NRP Group to Build Affordable Housing

The NRP Group has just broke ground on affordable housing in the north of Austin, Texas. The group is known nationally as a "best in class" housing developer and builder, and their focus has turned in recent years to affordable housing, much like housing projects. They're known for operating in heavily populated urban areas, where almost all public and affordable housing in built in the United States, as it's usually a way to give minority demographics affordable or free housing in cities where they don't have to commute for necessities. This particular unit, which is going up in north Austin, technically Williamson county, will be a 275-unit project, which means a few towers and a lot of separate apartments. Unlike a lot of affordable housing, however, this project is not a public housing project funded by the government. The NRP Group is doing this with its own capital, and a 4% tax credit and bond partnership with the Capital Area Housing Finance Corporation.

What this means, in a nutshell, is that these housing units will not be used as a free housing project but will rather be a rent-controlled, low-income apartment setting for the demographic referred to as the "working poor" - the people who work for a living yet have a lot of trouble meeting their basic needs due to low wages. Though now that inflation has hit America very hard, there are tens of thousands of additional Texans who qualify as working poor now compared to just a few years ago. The one good thing going for Texas is that their economy is open and fully operational, so they aren't suffering many COVID setbacks like other states in the nation.

According to the group, these units are intended specifically for people who are "earning up to 60% of the area median income (AMI)." There will be seven four-story buildings and the units will range from one-bedroom units for single people or couples, up to four-bedroom units for entire families. Ground has officially been broken here, and the project is expected to be completed by June of 2023.

This seems like a rather long time to build a structure, especially when the ground's already broken and all the permits and funding are in place. Though the NRP Group is widely known for its quality in craftsmanship and not for rushing projects through to completion. This particular project is unlikely to be some eye-sore placed in the middle of a city but rather a very attractive apartment complex on the outskirts of the urban area.

With housing shortages throughout the nation and overvalued housing markets in New York, California, Washington and other states, Texas officials are very excited that a couple hundred new housing units will become available in the near future. More and more people are also moving to Texas from other states, due to their economy being open and various tax laws. While these people are unlikely to seek the designated affordable housing, the fact remains that their very presence is going to drive home prices and competition up, so it will be much harder for native Texans to actually find affordable homes now. This project couldn't have happened at a more opportune time, according to one CAHFC spokesperson.

Private vs. Public

It is actually pretty rare to see a private group constructing these large affordable housing projects. The fact of the matter is that renting to lower income people is a risk that most developers are not going to take. Statistically speaking, people in these sorts of units cannot afford the upkeep and so the units fall into disrepair quicker, and the nonpayment record is exponentially higher among this demographic. Developers will typically opt for building expensive housing to attract wealthier buyers rather than getting into affordable housing. This is usually the government's domain, and the government ends up basically offering free public housing to people and just razing the tenements to the ground and rebuilding every twenty years or so.

The NRP Group is known mostly for building vertically, however, which means they're used to dealing with apartments, offices, and other properties that are leased instead of purchased outright. So as long as Texas was going to make them a sweetheart tax deal to go through with this, NRP jumped at the opportunity to build these housing units in the north of Austin.

There are a whole lot of people looking forward to 2023 when this project is expected to be completed.

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