty-seven properties

A windshield survey was carried out during

December (2017) and January (2018) to get a general sense of housing conditions in the Montopolis Neighborhood. It must be recognized that the interior of structures were not examined and it would be safe to assume that conditions are far more likely to be worse than they appeared by viewing the facade from the street. The windshield survey examined 1,614 properties in Montopolis and showed that 9.4% of them are in excellent condition and reflect the existence of newly developed or remodeled houses, 63.1% are in good condition and do not need any obvious repairs, 12.5% are in fair condition and probably need some moderate repairs and 2.3% are in poor condition and need extensive repairs. The survey also counted undeveloped parcels which represent 12.8% of the surveyed properties.

are in clearly in poor condition. In addition, the survey counted 207 undeveloped parcels that could potentially provide opportunities for development of new residential units and increase the affordable housing supply in Montopolis.

The most prevalent housing type in Montopolis

are single family homes, accounting for 81% of the properties in the neighborhood. Multifamily only occupy 2% of the total number of parcels, but provide 656 units of housing many of which are restricted as affordable to households with low or very low incomes. “Missing middle� housing types such as triplexes and fourplexes are almost nonexistent. Mobile homes and manufactured housing play a significant role in the neighborhood. There are four primary mobile home parks: Frontier Valley MHP, Comfort Park, Thrasher Lane and Cactus Rose. Both Thrasher and Cactus Rose closed within the last year, displacing many residents that had

The main objective of the analysis was to

lived there for decades. The windshield survey revealed

identify areas and residents in need of assistance staying in place, particularly those properties in fair and poor condition that could reflect significant financial challenges. A total of 238 properties appear

the presence of 20 manufactured homes scattered throughout the neighborhood on single family lots. Mobile homes, therefore, account for approximately 140 units of housing overall. It also revealed a substantial

Montopolis Current Housing Physical Conditions

RIGHT TO REMAIN STRATEGY 17


Montopolis Report

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Property Condition

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Poor/Dilapidated Undeveloped

Map 2.1: Montopolis Current Housing Physical Conditions

amount of undeveloped parcels (around 112), many

(109 units). There are some multifamily and town home

of which are concentrated in the northern part of

developments in the neighborhood (Santora Villas,

Montopolis.

Grove Place Apartments, Towne Vista) with one being

a tax-credit development (Riverside Meadows) and

Montopolis is mainly composed of single-family

homes, and there are a total of 207 undeveloped lots.

a project-based section 8 property (Fairway Village),

There are a few large long-standing mobile home parks

which together account for 656 housing units in the

18

GUADALUPE NEIGHBORHOOD DEVELOPMENT CORPORATION


Montopolis Report neighborhood.

Homes Values and Value Change

A potential strategy that would address

Property values in Montopolis are lower than

both the residents’ housing concerns and follow the

properties in other parts of Austin. While the average

objectives of the People’s Plan would be to preserve

home cost in Austin is $370,0002, the average home

single family rental and homeowner households at

price in the Montopolis neighborhood is $315,000. The

risk of displacement combined with the creation of

properties that exceed one million dollars in value are

new infill housing, particularly the missing middle and

apartment complexes, mobile home parks, mixed-use

multifamily. This strategy also should be complimented

parcels and commercial properties with an attractive

by initiatives created to preserve existing mobile home

location, particularly near the main roads (Montopolis

and multifamily affordable housing units.

Drive, Riverside Drive, Vargas Road and Frontier Valley

Homeowners & Renters

Drive).

We used homestead exemption data from the

Despite their current relative affordability,

Travis Central Appraisal District to identify housing

most property values in Montopolis have increased

tenure, where the properties that have homestead

substantially since 2013. The increase can be a sign of

exemption are assumed to be owner-occupied and the

development pressures and puts the population living

ones that don’t are assumed to renter-occupied units.

in the neighborhood at risk of displacement as a result

This data reveals a current balance in the proportion of

of escalating property taxes and rents. Hence, many

renter-occupied housing and owner-occupied housing

households might be at risk of delinquency in paying

with 52% owners and 48% renters.

property taxes, or even default if they are unable to

cover their mortgage and other housing expenses.

One challenge with using this data is the

assumption that homeowners are aware of and

Renters are subject to rent increases or displacement

have applied for a homestead exemption if it is their

due to sale of the rental property--whether single-

primary homestead. It was revealed in community

family or multifamily for new development.

discussions that many homeowners are unaware of

Length of deed

this opportunity to reduce their property tax burden.

This may mean that there are more homeowners in the

been owned for over 30 years reflecting the existence

neighborhood than the data set reflects, an opportunity

of long-term homeowners with strong social ties to the

that may be addressed through programs and

neighborhood. The cultural and family connections

services aimed at assisting low-income homeowners.

that exist in Montopolis create a community character

Homeowners experience different challenges than

that is being shaken by new developments in the

the renters as far as development pressure and risk of

neighborhood. The properties marked in light yellow in

displacement. The challenges faced by homeowners

Map 2.4 show new owners. Much of the redevelopment

Nearly one in five properties in Montopolis have

such as tax exemptions and title pressures can be addressed through information access and connections to the right City departments, while renters are left to the desires and decisions of the property owners.

2

Data available at the Austin Board of Realtors

webpage:

https://www.abor.com/market-stats/market-

reports/2018-market-reports/

RIGHT TO REMAIN STRATEGY 19


Montopolis Report

Existing Land Use Undeveloped DE

ST

Single-family Residential

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Data source: Windshield survey (2017); City of Austin Land Database

Map 2.2: Montopolis Current Land Use

20

GUADALUPE NEIGHBORHOOD DEVELOPMENT CORPORATION

WH

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Montopolis Report currently taking place in Montopolis is replacing the

and relatively low market value are of special interest.

low-income population with more affluent residents.

Land prices in Montopolis continue to increase

the information provided by community members

attracting re-development that can potentially push

shows the vulnerability of residents vis-Ă -vis increasing

low-income population elsewhere, breaking the

property values and expanding development pressures.

cultural and family ties that have existed in Montopolis

for generations.

homes in poor condition and in close proximity to

newly constructed homes increases their potential

Providing ways to allow the people of

The Montopolis data analysis together with

The presence of many tax-delinquent

Montopolis to remain in their neighborhood depends

pressure for redevelopment. Timely acquisition

on the creation of resilient affordability, which the Right

of these properties experiencing decay and with

to Remain strategy aims to do while following many of

high development pressure for affordable housing

the recommendations found within the People’s Plan.

is essential. The analysis also shows that there are

Speaking to and understanding the main challenges of

many opportunities to build affordable housing

long-term residents during community meetings and

on undeveloped land. In addition to single-family

interviews helped inform strategies that could keep

development, there are opportunities to increase

them in the neighborhood.

housing for low-income families through development

Property Tax Delinquency

of missing middle and multifamily units.

Tax Collector information reveals a large

number of Montopolis property owners that are tax delinquent. Of the 341 tax delinquent properties in the neighborhood, 58% of them are likely to be renter occupied (they do not have a homestead exemption), making it unlikely that the occupants are aware of the risk they face in being displaced. Data shows that the vast majority of these properties (42% of the delinquent properties) are north of Riverside Drive where there is a concentration of single family homes. One can surmise

2.3 Spatial Analysis

To conform with the needs of the neighborhood

and start implementing goals from the People’s Plan, strategies are needed to create new affordable housing and to preserve existing units. With this in mind, the team identified properties both with high potential for displacement and undeveloped properties for development of new affordable units. Each category is explained below in detail.

that homeowners who are struggling with property

Displacement Potential

taxes are also struggling to balance living expenses,

property maintenance, and perhaps other debt.

displacement, three sets of data were combined: parcels

with tax delinquency, length of deed and homestead

On the other hand, there are some

To identify those households at risk of

undeveloped properties that are tax delinquent which

exemption status. This resulted in three categories of

could represent opportunities for the development

households at risk:

of affordable housing units if purchased at lower cost

1. Renters at highest risk. A high percentage

by GNDC or another nonprofit focused on preserving

of renters in Montopolis face of displacement.

affordability. Parcels with the highest density zoning

Tax-delinquent properties without homestead RIGHT TO REMAIN STRATEGY 21


Montopolis Report exemption, regardless of the date of the deed are at

solve the tax delinquency problem.

the highest risk of displacement. It is unlikely that

2. Homeowners at risk. These are tax-delinquent

renters living in these properties are aware of their

properties with a homestead exemption, no matter

risk if the property owner decides to sell as a way to

how long they’ve owned the property. The tax

Property Value Changes <0% DE

ST

1% - 50%

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Data source: City of Austin Land Database; TCAD (2017)

Map 2.3: Montopolis Home Value Change 2013-2017 22

GUADALUPE NEIGHBORHOOD DEVELOPMENT CORPORATION

ITE

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Montopolis Report delinquency suggests the homeowner is unable to

3. Homeowners at great risk. Tax-delinquent

keep up with household costs and they are at risk

properties with a homestead exemption and a deed

of displacement through tax foreclosure or from

of over 30 years. These homeowners are considered

pressures to sell.

to be at greatest risk because even with a low

Length of Deed (Years) <5 DE

ST

6 - 10

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Data source: City of Austin Land Database; TCAD (2017)

WH

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0.1

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Map 2.4: Montopolis Length of Deed RIGHT TO REMAIN STRATEGY 23


Montopolis Report Montopolis Displacement Potential

property debt (deed over 30 years makes it likely

Development Pressure

that the owner has no mortgage), they still face

challenges paying property taxes. The pressure

pressure, the analysis combined three sets of data:

for these homeowners to sell and move out of the

windshield survey, length of deed and value change.

neighborhood is assumed to be very high.

This data combination illustrates currently-occuring

The analysis shows that roughly 199 rental

To identify areas with new development

development pressure areas where:

households are at risk of displacement. It shows that

1. Recent redevelopment has occurred, indicated

144 homeowners are struggling to pay their property

by properties in excellent physical condition

taxes. Of these, 104 may also have mortgages, with

(meaning new construction or recent remodel) and

deeds less than 30 years old. There are 40 homeowners

have a short deed length (< 5 years). These could

who likely do not have a mortgage payment, yet still

be higher income residents that are new to the

appear to be unable to pay their property taxes. These

neighborhood.

40 homeowners would benefit most from property tax

2. Properties with low redevelopment pressure are

assistance.

those in a good physical condition with a long

deed (> 30 years) that are not tax delinquent.

At-risk renters, in single-family homes and

multifamily properties, are scattered throughout

These factors indicates the owner has been able to

Montopolis with a few noticeable clusters northwest

maintain the house, pay taxes and may have little or

of Riverside Drive. These clusters are located on Kasper

no mortgage payment remaining.

Street and in Fairway Village, a large multifamily

3. Properties with moderate redevelopment pressure

development on Fairway Street. The homeowners at

are those in fair condition, have a long deed and

risk and at greater risk are also scattered throughout

have a significant increase in property value. These

the neighborhood. There are concentrations of these

characteristics indicate the property owner has

homeowners in Bluebell Circle, west of Montopolis

the potential to face challenges with increasing

Drive and south of the Montopolis Recreation Center

property costs.

and at the intersection of Vasquez Street and Suena

4. Properties with high redevelopment pressure are

Drive.

those in poor physical condition with a long deed (> 30 years), indicating the owner may be deferring

24

GUADALUPE NEIGHBORHOOD DEVELOPMENT CORPORATION


Montopolis Report maintenance due to financial challenges

The analysis shows the existence of several

newly redeveloped properties distributed in several parts of Montopolis, with particular clusters along west Ponca Street, north Kemp Street, north Thrasher Lane, Villita Avenida, and Canal Street. A random sample of recently redeveloped properties surrounded by properties that show no sign of redevelopment pressure revealed that the redeveloped property experienced on average an increase in property value of 95%, while the neighboring properties experienced an average property value increase of 73%. This shows that even though the neighboring properties are not facing extreme pressure as examined through this analysis,

occupied by homeowners and 4 by renters. There are 57 properties with moderate development pressure which are scattered throughout all areas of the neighborhood. If no intervention occurs, these certainly will experience even higher redevelopment pressure in a short time.

There are 223 properties with relatively low

redevelopment pressure at the moment. Although these properties appear to have lower pressure than others, property owners in this neighborhood do have other motivations to sell outside of personal financial pressures. Most property owners know their property is worth more today than ever before and the simple desire to cash out, with no urgent pressure, may be the most common reason for property sales in Montopolis.

they are still experiencing pressure from nearby

Development potential for undeveloped land

redevelopment. Although this analysis attempts to

break the pressure down into various levels of intensity,

keep residents in their neighborhood, one of the

it should be recognized that many properties in the

strategies aims to increase the affordable housing stock

neighborhood are very likely to be experiencing high

in the neighborhood and to prioritize households with

levels of redevelopment pressure no matter their home

ties to Montopolis as beneficiaries. To do so, Map 2.2

value or condition as the area continues to be the focus

shows the undeveloped parcels with the current zoning

of speculative development.

classification to highlight the development potential in

The emergence of numerous new

Montopolis as a means to increase affordable housing

developments reflect the likelihood that previous

options. In addition, Map 2.6 shows the parcels that are

owners or renters of these properties have been

worth $200,000 or less for a better value-entitlement

displaced. And, as one would expect, property values

strategy.

have increased near them. In total, there are 69 single

family properties in the neighborhood that have been

interest that are financially accessible nonprofits and

recently redeveloped. Additionally, the recent closure

community development corporations that specialize in

of the Cactus Rose and Thrasher Lane mobile home

affordable housing, like GNDC, a threshold of $200,000

parks has led to the displacement of approximately 50

was established. Map 2.6 shows that there are several

households and opened 25 acres for redevelopment.

properties that are below this threshold, most of which

are located between Richardson Lane and SH 183.

There are 68 total properties with moderate

While trying to protect the community and

To identify the single-family properties of

to extreme redevelopment pressure. There are 11

Fewer properties are located closer to the East Riverside

properties in the neighborhood that are facing extreme

Corridor but are smaller in size. These are scattered over

redevelopment pressure. Of these, 7 are likely to be

the area. RIGHT TO REMAIN STRATEGY 25


Montopolis Report

Areas of Pressure Recent redevelopment ST

Low development pressure

MP

DE

KE

Moderate development pressure

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Windshield survey boundary

AS

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Montopolis boundary

PO

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AT W

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Other layers

O

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Estreme development pressure x

WH

ITE

Data source: City of Austin Land Database; TCAD (2017)

Map 2.5: Montopolis Development Pressure

26

GUADALUPE NEIGHBORHOOD DEVELOPMENT CORPORATION

Ü

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Montopolis Report

Undeveloped parcels Assessed value < $200,000 L

M

NC

AS

IR

AN

DO

T

NL

M

RD

XO

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Data source: Windshield survey (2017), TCAD (2017)

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Map 2.6: Montopolis Undeveloped Parcels under $200,000

RIGHT TO REMAIN STRATEGY 27


Montopolis Report

3 | Right to Remain Opportunities

The Right to Remain report identifies

information provided by residents, the following

opportunities for the preservation of single family

sections speak to each of these opportunities,

homes and creation of affordable infill development,

providing an understanding of the physical and

options for developed or underdeveloped parcels,

land use characteristics of the different areas, the

opportunities for manufactured housing and

challenges and opportunities of parcels of interest,

mobile home parks, and collaborations with other

an overview of precedent developments on similar

neighborhood institutions. Following the housing

lots with similar uses, and recommendations for

analysis described in precious sections and the

future development.

Montopolis Single Family Preservation & Infill Opportunities Characteristic Homes in poor physical condition, needing major structural repair or replacement Homes in fair physical condition, needing some repairs, and showing increasing property value in the last few years Renter-occupied units that are behind on property taxes Homes that are behind on property taxes and owner-occupied Parcels that are undeveloped with a property value under $200,000 and where zoning allows for at least two units on the parcel 28

GUADALUPE NEIGHBORHOOD DEVELOPMENT CORPORATION

# of homes 11 57 199 144 112


Montopolis Report

Map 3.1: Large Undeveloped Properties

3.1 Single Family Preservation & Infill Opportunities

Montopolis residents, particularly

3.2 Large Undeveloped Properties

The team also examined 4 large

undeveloped properties that could potentially be

homeowners, have been vocal about the major

used for the development of long-term affordable

challenges they face, such as increasing property

housing. The parcels are: 316 Saxon Lane, 717

taxes and keeping up with home improvements.

Montopolis Drive, 600 Kemp Street and 400 Vargas

Such challenges could potentially push them out

Road. These properties represent an opportunity for

of the neighborhood. These residents are a high

GNDC or other housing providers to strengthen the

priority because they are experiencing increasing

current fabric of Montopolis by creating permanent

development pressure or displacement potential.

affordable housing.

The windshield survey results and other spatial

316 Saxon Lane

analysis data were helpful in identifying properties with the following characteristics as high priority.

The 2.5 acre property at 316 Saxon Lane

is currently appraised at $217,800. The parcel is RIGHT TO REMAIN STRATEGY 29


Montopolis Report flat and largely open. It also contains some trees

fit seamlessly into the fabric of the neighborhood

but no power lines or other visible impediments

if subdivided into 10 to 18 single family lots. This

to development. The parcel is located at the dead-

presents an opportunity for a partnership with

end of Saxon Lane and it is surrounded by single

the parcel owner to add affordable single-family

family residential homes to the west and north, has

housing to the neighborhood.

easy vehicular access and is close to the CapMetro

bus network (bus 350 is a 7-minute walk from the

frontage to Saxon Lane, a public street could be

site). The parcel is currently zoned SF-3-NP (single

built to subdivide it and provide better access

family residence), which allows for a house with

to Saxon Lane, which is particularly beneficial

an Accessory Dwelling Unit or duplex. The parcel

to homes developed near the rear of the parcel.

has the capacity for 20 to 36 housing units that

Greater vehicular accessibility could be achieved

Although the parcel is deep and has minimal

if additional adjacent parcels were acquired to

Case Study: Kirkland, WA

connect to El Mirando Street or Vargas Road.

One precedent for both 316 Saxon Lane and

717 Montopolis Drive

600 Kemp Street can be found in Kirkland,

Washington – a suburban community

BBJM INC since 2004 and is valued at $257,599. The

outside of Seattle that passed a Cottage

property is currently used as an informal flea market

Housing Ordinance in 2007 allowing

and is mostly flat, containing little to no vegetation

housing units on 3,000 square foot lots.

with overhead power lines on the perimeter along a

According to the U.S. Department of

public easement. The parcel is currently zoned GR-

Housing and Urban Development, “these

NP allowing for commercial use.

modestly-sized homes allow developers

to build units on undeveloped lots within

affordable housing development because of its

existing single-family neighborhoods.� 1

direct access to Montopolis Drive and the possibility

This 0.99 acre parcel has been owned by

This parcel has a unique potential for

to build a mixed-use multifamily product, reduced land preparation costs, and the proximity of recreational areas and religious institutions. The parcel could host a variety of real estate product types such as condominiums (stacked units over structured parking), mixed-use (stacked units over ground floor retail and structured parking), and

30

1 https://www.huduser.gov/portal/

small urban infill building with approximately 30

casestudies/study_102011_2.html

units.

GUADALUPE NEIGHBORHOOD DEVELOPMENT CORPORATION


Montopolis Report

Case Study: Philadelphia, PA A good precedent for both 717 Montopolis and 400 Vargas is the Paseo Verde in Philadelphia, PA. This project is a green mixeduse development containing 120 affordable housing units and retail that was built in a distressed neighborhood in Philadelphia. The Paseo Verde is composed of one, two, and three-bedroom apartments for low-income families and individuals. It has 53 units for households earning between 20% and 60% of the area median income (AMI) and 67 units for low-income families earning less than 100%

AMI. This project also includes around 30,000 square feet of commercial and retail spaces that host a health care facility, a pharmacy, and social services office.1 1 https://casestudies.uli.org/paseo-verde/

400 Vargas Road

use development should be decided through a

community-engaged process, since the surrounding

The 3.93 acre parcel has been owned by

Vargas Properties Ltd. since 1996 and is valued

area is mostly comprised of low density single family

at $314,468. It is has good vehicular accessibility

homes. Finally, it is unclear how future development

to SH 183 and is also near CapMetro bus stops (4

of the adjacent property would impact the site as

and 350). The parcel is zoned GR-NP and allows for

infrastructure improvements continue along SH 183.

commercial uses in the neighborhood plan. The

600 Kemp Street

main advantages of this site are its prime location

because of the direct access to SH 183, the potential

acres, that are currently owned by Home Trees LLC

to develop a mixed use multifamily product on

after being acquired in 2014. Home Trees LLC, an

currently low-cost land, and the proximity to

independent developer, filed a plat in 2017 with 9

recreational and educational institutions such as

defined lots that was rejected by the City of Austin.

Civitan Neighborhood Park and Allison Elementary

As such, GNDC intends to contact Home Trees LLC to

School. However, development costs may be

gauge interest in participating in the development

high due to the existence of overhead power

of 600 Kemp Street with affordable housing.

lines and several large trees that will require

more extensive site planning than other parcels

District, this site is worth approximately $938,000.

under consideration. Also, a proposal for mixed-

However, the market value of land can vary widely

This site includes two parcels totalling 5.38

According to the Travis County Appraisal

RIGHT TO REMAIN STRATEGY 31


Montopolis Report from the value on the tax roll. There are currently

home communities in the Montopolis area face and

two sites (513 Thrasher Lane and 6011 Ponca Street)

discusses options for moving forward.

within a mile of 600 Kemp Street and with similar

residential zoning characteristics that are on the

largest mobile home parks in the Montopolis

market for $11.56 per square foot and $15.65 per

Neighborhood. It has been owned by Frontier Valley

square foot, respectively, resulting in potential

MHP LLC, based in Greenwood Village, Colorado,

acquisition price of up to $3.5 million for the site.

since 2006. The assessed value of the property

The parcels are currently zoned SF-3 which allow

in 2017 was $4 million, which has dramatically

single family housing with Accessory Dwelling Units

increased since 2013 when it was only $932,713.

and duplexes.

The current zoning for the parcel is single-family.

A recent zoning change reclassified this parcel to

The site is relatively flat with exception of a

Frontier Valley MHP is one of the

50 foot drop in elevation on the back third of the site

Manufactured Homes, which can release some

towards Roy G. Guerrero Colorado River Metro Park.

redevelopment pressure off the site.

This characteristic may need to be further reviewed

by the project’s potential architect and civil engineer

pool and basketball courts that could use additional

to determine the viability of developing on this

maintenance. All housing on the property are

portion of the site for affordable housing purposes.

manufactured homes and are located at the end

of a low traffic minor arterial off of East Riverside

The two parcels have excellent access to SH

The community center on site includes a

183 and are a five-minute walk from a bus stop. The

Drive. There are two relatively recent subdivisions

site is also adjacent to excellent recreational facilities

immediately adjacent to Frontier Valley MHP:

including Ecology Action Circle Acres Preserve and

Frontier at Montana AMD, developed in partnership

Roy G. Guerrero Colorado River Metro Park.

with Habitat for Humanity, and CalAtlantic Park East

3.3 Manufactured Housing & Mobile Home Parks

Townhomes, which are currently on the market starting at $309,990.

While there are challenges facing Frontier

Historically, mobile home parks have

Valley MHP, such as the residents’ lack of control

been a favorable affordable housing option in the

over land and the poor physical condition of some

Montopolis Neighborhood. However, development

of the homes and community amenities; there

pressures in expanding urban areas across the

are also strengths that could be capitalized on to

country have led to the demolition of many

protect affordability. These strengths include the

mobile home parks to make way for newer and

existence of a tightly-knit community, a well used

more expensive developments. Austin is currently

community center, and proximity of other low-

experiencing this trend as well. The following mobile

income subdivisions that could provide a pathway

home analysis investigates the situation that mobile

to higher quality housing options for Frontier Valley

32

GUADALUPE NEIGHBORHOOD DEVELOPMENT CORPORATION


Montopolis Report

Mobile and Manufactured Homes Large mobile home parks DE

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Data source: Windshield survey (2017), City of Austin Land Database

WH

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Map 3.2: Montopolis Mobile Home Parks and Scattered Manufactured Housing

RIGHT TO REMAIN STRATEGY 33


Montopolis Report

Resident Owned Communities

One good precedent for mobile home

community preservation is the Duvall Riverside Village, in Duvall, Washington. A nonprofit called the Northwest Cooperative Development Center along with ROC USA helped establish a resident-owned cooperative to purchase the

improvements; security against unfair eviction;

land beneath the existing manufactured homes

liability protection; and a strong sense of

and secure their long-term affordability for the

community.

residents.1

In a resident-owned community (ROC)

such as Duvall Riverside Village each household is a member of the cooperative, which owns and manages the community. Residents continue to owner their homes as well as an equal share of the land. Some of the many benefits of living in a ROC include: control of rent and

ROC USA is a nonprofit that helps

homeowners purchase and successfully manage their mobile home parks. ROC USA strives to make resident ownership viable nationwide. The organization is able to provide technical assistance and access to financing for the purchase and long-term management of communities.2

1 http://www.duvallriversidevillage.coop/ about-us.html

2 https://rocusa.org/

MHP residents.

Cactus Rose Mobile Home community in Montopolis

was rezoned and residents were pushed away for

Another smaller mobile home park, Comfort

Park, is at greater risk of displacement. It is owned by

redevelopment. As the result of a well organized

a local real estate investment company, who bought

community effort the residents secured assistance

the property in 2016. The park has 59 mobile home

through relocation packages ranging between

sites. Residents are starting to organize and have

$2,000 and $20,000. However, this assistance does

expressed interest in exploring a resident-owned

not cover any housing product type nearby.

option to ensure they would be able to stay in the

neighborhood.

Thrasher Lane was also recently closed. This closure

seems to have happen more quickly with less

The extreme risk of displacement for

Another smaller mobile home park on

mobile home park residents recently came to the

community awareness and the residents are unlikely

forefront of community conversation when the

to have received any relocation assistance.

34

GUADALUPE NEIGHBORHOOD DEVELOPMENT CORPORATION


Montopolis Report

3.4 Collaboration with Existing

Atw o

Montopolis that could potentially participate in partnerships to develop housing in the neighborhood: St.

SH

St. Edwards properties Church property (705 Short Kemp)

To

Kem p

Ver a

Church Annex (701 Short Kemp)

rt K em p

church properties and a school in

Other properties 704 Short Kemp 706 Short Kemp 707 Short Kemp

a

Wa lke r

Sho

The analysis identified three

Pon c

E gg

er

Neighborhood Institutions

18

3

od

Vision of Hope Church (6802 Richardson Ln.)

St. Edwards Baptist Church (702 Montopolis)

Ric

har dso

n

Po n

ca

Edward’s Baptist Church, Vision of

Fel ix

Montopolis.

Mo nto po

gan

Clu

bT err ace

Fe lix

Lar ch

intersection of Montopolis Drive and

residents stay in their neighborhood.

r. ide D ers

1112 Vargas Rd.

Riv

affordable housing for Montopolis

ez

Dolores Catholic Church (1111 Montopolis Dr.)

Po r

To

may provide an opportunity to develop

qu

Ter rac e

Ponca Street. This is a very central location within the neighborhood and

Va s

properties are located around the

as

The St. Edward’s Baptist church

Va rg

Rd

.

St. Edward’s Baptist Church

lis D

Ho

Church, and the Escuela Montessori de

r.

Hope Church, and Dolores Catholic

ter

The church owns three properties: Map 3.2: Montopolis Church Properties

1. The church building at 702

church since 1997.

Montopolis Drive, the parcel is about 0.6 acres and is valued at a little more

than $1.15 million and has been owned by the

church that are undeveloped on Short Kemp

church since 1987.

Street that may also provide opportunities to build

2. The church annex at 701 Short Kemp Street,

affordable housing such as:

There are also other adjacent lots to the

the parcel is about 0.14 acres (~6100 square

4. 704 Short Kemp Street, owned by Tolocko

feet) and is valued at $134,000. It has been

Bradley T since 2013. It is a 5,200 square foot lot

owned by the church since 2008.

with a property value of $63,000 as of 2017.

3. An undeveloped lot at 705 Short Kemp Street,

5. 706 Short Kemp Street, owned by Ou Min

the parcel is 0.12 acres (~5200 square feet) and

since 2013. It is a 6,600 square foot lot with a

is valued at $63,000. It has been owned by the

property value of $75,000 as of 2017. RIGHT TO REMAIN STRATEGY 35


Montopolis Report

Case Study: The Episcopal Church of the Resurrection, Alexandria, VA

The Episcopal Church of the

Resurrection in Alexandria’s West End, VA. After going through some financial trouble because of declining and aging population in

AHC received support from the surrounding

the surrounding neighborhood, the Episcopal

communities and the city which invested

Church of the Resurrection decided to partner

around +$4 million. In addition, AHC would

with the Arlington Housing Corporation

invest around $500k and receive $400k in a

(AHC), a nonprofit developer for affordable

pre-development loan from the City Council, $4

housing, to build a 113-unit complex targeting

million from the Housing Trust Fund, and Low

a population with 40% to 60% MFI. The

Income Housing Tax Credit financing.1

agreement also allowed the church to build a

new smaller building that was better matched

1

to the demand of the area. The church and

housing-project-revitalizes-local-church/

6. 707 Short Kemp Street, owned by Strange IRA

undeveloped, which could potentially host a small

Jr. since 2013. It is a 5,600 square foot lot with a

affordable housing development of 4 to 6 units. The

property value of $75,000 as of 2017.

lot is about 0.9 acres and is valued at $633,000. The

The St. Edward’s Baptist Church has the

opportunity to build two housing units on their undeveloped parcel in addition to six more if

https://alextimes.com/2017/11/affordable-

Church has been the property’s only owner, showing the extent of the Church’s commitment to the neighborhood.

the Church partners with an affordable housing

Dolores Catholic Church

corporation, like GNDC, and are able to purchase the

three privately owned undeveloped properties on

1111 Montopolis Drive and is owned by the Roman

Short Kemp Street.

Catholic Diocese of Austin. It is a 9.5 acre partially

Vision of Hope Church

developed lot that is valued at $1.2 million as of

The church property is located at 6208

Richardson Lane, just one block away from the St. Edward’s Baptist Church. The property is partially occupied by the church building and partially

The Dolores Catholic Church is located at

2017. It has vehicle accessibility to Vargas Road through and undeveloped lot at 1112 Vargas Road also owned by the Roman Catholic Diocese (that is surrounded by single family houses on either side) and through the parking lot of the church itself.

36

GUADALUPE NEIGHBORHOOD DEVELOPMENT CORPORATION


Montopolis Report The property may allow for a missing-middle or

of property is currently appraised at $1,135,232

multifamily development at the back of the parcel

as of 2017, but the school has recently received

without disruption to existing uses.

unsolicited purchase offers far above the appraised

Opportunities and Challenges for Church

value. The school site has great proximity to a main

Properties

corridor and could be an ideal location for a mixed

The church properties are all centrally

located in Montopolis with direct connection to Montopolis Drive and accessibility to current CapMetro bus stops (Bus 350). With the Cap Remap plan, which is creating more bus lines and enhancing frequencies, transit accessibility is likely to improve which in turn will make the area more desirable for development.

Escuela Montessori De Montopolis

The Escuela Montessori De Montopolis is

located in 2013 Montopolis Drive. This 1.9-acre piece

use development that includes space for a new space for the school with affordable housing above and to the rear of the property.

This property is within the East Riverside

Corridor (ERC) Regulating Plan1, which was adopted in May of 2013 as an amendment to the Imagine Austin Comprehensive Plan. The ERC is projected to be a multi-modal corridor, accommodating pedestrians, bikes, vehicles, buses, and (potentially) 1 ftp://ftp.ci.austin.tx.us/npzd/Austingo/erc_reg_ plan_adopted.pdf

Case Study: The Holy Trinity Lutheran Church, Minneapolis, MN

Another precedent of church sponsored

affordable housing is the Holy Trinity Lutheran Church in Minneapolis, which has developed two affordable housing projects in their property: The Trinity Apartments was built in 1978 and is a high rise apartment building for elderly and disabled people, comprising 120 units (onebedroom and two-bedroom). The complex contains community spaces such as a dining room where the congregation serves meals and the library that also hosts bible studies. The

targeted population for this development is 30% AMI and below. The Trinity-on-Lake is a mixed-use building with 24 units (one and two-bedroom apartments) in which 8 are at market rate, 8 are affordable, and 8 are for people with special needs.1 1

https://htlcmpls.org/justice/affordable-

housing/

RIGHT TO REMAIN STRATEGY 37


Montopolis Report light rail. Acquiring this site to build affordable

(FAR) but could be built to a 100% with a

housing in this area would provide access to

development bonus

transportation, jobs, and many other opportunities. In addition, the corridor is intended to be a pedestrian-friendly streetscape that creates a buffer for automobile traffic and buildings brought up to the street to create shade and a sense of safety. Another major opportunity for this site is the density bonus program. In the ERC, this property is zoned neighborhood mixed-use (NMU), which allows for: •

a maximum height of 60 feet eligible for up

to 120 feet with a development bonus •

a minimum of 60% floor to area ratio

for the property that shows it could accommodate 70 units of housing in a multifamily development along with a new 8,100 square foot preschool on the ground floor. Because the existing school leadership expressed interest in senior housing, the schematic also includes five one-story, attached housing units at the rear of the property that would be reserved for seniors. The development concept also includes a shared outdoor space with a playground for residents and the school children.

Case Study: West Queen Anne

Montessori de Montopolis, could undergo a

Condominiums, Seattle,WA

similar transformation and could be potentially

A good precedent for the Escuela

Montessori de Montopolis property is the West Queen Anne Condominiums in Seattle, WA.1 This school’s 1.8-acre property closed in 1981 and soon reopened to host around 50 condominiums ranging between 600 and 2,500 square feet. After the school was closed, the Seattle School District partnered with Historic Seattle (a nonprofit organization) for a 99-year lease for a rehabilitation and reuse project of the school building. Escuela

1 https://www.seattlepi.com/realestate/ article/Here-s-your-chance-to-live-in-W-Queen-AnneSchool-11509249.php

38

GNDC recently had a development concept created

GUADALUPE NEIGHBORHOOD DEVELOPMENT CORPORATION

kept to respond to any demand for schools in Montopolis as well as provide additional affordable housing for local families. In addition, the projected density in Montopolis is slightly higher than that of Queen Anne District in Seattle, which means that Escuela Montessori could lead to even more housing units or Montopolis residents.


Montopolis Report

Escuela Nueva Potential redevelopment of Escuela Montessori de Montopolis Residential Unit Type: Units 3 Bed/2 Bath (1,575 square feet) 20 2 Bed/2 Bath (1,080 square feet) 20 2 Bed/1.5 Bath (864 square feet) Senior Housing Units (600 square feet) Total Units Site Use: Residential Units School Parking

30 5 75

Area: 84,120 square feet 8,100 square feet 84 spaces

Escuela Nueva 2013 Montopolis Drive site plan and rendering provided by hatch + ulland owen architects RIGHT TO REMAIN STRATEGY 39


Montopolis Report

4 | Right to Remain Actions

To implement a Right to Remain strategy

Limited Rental Affordability

for the Montopolis Neighborhood, the following

Affordable rental opportunities are even more

actions take into account (1) the barriers identified

scarce with the average monthly rental price

in the neighborhood engagement process, (2)

on the market currently at $2,024, requiring an

neighborhood data, (3) tactics supported by a real

annual income of around $81,0003.

estate analysis of specific parcels in Montopolis and

Mobile Home Insecurity

expressed community desires, and (4) the priorities

Manufactured housing currently provides a

for preservation and creation of new affordable

valuable affordable housing option with the

housing specified in the People’s Plan.

average estimated value at $15,2164, but the neighborhood has lost two mobile home

4.1 Identified Barriers:

communities recently and those that remain are experiencing redevelopment pressure.

Home repairs needed Approximately 238 of homes require moderate

Homelessness Homelessness is a pervasive concern in the

to major repairs indicating financial hardship

neighborhood indicating a lack of housing

and risk of displacement of residents.

and community resources for the homeless

Limited Ownership Affordability

population in the Montopolis area and Austin in

The average sales price for new construction in the neighborhood is $377,789 and for existing construction (average age is 44 years)

general.

Isolation and Institutional Distrust There is a serious lack of trust in and

is $249,8351. This means that the minimum

connectivity to City government and the Police

household income needed to become a

Department. As crime worsens residents feel

homeowner in the neighborhood is around

their concerns are not addressed and there is

$60,500, whereas the median income in 2016 was $30,8532.

neighborhood/Montopolis-Austin-TX.htm 3

1

Austin Board of Realtors MLS data accessed on

July 17, 2018 2 City 40

Austin Board of Realtors MLS data accessed on

July 17, 2018 4 City

Data,

http://www.city-data.com/

GUADALUPE NEIGHBORHOOD DEVELOPMENT CORPORATION

Data,

http://www.city-data.com/

neighborhood/Montopolis-Austin-TX.htm


Montopolis Report a clear disconnect between residents and the

displaced but also produce additional affordable

resources currently available to help them stay

units throughout the neighborhood.

in place.

Preserve

Time is Running Out A sense of urgency for action was expressed by nearly all residents if their loss of existing neighborhood residents and assets is to be prevented.

4.2 Tactics

As a result of this analysis, this Right to

To assist in preserving the current affordable

housing units in Montopolis through a collaboration with a community development corporation that focuses on affordable housing, like GNDC, this report focuses on two types of properties. First, are the properties in poor condition that are facing development pressure from nearby redevelopment. Second, are properties that are

Remain report focuses on three tactics to address

behind on their property tax payments. GNDC

the challenges Montopolis faces: Preserve, Create

is interested in prioritizing their preservation in

and Partner. These tactics aim not only to protect

order to give residents with generational ties to the

the current residents of Montopolis from being

neighborhood the opportunity to remain.

How do Community Land Trusts work?

RIGHT TO REMAIN STRATEGY 41


Montopolis Report

Ideally, GNDC and other affordable housing

want to preserve. There are around 112 single family

developers would have the opportunity to purchase

undeveloped lots for this strategy that are appraised

the properties with displacement potential, and

at $14 million.

hold them as long-term affordable rentals or sell

them using a Community Land Trust (CLT) model.

undeveloped single-family parcels for sale. It is

A CLT would allow homeowners under pressure

worth noting that TCAD’s appraised value has

to continue to own their home while having the

proven to be much lower than the actual sale

benefit of dramatically reducing their tax burden.

price of undeveloped properties. Our analysis

In addition, properties that need repairs would be

of undeveloped properties currently for sale in

renovated. Rental properties with adequate land

the neighborhood found that while the asking

area could accommodate smaller infill development

price averages $1.1 million per acre5, the average

to house other low-income families with long

appraised value listed by the TCAD is $670,600

generational ties to the neighborhood that need

per acre for the same properties6. This shows that

housing. Un-salvageable housing could potentially

the market pressure is so great in the area that

be replaced with new housing units (single-

properties may sell for nearly double the actual

family, duplexes, ADUs) in accordance with zoning

appraised value. Of the undeveloped standard size

regulations and sold or rented to qualifying low-

single family parcels for sale as of publication, the

income families.

average asking sales price is $317,225.

Create

To create new affordable housing units

to serve low-income homeowners in Montopolis, GNDC would be interested in the potential of undeveloped single-family lots and large undeveloped parcels. Our Windshield Survey identified many undeveloped single family lots, some of which are for sale and particularly those appraised at under $200,000 (see Map 2.6

As of July of 2018 there are seven

Our real estate analysis focused on 4

large undeveloped parcels: 316 Saxon Lane, 717 Montopolis Drive, 400 Vargas Road and 600 Kemp Street. The properties can accommodate multifamily units or single-family and duplex units. These 4 properties together would generate between 190 and 236 rental housing units for families earning 30% to 80% of the Austin MFI. The total TCAD value of the 4 lots is $1.7 million.

Montopolis Undeveloped Parcels under $200,000). These lots could potentially be developed and serve as either homeownership or rental units. Providing

5

ownership and rental options for Montopolis

17, 2018, https://matrix.abor.com/Matrix/Public/Portal.

residents is a way to keep the current owner to renter balance in the neighborhood that residents

Austin Board of Realtors data accessed on July

aspx?ID=5126508867#1 6

Travis Central Appraisal District data accessed on

July 17, 2018, http://propaccess.traviscad.org/ClientDB/ PropertySearch.aspx?cid=1

42

GUADALUPE NEIGHBORHOOD DEVELOPMENT CORPORATION


Montopolis Report

Partner

single-family and townhouse communities that are

far outside of the affordability range for existing

The affordable housing need in Montopolis

is unlikely to be met through the exclusive work

residents.

of affordable housing nonprofits. Partnerships

with existing local institutions could play a

nonprofit school located at 2013 Montopolis Drive.

vital role creating long-term affordability in the

This 1.9-acre piece of property is appraised at

neighborhood. This report has identified potential

$1,135,232 as of 2017. However, it is also within

partnerships that could be formed between

the East Riverside Corridor and the school recently

Churches, mobile home parks, and schools.

received an offer of $2.4 million. Despite multiple

offers to purchase the property, the school’s main

There are three church properties that offer

Escuela Montessori de Montopolis is a

development potential for affordable housing: St.

interest is to build a new “state of the art” school on

Edwards Baptist Church, Vision of Hope and Dolores

the site and the idea of pairing it with affordable

Catholic Church. These churches use only small

housing for families with ties to the neighborhood is

portions of their large properties or own adjacent

appealing. GNDC is already developing a concept for

undeveloped small parcels where new affordable

development that has 75 units of housing above a

housing could be provided. According to the real

new 4 classroom preschool.

estate analysis, 26 to 42 units could be built on these

Housing availability is also only one aspect

parcels: 2 units on the St. Edwards church property

of the interconnected challenges residents face

and 6 additional on their adjacent undeveloped

in Montopolis. Partnerships are also needed to

parcels, 4 to 6 units on the Vision of Hope

better connect residents with existing services

church property and 20-30 units in a multifamily

and to support neighborhood-led improvement

development on the Dolores Catholic church

efforts. There is a serious disconnect between

property. These properties could provide a mix of

resident needs and the programs and services

ownership and rental and could potentially serve

already available through various City of Austin

the homeless population with housing and services.

departments that may be able to help. The most

immediate and attainable action would be to

The Frontier Valley Mobile Home Park

and Comfort Park community are also potential

partner with public and private institutions to

collaborators. The Frontier Valley property hosts

facilitate better connectivity between residents

around 150 homes and is appraised at nearly $5

and existing services. A “Right to Remain Resource

million. Comfort Park has 50 mobile home sites and

Center” could serve as the convenor of continued

is currently appraised at around $1.2 million. Frontier

conversations about resident needs and creation of

Valley is in close proximity to recently developed

new programs and services for existing residents.

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4.3 Right to Remain Actions Action 1: Preservation of renters at high risk of displacement Assist renters in properties that are behind on property taxes by securing existing units as permanent affordable housing. Currently 383 properties in Montopolis are behind on their property taxes: • 199 renter occupied properties are tax delinquent and have no homestead exemption. • 40 struggling long-time homeowners who are tax delinquent and have a homestead exemption with a long deed length. • 104 struggling homeowners with mortgages have tax delinquent properties with a homestead exemption and short deed length. Short Term Action Purchase properties that do not have a homestead exemption and are delinquent on property taxes. Make any necessary improvements to the property and prioritize existing residents and residents with ties to the neighborhood to rent the homes at affordable rates. Population Served Low-income renters in at risk properties

Long Term Action Assess property suitability for accessory dwelling unit development in the rear of the property to provide additional affordable rental housing.

Implementation Partners GNDC Property owners Neighborhood leaders

Cost Average appraised value of delinquent properties: $154,273 Average estimated market value of delinquent properties: $192,841 According to our analysis of homes currently on the market, the asking sales price tends to be about 25% more than the appraised value.

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Action 2: Preservation of owners facing high development pressure Assist homeowners who are unable to keep up with home maintenance in order to reduce the pressure they may experience to sell their property. Currently 68 properties are facing some degree of development pressure. • 11 properties are experiencing high development pressure • 57 properties are experiencing moderate development pressure Short Term Action Connect households with available resources through the City of Austin or other service programs that can assist in making needed home repairs. Population Served Current homeowners and renters in fair to poor housing conditions

Long Term Action Evaluate possibility of including eligible properties into the Community Land Trust, if households had not been able to keep up with repairs and/or property taxes long-term. Implementation Partners GNDC City of Austin Neighborhood Housing & Community Development Department Austin Home Repair Coalition

Cost Average appraised value of homes with the highest redevelopment pressure: $138,642 Average estimated market value of the homes experiencing the highest redevelopment pressure: $172,302 According to our analysis of homes currently on the market, the asking sales price tends to be about 25% more than the appraised value.

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Action 3: Create new home ownership opportunities on infill parcels Develop new detached single-family housing on undeveloped single-family lots. There are currently 112 single-family undeveloped parcels. Short Term Action Determine how many parcels could be feasibly acquired in the next 2 years.

Long Term Action Continue development of affordable units on undeveloped parcels.

Develop a catalog of designs in consultation with existing residents to work from as properties are acquired. Population Served Low income homeowners and renters with generational ties to the neighborhood

Implementation Partners GNDC Residents Neighborhood leaders Austin Habitat for Humanity American YouthWorks

Cost $590,000 for the development of two units on one standard infill singlefamily parcel or $295,000 per new unit developed This is based on the current average of $190,000 for the purchase of a standard size undeveloped parcel plus an estimated $400,000 in construction cost for construction of two new units on a standard undeveloped infill parcel.

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Action 4: Create new rental housing on large undeveloped parcels Develop new housing, with special consideration for multifamily development. Four parcels could potentially generate between 190 to 236 units: • 316 Saxon Lane: 20-36 units • 717 Montopolis Drive: ~30 units • 400 Vargas Road:100-120 units • 600 Kemp Street: 40-50 units Short Term Action Contact property owners about future development plans and interest in selling. Conduct feasibility studies on for sale parcels. Population Served Low-income renters

Long Term Action Work with residents and City representatives to maximize the positive impact of affordable housing development on identified lots. Implementation Partners GNDC Property owners Neighborhood leaders Residents

Cost $400,000 to $1.1 million per acre for acquisition This is based on the current range of undeveloped parcels for sale in the neighborhood.

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Action 5: Partnerships with local institutional land holders Partner with local institutions to develop new housing on existing underdeveloped parcels. The Escuela Montessori de Montopolis is the most interested and feasible partner to date. The Escuela Montessori de Montopolis property could provide between 50 and 100 new affordable units for families and seniors as well as a new onsite preschool. Short Term Action Continue conversations with the Escuela Montessori de Montopolis for the development of affordable housing on the school’s property. Develop a time line for the project and start a feasibility analysis for the new development. Population Served

Continue building relationships with other local partners including churches and mobile home parks to discuss opportunities for mutually beneficial partnerships.

Implementation Partners

Low-income households

GNDC

Families with children

Escuela Montessori de Montopolis

Seniors

Other neighborhood institutions

Cost Land value: $2.5 million Pre-development: $410,000 Hard cost: $14 million

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Long Term Action

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Action 6: Establish a Right to Remain Community Resource Center Establish a space where residents can easily access assistance through programs currently available and provide a place where community members, assistance providers, researchers, and public and private institutions can create targeted place-based actions that directly address resource gaps. Short Term Action Pilot a small-scale testing of the center that provides a platform for residents to define the challenges they face in relation to, but outside of direct housing access and begin conversations about what community-driven solutions might look like. Population Served Low-income residents struggling to access resources and nascent community leaders

Long Term Action Identify a permanent location for the center where it can catalyze positive resident-led actions that lead to greater community resiliency.

Implementation Partners Austin Community Design and Development Center GNDC Montopolis Neighborhood Association Neighborhood leaders Community organizers City of Austin departments

Cost $40,000 pilot $250,000 annual budget to establish a permanent center

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Appendix a: people’s plan

RESOLUTION FOR LOW INCOME HOUSING TRUST FUND AND APPROPRIATIONS WHEREAS, the market in Austin is not preserving or producing affordable housing for low income families, which are households making 60% of median income or less; and WHEREAS, Austin’s low income residents by the thousands are being forced to move from Austin; and WHEREAS, U.S. Census data shows that in the five-year period from 2011 through 2015 the number of Austin households making 60% of median income or less decreased by 4,411 despite a net growth of 34,893 households within the City; and WHEREAS, the private housing market cannot produce affordable housing for Austin’s low income families because the high cost of construction and land exceed their ability to pay; and WHEREAS, existing low income housing, both for ownership or rental, will always be less expensive than new housing; and WHEREAS, the Austin Strategic Housing Blueprint Plan estimates a need by 2025 for 47,000 additional housing units for residents making 60% of median income or less, which will cost approximately $4 billion to fully address; and WHEREAS, housing is a fundamental human need and right; and WHEREAS, on 11/19/2009 the City Council of the City of Austin passed Resolution #20091119-063 Using City owned land on Levander Loop for various uses, including affordable housing; and WHEREAS, on 4/17/2015 the City Council passed Resolution #20140417-049 Using City owned land for affordable housing; and WHEREAS, on 10/16/2014 the City Council passed Resolution #20141016-026 Retaining families and school; and WHEREAS, on 6/16/2016 the City Council passed Resolution #20160615-035 Inclusionary zoning in Homestead Preservation Districts; and WHEREAS, on 4/11/2017 the City Council passed Resolution #20170411-05 from the Community Development Commission on Mobile home regulations, supporting their continued use throughout the City; and

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Montopolis Report WHEREAS, on 4/14/2017 the City Council set the Affordable Housing Goals for the City of Austin; and WHEREAS, it will require Austin to make large capital investments to preserve, construct, and subsidize housing for workforce families; and WHEREAS, Austin still has no permanent, consistent source of funds to invest in housing; NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED BY THE CITY COUNCIL OF THE CITY OF AUSTIN: The City Council directs the City Manager to develop a comprehensive plan, budget and ordinance in the next 60 days to present to the Council for adoption that shall: 1. Establish a separate, dedicated Low Income Housing Trust Fund (LIHTF) into which all City housing funds, including those specified below, are placed. 2. Establish a Low Income Housing Fund Management Agent to administer the LIHTF. The Agent shall have diverse membership and shall include lower income residents, both homeowners and renters, and community representatives. 3. Begin each annual budget process by first allocating $16 million to the LIHTF to preserve, construct or subsidize housing for low income families, defined as households making 60% of less of median income, this being the amount the City of Austin spent in fiscal year 2015 – 2016 on fee waivers. 4. Establish a policy that all future general obligation bond elections include at least 20% of the bonds for low income housing. 5. Establish a policy similar to the City of Houston’s that all new Tax Increment Zones or other quasigovernmental entities created by the City be required to dedicate at least 1/3 of their revenue to the LIHTF for both preservation and construction of low income housing. 6. Amend all density bonus programs so that developers have the mandatory option to pay a fee in lieu equal in an amount to the economic value of the required on-site affordable units. 7. Require that all City public employee pension funds investigate and consider investing in low income housing within the Austin city limits. RESOLUTION TO ADOPT RIGHT TO STAY AND RIGHT TO RETURN PROGRAMS FOR EAST AUSTIN WHEREAS, the City of Austin has promoted for decades destructive, racist policies in East Austin resulting in segregation, economic marginalization, environmental injustice, and neglected infrastructure; and WHEREAS, the City has designated East Austin as a “desired development zone”, and the City has failed to take action to prevent wholesale gentrification or to stop massive displacement of lower income residents of color, devastating their neighborhoods, community relationships and culture; and WHEREAS, Right to Stay and Right to Return programs would begin to alleviate and make reparations for RIGHT TO REMAIN STRATEGY 51


Montopolis Report Austin’s years of racist zoning, inequitable development, and total disregard of the residents of the Eastside; and WHEREAS, Right to Stay programs exist in many cities, including Houston, Texas, and contain specific strategies and concrete tools to help both renters and homeowners who are historically residents of lower income communities of color to remain in their historic homes, such as: 1) working with nonprofits and other local government entities to develop policies to reduce or freeze property taxes for low income residents and seniors in the target districts; 2) outreach to all seniors in the target districts to ensure they apply for and receive homestead and senior property tax exemptions; 3) creating well-funded home repair programs to enable elderly and disabled district homeowners to receive needed repairs, even without clear legal title, and a legal program to help clear titles; 4) funding and staffing fully an on-line housing application process, such as in Portland, Oregon, that lists all available affordable units in one location accessible to the target populations; and this database would include unit size, number of bedrooms, bathrooms, rent and costs; and 5) enforcing strictly the building codes for multi-family apartments to ensure that affordable housing remains habitable, with a focus on housing that has received government subsidies; and WHEREAS, Right to Return programs include specific strategies and tools to assist people of color who grew up in or are otherwise members of generations of families of color of East Austin to return to East Austin; and. WHEREAS, Portland, Oregon’s “right-to-remain or return” policy is a model that Austin should look to and that contains these essential features: 1) funding and staffing to fully support bringing former residents back to a gentrified area (with people displaced or at risk of displacement having priority access to housing developed through this initiative); 2) supporting production of units that can lead to home ownership for returning working families, including different housing types such as modular-manufactured mobile-tiny units, condominium apartments with multiple bedrooms, and rent-to-own options; and 3) using public-owned property to build new land-banked and land trust homes for lower-income former East Austin residents of color who want to return, with a variety of housing; NOW, THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED: The City Council directs the City Manager to develop within 60 days a comprehensive plan, budget, and ordinance for the Council’s consideration to adopt and fund an effective, robust Right to Return and Right to Stay Program for East Austin.

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Montopolis Report RESOLUTION FOR THE USE OF CITY OWNED LAND FOR LOW INCOME HOUSING WHEREAS, the City of Austin currently faces a critical shortage of housing for purchase and for rent that is affordable to low income families; and WHEREAS, in 2015 in zip code 78702 median household income is $41,016, so affordable rent is $1,025 a month, or an affordable mortgage of $166,537, while housing in that zip code is selling at the median list price of $399,000, more than twice the amount the median income household can afford; and WHEREAS, in 2015 median household income for zip code 78721 is $37,234, so affordable rent is $931 a month, or an affordable mortgage of $151,181 but the median list price is $323,000; and WHEREAS, in 2015 median household income for zip code 78741 is $31,658, so affordable rent is $791 a month, or an affordable mortgage of $128,537 but the median list price is $371,000; and WHEREAS, in 2015 median household income for zip code 78744 is $42,400, so affordable monthly rent is $1,061, or an affordable mortgage of $172,319 but the median list price is $252,000; and WHEREAS, between 2015 and 2016, Austin lost 5,445 households making less than median income and gained 3,006 households making over $200,000; and WHEREAS, the Neighborhood Housing and Community Development staff has estimate that between 48,000 and 60,000 units of affordable housing represents the current housing shortage, yet the city’s Density Bonus program only expects to provide 1,100 units over the next ten years, meaning that the shortage may well have doubled by the end of the next decade; and WHEREAS, the City of Austin has funded projects in the past (Rosewood/Glen Oaks Neighborhood and the neighborhood near Brooke Elementary School in the 1980s, and Govalle and Montopolis Neighborhoods in the 2000s) to help low income families purchase single family homes by using land that is city owned to reduce construction costs; and WHEREAS, the City of Austin has within its power to promote the general welfare of the community and to mitigate the adverse family impacts of involuntary residential displacement; and WHEREAS, the City of Austin’s Homestead Preservation District boundaries are based on the severity in which the residents within the boundaries are “extremely cost-burdened,” a term used to describe households that allocate more than the recommended 50% of household income towards housing costs; and WHEREAS, families play a critical role in maintaining strong communities, directly impacting a broad range of issues from jobs to public schools to the local economy to the environment and our future as a city; and WHEREAS, families and children are a protected class under the Fair Housing Act; and WHEREAS, Imagine Austin, the city’s comprehensive planning document, specifically recognizes the need for family-friendly development citywide; and WHEREAS, the City of Austin owns land parcels throughout its jurisdiction; and WHEREAS, using publicly owned lands for affordable housing is an effective strategy for creating affordable RIGHT TO REMAIN STRATEGY 53


Montopolis Report housing; and WHEREAS, many cities leverage opportunities for affordable housing by utilizing city-owned properties for this purpose; and WHEREAS, the Community Development Commission has recommended the promotion of manufactured housing as a way to reduce costs of single family housing for low income families; and WHEREAS, the Neighborhood Housing and Community Development staff have repeatedly identified the use of city-owned land for affordable housing as an essential affordable housing strategy; and WHEREAS, the City Council approved goals to address housing needs in Austin April 14, 2017, including preventing households from being priced out of Austin, fostering equitable communities, investing in housing for those most in need, creating new and affordable housing choices for all Austinites in all parts of town, and helping Austinites reduce their household costs; NOW THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED BY THE CITY COUNCIL OF THE CITY OF AUSTIN: The City Council directs the City Manager to identify no less than four properties owned by the City of Austin that can be quickly made available for building by March, 2018. BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED: The City Council directs the City Manager to release a Request for Proposals (RFP) to local non-profits to place manufactured and/or construct single family homes on those properties adequate to house no less than 100 low income families by May, 2018. BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED: The City Council directs the City Manager to release four additional properties through the same process by August 2018. RESOLUTION TO ESTABLISH INTERIM DEVELOPMENT REGULATIONS IN AREAS WITH INADEQUATE DRAINAGE WHEREAS, recent increases in redevelopment, coupled with undersized, collapsed and nonexistent storm water infrastructure has exacerbated flooding in residential areas within the Onion Creek, Williamson Creek, Walnut Creek and Boggy Creek watersheds WHEREAS, current development regulations and storm water infrastructure are insufficient to prevent drainage systems from exceeding capacity or to address storm water issues associated with infill development; 54

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Montopolis Report WHEREAS, Section 11.086 of the Texas Water Code generally prohibits diverting or impounding surface waters in a manner that damages the property of another through overflow; WHEREAS, the interim development regulations adopted by the ordinance that results from passage of this resolution help to ensure greater compliance with state law and to protect the health, safety, and welfare of residents by limiting development that would further overburden existing storm water infrastructure, while studies can proceed to measure the impact of redevelopment of older properties and the effect of redevelopment on aging infrastructure; WHEREAS, the City of Austin is currently engaged in a comprehensive rewrite of its land development code, which among other things, will address appropriate regulations for redevelopment and other more permanent solutions to improve storm water infrastructure;

WHEREAS, the regulations adopted by the ordinance that results from passage of this resolution are intended as an interim measure, until more permanent solutions are set in place; WHEREAS, this resolution proposes the following definitions and measurements for use in development of the regulations: • Commercial Use Building means a structure used for one or more of the commercial uses defined under Section 25-2-4 of the Land Development Code, including without limitation a vertical mixed use structure defined under Section 25-2, Subchapter E of the Land Development Code; • Director means the Director of the Watershed Protection Department and Development Services Department; • Flood Prone Zone shall refer to all properties located within the Onion Creek, Williamson Creek, Walnut Creek, Boggy Creek watersheds as more particularly defined under Section 25-8-2 of the Land Development Code; • Gross Floor Area means the total square feet of all enclosed space within a structure, regardless of its dimensions, that is not otherwise exempted from the calculation of gross floor area under an explicit provision of the Land Development Code; and • Residential Use Building means a structure used for one or more of the residential uses defined under Section 25-2-3 of the Land Development Code; WHEREAS, for all properties located within the Flood Prone Zone, applications for building and demolition permits for a commercial use or residential use building must comply with the following to be accepted for filing: • An application for a demolition or relocation permit for a Commercial Use or Residential Use Building must be filed concurrently with a application for a either of the next two types of permit;

• For a building permit for a Residential Use Building or a site plan for a Commercial Use Building on a lot where a structure has been or will be demolished or relocated, the new structure’s size RIGHT TO REMAIN STRATEGY 55


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is limited to a maximum Gross Floor Area equal to one hundred fifteen percent (115%) of the Gross Floor Area of the existing or pre-existing structure located on the lot; in the case that a lot is combined with an adjacent lot or lots, the new structure’s size is limited to maximum Gross Floor Area equal to on hundred fifteen percent (115%) of total, combined Gross Floor Area of any existing or pre-existing structures on such combined lots; • For a remodel permit to increase the size of a Residential Use Building or a Commercial Use Building, the structure’s size after the remodel is limited to a maximum Gross Floor Area equal to one hundred fifteen percent (115%) of the Gross Floor Area of the existing structure; and WHEREAS, the City Council may waive by ordinance the moratoria imposed by adoption of this resolution as ordinance if the City Council determines and makes specific, detailed findings by 3/4th vote of the entire council that: • The development regulations in the ordinance resulting from implementation of this resolution imposes undue hardship on the applicant; • The development proposed by the applicant will not adversely affect, directly or indirectly, the public health, safety, and welfare; and • The Director determined that the development proposed by the applicant will reduce the flowing impact to other properties, as compared to pre-development conditions; NOW, THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED: The City Council directs the City Manager to prepare administrative rules deemed necessary for implementation of this resolution. The requirements of this resolution control in the event of a conflict with any administrative rules; The City Council waives the requirement for Planning Commission review of the ordinance adopting this resolution; The City Council finds that the flooding impacts resulting from development in the Floor Prone Zone constitutes an emergency. Because of the emergency, the City Council further directs the City Manager to prepare the ordinance for City Council to adopt immediately for the immediate preservation of the public peace, health, and safety.

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Montopolis Report RESOLUTION TO EXPAND USE OF NEIGHBORHOOD CONSERVATION COMBINED DISTRICTS AND HISTORIC DISTRICTS

WHEREAS, the Neighborhood Conservation Combining District (NCCD) is a well known tool sanctioned by the State of Texas and used by numerous cities across the country to create conservation districts to preserve neighborhoods; and WHEREAS, the NCCD tool may be used in tandem with the City’s Historic District tool throughout Austin, Texas to alleviate gentrification, displacement, economic and racial segregation, and demolition of low income affordable housing, as well as to promote lower income neighborhoods affordability, preservation, and conservation, particularly in East Austin; and WHEREAS, the NCCD tool may specify district zoning requirements to achieve these purposes by limiting floor to area ratio (F.A.R), square footage, building height, setbacks, compatibility, and site area requirements along with other specific property requirements that prevent demolition and displacement, and the Historic District tool’s design guidelines would complement the zoning requirements for the NCCD’s conservation purposes; and WHEREAS, previously the NCCD tool was misapplied in East Austin to promote urban “redevelopment” and displacement of low income people of color by the City, instead of being used as a conservation tool to maintain lower-income communities and diversity; and WHEREAS, the NCCD and the Historic District tools would provide flexible, but more consistent standards for conservation and “redevelopment” that would suit the character of the districts’ areas and neighborhoods; NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED BY THE CITY COUNCIL OF THE CITY OF AUSTIN: The City Council directs the City Manager to develop and present to the City Council for adoption within 60 days a comprehensive plan, budget, and ordinance to: • To support vigorously and apply through specific requirements these two tools to help conserve and preserve our neighborhoods and prevent gentrification and displacement; • To provide immediately before it is too late the financial resources and professional assistance needed to neighborhoods, to create historic districts and NCCDs by no later than the end of calendar year 2018 to prevent further displacement and demolition, particularly in East Austin.; • To apply through the Equity Office a comprehensive equity analysis and tools by July 2018 to East Austin to alleviate gentrification and displacement, while protecting the people who live there now through additional affordability, conservation, and preservation programs.

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Montopolis Report RESOLUTION TO IMPLEMENT AUSTIN ENVIRONMENTAL QUALITY REVIEW

WHEREAS, the City of Austin has the responsibility to examine the impacts of its discretionary activities upon the natural and cultural environment; and; WHEREAS, the path to a sustainable future discussed in the Imagine Austin Plan and the Climate Protection Plan require us to consider the cumulative impacts our actions may have on our fragile environment; and; WHEREAS, we must scrupulously examine the environmental justice implications of our decisions; and; WHEREAS, analysis and disclosure of environmental impacts will improve quantitative and qualitative understanding of central and enduring public health concerns such as residential displacement, ground level ozone levels, neighborhood character effects, as well as many other impacts; and; WHEREAS, analysis and disclosure of environmental impacts empowers citizens with information they can use to make important individual and family health decisions; and; WHEREAS, the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 stands as one of President Lyndon B. Johnson’s greatest environmental achievements and its language and intent can be implemented locally; and; WHEREAS, cities such as New York and others already perform routine environmental quality reviews; NOW THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED BY THE City Council OF THE CITY OF AUSTIN: The City Council directs the City Manager to develop and present to the City Council for adoption within 60 days a comprehensive plan, budget and ordinance to: • Establish an environmental quality review program. • Develop an environmental quality review technical manual. • Establish an environmental quality subcommittee of the Environmental Commission or the Joint Sustainability Committee.

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