New Program Will Help Historically Excluded Real Estate Developers, Bringing More Affordable Housing to Austin and Boosting the Local Economy
Capital Impact Partners and HousingWorks Austin are now accepting applications for their Austin Small Developer Training program, expanding on a nationwide initiative that has already supported more than 200 developers.
April 24, 2023 (Austin, TX) – A new program will provide small-scale real estate developers from underrepresented communities in Austin with the tools they need to grow their businesses — helping them to be more involved in the region’s booming real estate market and, in turn, to create more affordable housing.
Applications are being accepted from April 24-May 19, 2023, for the Austin Small Developer Training program, which seeks to assist developers who have been historically excluded or overlooked.
The free, four-month program will provide developers with training, technical assistance, mentorship, networking, and potential pathways for financing.
The Austin Small Developer Training program is being led by Capital Impact Partners, which has trained more than 200 developers through its Equitable Development Initiative in four regions nationwide, including the Dallas region, and has been working to help disinvested communities in Austin since 2015. Capital Impact Partners is one of the Momentus Capital branded family of organizations, which also includes CDC Small Business Finance and Ventures Lending Technologies, among other organizations.
The Austin region continues to grow, but that growth has also led to rising housing costs, pushed longtime residents out of the city, and contributed to low rates of homeownership and business ownership in communities of color. Helping small-scale Austin real estate developers can also help close wealth gaps while bringing more affordable housing and investment into historically underserved communities.
Capital Impact Partners is partnering with HousingWorks Austin, a nonprofit organization that aims to increase the supply of affordable housing in Austin by providing research, education, advocacy and thoughtful, workable affordable housing policy recommendations.
“Affordable housing must remain part of the fabric of our community in Austin and Travis County,” said Nora Linares-Moeller, Executive Director of HousingWorks Austin. “In Austin alone, more than 222,000 households are at or below 80% of the median family income, including more than 44,000 households living below poverty level. The Austin Small Developer Training will help contribute to our goal of ensuring that all types of people and households can call Austin home.”
The Austin Small Developer Training program is funded by the Austin Housing Finance Corporation.
“Our commitment to create and retain safe, affordable housing for all Austinites is a mission our team is deeply committed to achieve. Exploring collaborative partnerships assists with that mission, which is why we are proud to be a part of the Austin Small Developer Training program,” said James May, Community Development Officer for the Austin Housing Finance Corporation. “We encourage historically excluded developers to take advantage of this opportunity and help us build additional affordable homes in Austin.”
An Important, Ambitious Goal for the City of Austin
In 2017, the City of Austin adopted its Strategic Housing Blueprint, which included a 10-year aspirational goal to construct 60,000 affordable housing units for households at or below 80 percent of the median family income, and an additional 75,000 units for households earning more than 80 percent of the median family income.
In 2022, the Austin Housing Finance Corporation put out a call for a program that would help create more affordable housing developers — particularly developers whose companies are owned by women or people of color who are familiar with traditionally marginalized and excluded communities. For example, less than five percent of housing developers in the United States are people of color, and only one-third of housing developers in this country are women.
How the Austin Small Developer Training Program Will Help
The Austin Small Developer Training program has been specifically crafted to confront the top challenges real estate developers face in Austin.
Local industry leaders will provide capacity-building and insights to participants on successfully navigating the local review process, preparing financial applications, and leveraging business partnerships with community members. Speakers include experts from Affordable Central Texas, Broaddus Construction, and Lionheart Places, with many more soon to be confirmed.
Developers will also learn strategies for finding more attainable land opportunities for small-scale development and learn from zoning experts, who will walk through the process and best practices to avoid common delays and challenges.
The program also provides potential pathways to financing. Capital Impact Partners provides financing for eligible real estate projects in Austin. Capital Impact and its partners have formed a referral network of regional community development financial institutions and local lenders in order to connect developers with other courses of financing.
Successful candidates for the program will be selected based on the following criteria:
- Demonstrate experience as a small-scale developer (either for-profit or nonprofit organizations) who is seeking to further their experience developing affordable housing and/or growing their portfolio. As this is not an introductory program, candidates are expected to have some direct real estate development experience.
- Live in or have a strong connection to Austin.
- Demonstrate a commitment to affordability and fair housing in Austin.
- Commit to attend mostly virtual* training on Monday afternoons (between noon-5pm Central Time) during the months of July-October for up to five hours per week. *There will be up to three in-person sessions, as well as an additional 2-4 hours of weekly training, assignments, and team meetings.
- Demonstrate interest in responding to Requests for Proposals (RFPs) for real estate development opportunities in Austin, with or without a development partner, within six months of completion of the program.
To learn more about the Austin Small Developer Training:
- Register to attend an informational webinar on Monday, May 1 from 3-4:30 p.m. CT
- Attend virtual office hours on Tuesday, May 2 from 4:30-5:30 p.m. CT
- Attend virtual office hours on Wednesday, May 10 from noon-1 p.m. CT
- Read answers to frequently asked questions about the program
To apply for the Austin Small Developer Training, visit the Capital Impact Partners website.
About Capital Impact Partners:
Capital Impact Partners is transforming how capital and investments flow into communities to provide people access to the capital and opportunities they deserve. We work to champion key issues of equity and social and economic justice by deploying mission-driven financing, capacity-building programs, and impact investing opportunities.
Capital Impact is part of the Momentus Capital branded family of organizations, including CDC Small Business Finance and Ventures Lending Technologies. Collectively, we offer a continuum of financial, knowledge, and social capital to help local leaders build inclusive and equitable communities and create generational wealth. This includes a comprehensive package of loan products, impact investment opportunities, training and business advising programs, and technology services that advance locally-led solutions.
A nonprofit Community Development Financial Institution, Capital Impact has disbursed more than $3 billion since 1982 to create access to critical social services, grow entrepreneurs, and create quality jobs. Capital Impact’s leadership in delivering financial and social impact has resulted in the organization being rated by S&P Global and Fitch, and recognized by Aeris for its performance.
Headquartered in Arlington, VA, Capital Impact Partners operates nationally, with local teams in Austin, TX, Dallas, TX, Detroit, MI, New York, NY, and Oakland, CA.
About HousingWorks Austin:
HousingWorks Austin is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization. They advance their mission to preserve and increase the supply of affordable housing through research, education, and advocacy in Austin, Texas and the surrounding region, with a commitment to ensuring those most in need have access to safe and affordable housing. HousingWorks Austin is guided by the maxim, “All Kinds of Homes, in All Parts of Town, for All Kinds of People.”
About the Austin Housing Finance Corporation:
The Austin Housing Finance Corporation (AHFC) was created as a public, non-profit corporation and instrumentality of the City of Austin. The mission of the AHFC is to generate and implement strategic housing solutions for the benefit of low- and moderate-income residents of the City of Austin.