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140-unit affordable housing complex coming to Bastrop

A 140-unit affordable housing apartment complex will move in next door to the Hunters Crossing subdivision, after the Bastrop City Council on Tuesday night approved the granting of federal tax credits to support the project.

The Preserve at Hunters Crossing is slated to go up at Hunters Crossing Boulevard and Home Depot Way and will include one-, two- and three-bedroom apartments priced between $785 and $1,078 per month. The rates are designed to be affordable for families that make 60 percent of the average median income for the Austin area, or $48,850 a year for a family of four.

Residents must meet the low-income requirements to live in the complex.

The development will be constructed using tax credits from the Texas Department of Housing and Community Affairs, which incentivize private companies that invest in affordable housing.

The credits have already been awarded for The Preserve — but to receive them, the City Council is required to hold a public hearing and pass a resolution of no objection to the project.

On Tuesday night, Bastrop City Manager Lynda Humble made an emotional plea in support of the complex, which she said would provide much-needed workforce housing — the type that would serve the city’s own staff, of which 58 percent earn an income that would qualify them for the units.

“I have been in this business a long time, and I have heard people say, ‘I don’t want those people in my neighborhood,’” she said. “I would like to introduce you to those people. They work here. They serve you every day. The type of jobs we are talking about include supervisors and personnel from the library, planning department, utility billing, water and wastewater, parks, police department, the convention center, municipal court and public works. Fine people to be your next door neighbor.”

Fifty-one percent of Bastrop’s city staff live outside the city limits. Recent data show that only 665 of the city’s residents live and work in Bastrop. More than 5,000 work in the city and live elsewhere, officials said.

Humble said this is due to a lack of workforce and affordable housing in Bastrop.

A recent study by nonprofit Bastrop County Cares showed the region has a shortage of available housing at all prices.

Read the full article at Statesman.com