‘City funded chaos’: Concerns raised over North Austin affordable housing

AUSTIN (KXAN) – People living near a property in North Austin formerly known as Raintree Apartments – now called Redfield 34 Apartments, although it is not marked on the building – say that after the city of Austin secured the property for affordable housing, it became unsafe.

Neighbors say they see drug use, prostitution, theft and shootings, among other problems. They say a man was shot dead and sent to hospital as recently as Wednesday.

“He pulled out a gun and shot this guy and then of course that’s when we went to take cover because we don’t want to accidentally get hit by a stray bullet. “, Parker Case, who lives a few houses from the complex and witnessed the shooting, said.

Case is one of several neighbors we spoke to on Friday who said they regularly witness crime, to the point that some have considered moving. They also say no one appears to be managing the property or providing services to the people living there. Several of the units appeared to have been broken into when KXAN visited on Friday.

“We’re scared to go out because it’s like we don’t know who we’re going to meet,” Case explained.

A City of Austin spokesperson said they are aware of people’s concerns about the property and said in part:

“The current activity on the property violates the terms of the agreement with the landlord to acquire and renovate the property for affordable housing. Over the past several weeks, the city and AHFC (Austin Housing Finance Corporation) have been working with the owner to make the necessary improvements.

Documents from the Austin Housing Finance Corporation’s November meeting show that money for the project came from the housing trust fund and general obligation bonds from 2018.

“Project funding will be used for the acquisition of an existing 34-unit apartment complex
and for tenants’ moving expenses. The 34-unit property will be converted into a permanent 33-unit supportive housing project for people exiting homelessness. All 33 units will be available for lease at or below 50% MFI. The units will be affordable for 40 years,” documents said.

KXAN contacted an owner of FHADL Real Estate LLC who said he didn’t think he had enough time to provide comment before our deadline. If he provides one, we’ll update this story.

We contacted the Austin Police Department early Friday morning to ask if they were making any adjustments to keep neighbors safe and got no response.

Neighbors are asking that if the city houses homeless people anywhere in Austin that it provide services to prepare those people for success. They also want the city to ensure that there are regulations related to affordable housing so that it is not to the detriment of other people living in the area.

“We want people to have resources if they want to get government benefits so it’s not just city-funded mayhem,” Case said.

About Jermaine Chase

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