Last week we posted about the hope of affordable housing for all, and spoke about the large amount of people and organizations in Austin working toward that common goal. As promised, we've brought you a post today focusing on an organization and project working to provide affordable and sustainable housing options for low to middle income Austin residents. More after the jump...
The Alley Flat Initiative is a project combining the talents of the Austin Community Design and Development Center, the University of Texas Center for Sustainable Development, and the Guadalupe Neighborhood Development Corporation to propose a new, affordable and sustainable housing alternative for Austin. Started in 2005, UT students interviewed homeowners and neighborhood leaders as well researched neighborhoods on the East Side to identify underutilized alleys in Austin. During their research, it came to light that residential lots facing these alleys were oversized and their building-to-lot ratio small. Seizing the opportunity, preliminary concepts for an alley flat initiative were born and based off of other alley flat initiatives taking place in cities like Santa Monica, Boulder, Seattle and Portland.
Homeowners who live on these narrow lots can decide to invest in the building of an alley flat to provide affordable housing while earning a little extra income and utilizing wasted space. Not everyone can take advantage of this idea, but those with lots that are eligible can get help and free design services from organizations like the Austin Community Design and Development Center. Homeowners interested in creating affordable housing, designers with services to provide, or residents who want to support the affordable housing community should check out more information on The Alley Flat Initiative website.
What do you think about The Alley Flat Initiative's efforts to create affordable housing in Austin? Do you live in a city with similiar projects taking place? Let us know!