The Housing and Planning Department and the Austin Housing Finance Corporation (AHFC—a public, nonprofit corporation of the City of Austin) use funding tools and regulatory incentives to encourage both for-profit and non-profit developers to create affordable housing. Both funding and/or regulatory incentives support developers to create affordable multi-family or single-family housing.


Affordable Housing Development – Funding Opportunities

Federal Funding from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD)--such as Community Development Block Grants and HOME Investment Partnerships--assists with affordable housing development, rehabilitation, and homebuying.

Rental Housing Development Assistance Program expands the supply of affordable rental housing for low-income households and increases the availability of permanent supportive housing for persons experiencing homelessness or with special needs.

Private Activity Bonds or Multi-Family Mortgage Revenue Bonds are issued by the AHFC to finance multi-family developments. Multi-Family Mortgage Revenue Bonds are purchased by private investors and are repaid through rents collected at the bond-financed property, not by the City of Austin or its taxpayers.

Acquisition and Development Program (Homeownership) provides funding to private and nonprofit developers, including Community Housing Development Organizations (CHDOs), to acquire, rehabilitate, and construct affordable ownership housing for low - to moderate-income homebuyers.

General Obligation Bonds are voter-approved bonds for affordable housing development.  Austin voters approved $65 million in General Obligation Bonds in a 2013 referendum.

Housing Trust Fund uses property tax revenues from developments built on public or City-owned land to develop or preserve affordable housing.

Low-Income Housing Tax Credit (LIHTC) The Texas Department of Housing and Community Affairs (TDHCA) provides low-income housing tax credits (LIHTC) that allow housing developers or their investment partners to take a federal tax credit to offset up to either 4 percent or 9 percent of their federal tax liability in exchange for building low-income rental housing. 

Affordable Housing Development – Incentives And Agreements

Affordable Housing Density Bonus Programs allow developers to build more units than are allowed by a site’s base zoning if the developer agrees to set aside a portion of units for income-restricted affordable housing or in some cases pay a fee-in-lieu of providing affordable housing.

S.M.A.R.T. Housing stimulates the production of affordable housing for residents that is Safe, Mixed-Income, Accessible, Reasonably Priced, and Transit-Oriented (i.e., S.M.A.R.T.) by providing waivers for certain development fees.

Long-Term Homeownership Affordability

Long-term housing refers to home ownership, whether it be individual houses or multi-unit properties (e.g., duplexes, condominiums, etc.). The City of Austin strategically provides resources to help in the construction and preservation of such housing through Community Land Trusts and Long-term affordability restrictions that both allow buyers to purchase homes at affordable terms and ensure those homes remain available to low- to moderate-income homeowners even if the home is sold or changes hands.

Homestead Preservation Districts

Homestead Preservation Reinvestment Zones are a type of Tax Increment Reinvestment Zone (TIRZ) that generate revenue to create and preserve affordable housing within the district.  The tool uses tax increment financing to dedicate tax revenues from that district to support affordable housing in that district.

Homestead Land Trusts are organized as non-profit corporations that acquire and hold land to develop and preserve long-term affordable housing within the district.

Homestead Land Banks allow cities with an HPD to purchase and hold land for the purpose of creating affordable housing within the district.