Thursday, December 3, 2009

Road Trip to Austin

By Johnice Woods – Director of Projects

A secretly known fact to many is my love for Austin, Texas. No disrespect to Dallas, but Austin has a certain “It” factor.

Today, we (Naquanna Comeaux and Kevin Flagg – CityWalk’s Community Outreach Coordinators) visited Foundation Communities, SRO properties. Foundation Communities has a 20 year history in affordable housing in Austin ( They have 14 housing communities, three of which are SRO properties. Skyline Terrace and Garden Terrace are located in South Austin and Spring Terrace is located in North Austin. I visited their properties about a year ago and thought it would be a great idea to have Naquanna and Kevin meet with the Residential Service Coordinators to gain insight into their roles.

At first glance, all three properties are immaculately maintained, inside and out. All had the feel of a safe and caring environment. All of the apartment units are furnished and include onsite amenities such as community kitchens, laundry rooms, and computer rooms. Each property has onsite property management and residential support service coordinators. The Resident Service Coordinators help tenants access off-site social services and coordinate onsite services such as monthly birthday parties, money management classes, free tax preparations, and monthly food pantries.

So what was the “It” that impressed me most from this Austin road trip? One, actually witnessing a successful SRO property, which is what we have envisioned for CityWalk, and the wonderful people who were willing to offer their time and expertise by answering all of our questions and offering future assistance. I would like to send out a big thanks to Liz Brown and Mike Wilder at Garden Terrace, Adam Lenker at Skyline Terrace, and Tim Miles at Spring Terrace.

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