University of Texas at AustinDivision of Diversity and Community Engagement

A reflection on service and affordable housing at Foundation Communities Faculty Open House

March 20, 2013

Faculty tour M Station Apastments on March 19

Faculty tour M Station Apartments on March 19

Those of us who live and study in Austin know why it’s popular – good food, weather and music. But the city’s growth has had one unintended downside: The cost of living has skyrocketed, creating a greater for affordable housing, Walter Moreau, executive director of the nonprofit Foundation Communities said.

“Austin is booming,” he said at the M Station apartments, one of the Foundation Communities properties. The properties house about 2600 families. “Median rent here is $900,” Moreau continued. “We’re the ninth most expensive metropolitan area in the nation,” just a few spots below New York City.

The Communities have been providing affordable housing and support services for families since 1990. The Foundation Communities have other construction projects in the works, including buildings on South Lamar and West Slaughter Lane. They are affiliated with the Longhorn Center for Civic Engagement, which is a program with the Division of Diversity and Community Engagement.

The attractive & affordable communities are home to 2,600 families and 228 formerly homeless children

The attractive & affordable communities are home to 2,600 families and 228 formerly homeless children

As part of service-learning week, or United To Serve, Moreau and others addressed an intimate crowd of faculty at an Open House on Tuesday. The event was one of several being held this week as part of a system-wide initiative to celebrate volunteerism among faculty and students.  A group of almost 200 accounting students from the McCombs School of Business, for instance, have helped Foundation Communities residents file over 17,000 tax returns and secure $30 million in refunds.

After a tour and presentations detailing the moving stories of Foundation Community residents,  a faculty were urged to contact Jackie Blair for ideas on how to engage more volunteers and raise public awareness of the ways Foundation Community changes lives. To learn more about the Communities and opportunities to serve, click here. As part of The Project,
LCCE will host an all-day service event in Dove Springs on Saturday, March 23.

 

Previous post:

Next post: