As affordability becomes more of an issue in the Austin area, the city is working to make more affordable housing options. These homes are reserved for people at 80% or below the median income level and are usually just as beautiful as their fully priced counterparts. These housing and financial empowerment programs are designed to assist Austin’s moderate and low-income residents and families.

Affordable housing developments include all kinds of homes for people from all walks of life. This includes more than 1,400 new houses, condos, and apartments that are reserved specifically for those with lower incomes. The aim is to keep people's housing costs at no more than 30% of the household’s gross income. If the housing costs are kept at a reasonable level, these individuals won’t struggle to put food on the table, pay for healthcare, clothing, education, or other expenditures.

While there are plenty of affordable housing options in Austin, here we’re going to focus on condos. We’ve noticed lately that several swanky, modern, well-made condos have been erected and many of them offer part of their property to affordable housing. These are some of our favorites.


1. The Chicon: This mixed-use housing community on Austin’s hip east-side street, Chicon, aims to bridge the gap between the original, lower income, residents of East Austin and the younger urban dwellers that have been moving in. There will be 43 mixed-use affordable and market rate units available in three buildings. The community is environmentally friendly and will accommodate around 9,000 square feet of ground floor retail and office space.

These units will sell between the low $100,000 to mid $300,000 range and there are several floor plans to choose from. The community is full of historic bars and music venues, a mix between vintage buildings and up and coming hot spots. The Metro Rail is also nearby for those who want to use it, and there is bike parking available. There are also plenty of parks nearby for kids, pets or getting some exercise. Overall, The Chicon is one of the cooler places to emerge on the East Side and the fact that they are offering units that are affordable is incredible.


2. 3110 S. Congress Condos:  Sitting in one of the most desired areas of town, these condos are beautifully built with a modern theme. They are brand new (still under construction) and consist of several different floor plans ranging in size from 460 to 1,400 square feet. Residents will have access to private parking in the building's garage, where they can leave their car while they walk to all of the fantastic retail and dining options nearby.

Many of the condos will overlook St. Edwards University and some units will have floor to ceiling windows. The insides are decorated with quartz countertops, Nest thermostats, and top notch appliances. Only select units will be eligible for the affordable housing benefits, and they are likely to be the smallest units, but even so, this is a great option for a single person or couple who doesn’t mind trading space for luxury.


3. 1615 7th St: These luxury condos are on Austin’s East Side and are equipped with gourmet kitchens, a private parking garage, quartz counters, wood floors, and stainless appliances. These condos were designed to take a creative approach to addressing the client’s needs and surroundings. They analyzed the site, space, and light to ensure that each aspect of the structures design complements each other. They are intended to be functional, green, and beautiful.

There will be 19 units in all, ranging in size from 464 square feet to 1,493 square feet and only the smallest units will be available for affordable housing benefits. Much like the South Congress condos, these will be well placed and equipped, but not as spacious. However, if you don’t need a lot of room and desire high design and walkability, then these are a great option!


4. Mueller Affordable Homes Program Row Houses: This is one of the largest communities offering almost exclusively affordable and workforce housing in Austin. The Mueller Affordable Homes Program offers Yard Houses, Row Houses, and Garden Court Houses. Their Yard Houses and Garden Court Houses (both regular sized single family homes) are brand new and large, ranging from upwards of 2,600 feet. Since we’re concentrating on condo’s right now, however, we’ll focus on their Row Houses .

These townhomes and condos look similar to flats you’d find in the Northeast, but with a Central Texas flair. Many have front porches and detached garages, and they are offered in a range of sizes and types. Most of them are quite large, ranging in size from 1,145 to 2,324 square feet, and all are built with green living in mind equipped with energy saving appliances and materials. Our personal favorites are the CalAtlantic Homes. These are three story homes with modern architecture that are priced from the $170,00’s.

All of these are located in the bustling and popular Mueller area, close to all the amenities on the east side and home to one of the best H-E-B’s in Austin! If size if your priority, this is definitely one of the best deals in Austin. They are new, well built, affordable, and ready for move in (for those who qualify).