Rendering of the Norman Commons development by Spring Architects.
AUSTIN, TX – The City of Austin Housing Department celebrates the closing of $58 million in construction financing in District 1 for the development of land owned by the Austin Housing Finance Corporation (AHFC). AHFC’s first partnership with Foundation Communities, Norman Commons is a 156-unit multifamily development located at 3811 Tannehill Lane (currently addressed as 5712 Jackie Robinson Street). The family-friendly community features 156 rental units and 32 for-sale units to be built by Guadalupe Neighborhood Development Corporation through its community land trust program (some of which are shown on the right of the site rendering).
“We are thrilled to help build an amenity- and services-rich, family-friendly community adjacent to Norman Sims Elementary to continue our goal of affordable housing in Austin,” said Mandy DeMayo, Interim Director for the City of Austin’s Housing Department. “These investments ensure affordable units in areas vulnerable to displacement. Located within one mile of Project Connect corridors, Norman Commons is near the route of the future Green Line rail service that will serve neighbors in the area.”
In total, 75% of the units at Norman Commons are multi-bedroom – including Foundation Communities’ first property with four-bedroom units. All units will serve families at or below 60% of the median family income (MFI). Norman Commons will also work to serve our unhoused neighbors, with sixteen units having a preference for families at risk of homelessness via Foundation Communities’ Children’s HOME Initiative (CHI) Program, which has been serving homeless families across Austin since 2003. These households will have access to a full‐time, on‐site case manager, and a wide range of additional support services.
“We are excited about having this opportunity to help more lower-income families in Austin find stability and success through affordable housing and support services,” said Foundation Communities Executive Director Walter Moreau. “Thank you, AHFC for your financial support for Norman Commons.”
Additionally, the community will feature an on-site Learning Center with a multitude of free services for both residents and neighbors alike, including free youth afterschool and summer programs to complement existing programs at Norman-Sims Elementary, a healthy food pantry, plus educational, financial, and health‐oriented classes for adults.
Norman Commons offers residents and neighbors access to a state‐of‐the‐art Learning Center, including several classrooms, a community kitchen, staff offices, and a large gathering space. (Spring Architects)
Norman Commons Background
AHFC acquired the almost 8-acre property from the Austin Independent School District (AISD) in 2018. Following community engagement and a competitive request for proposals, AHFC awarded the development opportunity to Foundation Communities and Guadalupe Neighborhood Development Corporation (GNDC) in November 2021.
“GNDC is delighted to be able to provide 32 more homeownership opportunities to families with generational ties to East Austin thanks to this partnership with Foundation Communities and AHFC. Every day we see the positive impact our affordable homeownership program has on people's lives, especially assisting East Austinites become homeowners in their own neighborhood. We're looking forward to building the townhomes at Ada Anderson Place on Tannehill Lane for the next wave of homeowners,” said Mark Rogers, GNDC’s Executive Director.
The site will include two phases of development with the first phase, Norman Commons Apartments, consisting of 156 affordable rental units and the second phase, Ada Anderson Place, consisting of 32 units of affordable ownership housing through the GNDC’s community land trust. Norman Commons has a long-term ground lease with AHFC through which the land will continue to be publicly owned. Norman Commons is anticipated to be completed in late 2025 and Ada Anderson Place in late 2026/2027.
Norman Commons involved a complex financing strategy with many funding sources. It is primarily financed by a $31.5M tax-exempt bond issued by the Texas State Affordable Housing Corporation (TSAHC); a $4.4M construction loan and $14.8M permanent loan through Wells Fargo; $25.5M in 4% LIHTC equity syndicated by Wells Fargo; $850,000 from the Federal Home Loan Bank of Dallas; $2.5M in Capital Magnet Funds; a $2M sponsor loan from Foundation Communities; and $8.9M in AHFC debt financing through the Rental Housing Development Assistance (RHDA) program. The AHFC funding for RHDA includes over $8.4 million in Project Connect dollars and $436,331 from 2022 GO Bonds.
Public art sits at prominent locations throughout the site, and a host of amenities including playgrounds, fitness stations, a walking trail, and a ball court provide opportunities for physical activity. Sustainability and durability are critical factors in the selection of materials and systems for the building as well as key design features throughout the community.
For more information on developing affordable housing in Austin, visit www.austintexas.gov/housing.
Outdoor spaces include courtyards, fitness stations, a walking trail, playgrounds, and a ball court. (Spring Architects)
About the City of Austin Housing Department
The City of Austin Housing Department provides equitable and comprehensive housing, community development, and displacement prevention to enhance the quality of life of all Austinites. To access affordable housing and community resources, visit www.austintexas.gov/housing.
About the Austin Housing Finance Corporation
The Austin Housing Finance Corporation (AHFC) was created as a public, non-profit corporation and instrumentality of the City of Austin. The mission of the AHFC is to generate and implement strategic housing solutions for the benefit of low- and moderate-income residents of the City of Austin.
About Foundation Communities
Foundation Communities is an Austin-based, homegrown nonprofit. Founded in 1990, it provides affordable, attractive homes and free on-site support services for thousands of families, veterans, seniors, and individuals with disabilities. It offers an innovative, proven model that empowers its residents and neighbors to achieve educational success, financial stability, and healthier lifestyles. Foundation Communities owns and operates 25 affordable communities all over Austin and three in North Texas. Visit foundcom.org to learn more.
About Guadalupe Neighborhood Development Corporation (GNDC)
GNDC is a 501(c)(3) Texas non-profit corporation with over 40 years of service as an affordable housing developer and manager for rental and homeownership opportunities for families with generational ties to East Austin. For more information about the Guadalupe Neighborhood Development Corporation, please visit the website: https://www.guadalupendc.org/