RECA Ideas Forum Recap – How Do We Build The Affordable Housing We Need?

September 12, 2017 by Amy Hageman

Today BIG RED DOG sponsored the Real Estate Council of Austin‘s monthly Ideas Forum – an event that brings together a panel of experts to discuss topics relevant to local leaders in the development, AEC, and real estate industry. This month’s forum was titled “City at a Crossroads: How Do We Build The Affordable Housing We Need?”

The panel was moderated by Ann Howard from the Ending Community Homeless Coalition (ECHO). Joining her to discuss the region’s homelessness and affordable housing challenges were David Steinwedell from Affordable Central Texas, Sarah Andre from Structure Development, and Walter Moreau, Executive director for Foundation Communities.

Each of the panelists represented a different company or organization with slightly different strategy to help address the affordability crisis in Austin.

Andre’s firm, Structure Development, advises developers from around the country on affordable housing finance and local tax credit processes. Her firm is involved in the Chicon Corridor project for which BIG RED DOG was the civil engineer.

Bailey Harrington RECA
Prior to the panel, BIG RED DOG’s Bailey Harrington gave some remarks about the firm to attendees.

Foundation Communities is a local nonprofit that develops and manages affordable housing projects and also provides support services for its residents. BIG RED DOG has provided engineering services for a couple of these projects, including Bluebonnet Studios and Capital Studios.

Affordable Central Texas is a private equity firm with the goal of purchasing existing multifamily projects and preserving them as affordable for those with 60% to 120% of the Median Family Income.

The panelists urged attendees to band together as a “united front” to help educate community members and policymakers about the impact that CodeNEXT can have on the affordability of housing in this city. The new code must permit more dense development and housing units (across all price ranges) to be built in high-demand areas to prevent sprawl and traffic, promote greater transit ridership, and ultimately meet the goals of the city’s comprehensive plan.

Written by Amy Hageman

Amy Hageman

Amy Hageman directs all marketing and media related functions for BIG RED DOG. She also maintains and develops client relationships to ensure the people we do business with are satisfied with our services. Amy holds a B.A. in Business Administration from St. Edwards University, and she is active in the Urban Land Institute, Real Estate Council of Austin, Coastal Conservation Association, and the Society for Marketing Professional Services. She enjoys spending her time training for destination endurance races, hunting, fishing and being with her family, friends and two dogs.