Reinvestment and Empowerment in Austin

Why Austin

  • Austin lost 20,000 people from 2000-2010 leaving the community rich in housing opportunities but in need of resources.
  • Analysis of community needs shows that residents want programs that help long-term owners and improve housing stock without displacement
  • Currently, OPRHC and other non-profits provide programs in the community designed to provide new housing options, improve economic opportunity and empower residents– but more strategic, stabilizing efforts are needed

Expanding Opportunities through Austin Rising

  • Austin Ascending grants help owners make repairs and upgrades to their units that bring them back into the market resulting in increased housing options, improved housing stock and improved financial stability of traditional residents. In addition, contractors are hired locally to ensure the money used to rehab the units is recycled in Austin.
  • Austin Advantage expands the successful West Cook Advantage program by targeting low– and moderate– income households looking to purchase a home in Austin. This program provides eligible buyers with $10,000 down payment assistance on fully rehabbed homes in Austin. The assistance is provided as a forgivable loan recorded at closing and forgiven over five years.

Community Empowerment

  • The investment in the housing stock is understood as a signal in the neighborhood of the economic and social value of the community.
  • Homeownership workshops and landlord trainings are provided locally to participants.
  • Program participants take on leadership roles to work on solutions in their neighborhood.
  • By prioritizing efforts in the blocks currently undergoing business development, our strategy is meant to provide a complete community in which residents can live, work, and shop in the neighborhood.

Reinvestment Without Displacement

  • As a community driven program, bi-monthly meetings of our Community Advisory Panel will hold us accountable and ensure effective communication across the community.
  • Quarterly meetings with partners will evaluate program goals and progress as well as build connections between our partners and community leaders.
  • The risk of unwanted gentrification form new investment in the community is mitigated by directing the funds available to traditional resident and business owners.
  • The program is designed to prepare the community to remain self-determined.